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Altara3
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My Computers
Posted On: 02/11/2019 17:06:09

My first foray into what would become my fascination with 'computers' was to get a Brother Word  Processor. It was one piece, with a 'flip up' cover that allowed me to carry it. But it was bulky and not easily carried.
One thing I really liked about word processors is that you could stick in 'stationery/paper' & actually type on stationery, if you wanted.   This is what it looked like:

WP-1-600

Next, I found a two-piece word processor--also a Brother. It had a detached 'monitor'.  Like the first one, it had a floppy disk drive.  And I could still 'type' straight onto stationery if needed.  Plus, it had a 'wheel' disk, with each 'font' on a different 'wheel'.  At that time, you had  3 choices: Elite, 'regular' (which I can't remember the true name of!), & Script. Naturally, I really loved the Script font--and used it on all my letters, etc.   Another 'choice' was colors: I could buy different colored 'ribbons' for it--my favorites were green and blue. Other choices: brown and red.  My pen pals were surprised to see green script on the letters I sent them! 


Second-wp-600


In 1998, my husband and I were asked to be Managers of this mobile home park (96 homes). One of the 'jobs' was for me to keep a 'spreadsheet' of who owed what & how much they paid, etc.--which of course, I had no  idea how to do! They gave me a very simple 'computer' to use. And I do mean simple! I couldn't figure out spreadsheets, so I decided to just 'type' the information. It wasn't easy, but it did work.

Not long after that,  I happened to see a 'computer' at Sears one day. And I decided it was time for me to move up.  So I bought that and gave back the 'simple' computer to the owners.

It was an HP Pavilion (no laptops in those days).  I can't be sure, but I think I remember it had something like 6mb RAM. I've tried Googling it, but haven't come up with any info that would help me with the specs.  At that point, I saw no point in having Internet.  I mainly wanted it for my 'writing'.   I had put my novella onto a floppy disk, but wanted to put it onto a real computer.     Well, surprisingly, I found it fairly easy to figure out how to use that HP on my own--and I was totally in shock about how much more it could do than the 'loaned' one!    I learned how to do a real spreadsheet quickly.   It had Windows 98 on it.  It worked until 2006!
This is it:


First-Desktop

My second computer was another HP Pavilion.  It had XP as the operating system.  Here's the info I found on it:


XP-info


2nd_comp_600


Sadly, it was a 'lemon'.  After a while, it started acting up; it kept coming up with "the blue screen of death", one after another--too many to count, even though I'd written down the 'numbers' of quite a few of them. I've told the story here before--17.5 hrs on the phone with 7 different HP techs (each one said he'd stick with me till it was 'fixed', lol); I finally asked for a replacement. Their reply: not until it had  3 'bench' repairs--but they wouldn't even agree to take it in once!   I finally paid a family friend $250 (special discount--he usually only worked on 'professional, business' machines) to work on it. He replaced Windows &  did 'who knows what' all to it.   I had previously bought an external DVD-RW drive when the one on this quit; but I put that away--for a while. (by the time I needed that again, the drivers were out of date & it couldn't be fixed)

 It worked a few more years, on/off. But in 2009, I decided it would probably totally quit again soon, so I decided to try a laptop. This time, I got a Compaq.  It came with Vista. 3 GB RAM, Dual CPU  2.0GHz. It has a 19 inch screen. Not very good for being 'portable', but a nice picture.    I've complained about it over the years, even though technically it's still working. To be honest, it's main "problems" are:  it only has 3GB RAM...so is very, very slow--and it overheats quickly. Yes, I bought a 'fan' thing to go under it...but that doesn't seem to help. It quickly reaches 125ยบ & has to be turned off.  I still keep this for 'emergencies'. But it's slow as molasses--so it makes you want to tear your hair out trying to use it!  Oh, yes--it came with Vista; but over the years, I've upgraded it until it now has Windows 10. 


Best_new_desk_cropped

In 2012, the desktop was 'toast' and I was tired of messing with the laptop. I looked around & found what I thought--hoped--would be my final computer. It was an ASUS dektop, which had 12GB RAM, i5 processor, 10 USB ports, etc.  My perfect computer!  I planned on just 'upgrading' it when needed.   However, in late 2015, that desktop started having problems.   It would suddenly start/stop on its own. I finally figured out it would 'stay' okay if I left it "on" 24/7.  It apparently was mainly a 'cold start' problem.  But it still kept going 'off' at times.  Then, I did a System Recovery (or?). That worked for a while, then it started acting up again. Well...I started another System Recovery--and it quit  right in the middle of that! So it no longer had Windows on it. And I couldn't figure out how to fix it.   I decided I had to give up on it & look for a new computer.  I took out the hard drive, then gave it away; I found a guy from the nearby Air Force Base who works on computers, via Facebook--I figured he might get it going, eventually.   Needless to say, I was disgusted that it had only lasted a few years! I was afraid it would cost way too much to take it to Office Max/Depot, etc.  (and my 'friend' in the computer business wasn't around any longer)

IMG_1362.jpgl600


Well, I now think I made a mistake. Instead of buying a new computer, I should have taken that money & tried getting the desktop fixed!  But...hindsight, as they say. What I did do was buy an ASUS laptop. It had Windows 10, 6GB RAM, an i7 processor, & 2.4 GHz.   Sadly, within a few months, the WiFi went out; they offered to fix it under warranty--but I didn't want to send it off and not have it for a week (or more). So,I just hooked up my Ethernet plug & have been using it that way, since it never leaves my desk anyway.    That wasn't really a problem. However, last year I noticed the DVD drive suddenly stopped working; it wouldn't even 'read'/play DVD's much less 'write' them.  It still plays CD's; however, I somehow doubt it would record them (I don't have any blank ones to 'try' & don't see the point in spending the money on buying any at this point).    So I bought an inexpensive external DVD-RW drive. But guess what??  It doesn't work on this laptop! However, it does work--or did--on the old Compaq laptop!  So...it's apparently an 'inboard' problem with this Asus. Sigh.  Luckily, I don't really need a dvd writer; I can save things to my big external drive or to flash drives. 

Asus-laptop

By the way--I said "or did" because just this past week, my old Compaq has started acting up. Now, almost every time I turn it on, it says it's encountered a problem and needs to restart. Sigh. So...it may be headed for the scrap heap shortly!     Needless to say...this is not a good time to even think about a new computer!  So...until this one totally quits...it'll have to do.   And then...I just might try to get by using the iPad that a friend gave me last year, in place of a computer. That's NOT my idea of 'fun'...but...we'll see.





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Viewing 1 - 2 out of 2 Comments

02/16/2019 08:21:10

I enjoyed the tours of your computers. I loved the XP Windows best.



02/12/2019 17:32:44

Very interesting. I was working when I first came in contact with anything other than a typewritter. I had a tempory job with a doctor he was new and had all the latest and the typewritter he had was different. I don't remember the make but it had just above the keyboard a little window that showed you the last line you had typed and if there was an error you could go back and correct it. Would n't go back further than one line though. I loved it. 
Then I worked in another office with an early Apple computer. It was really something in those days. I got on well with that. Meanwhile my husband was using something that he recorded his work jobs on. It looked about the size of an iPad but definitely not an iPad. One of his friends talked him into getting a computer. He was doing a column then for a Model Airplane magazine. I had the job of typing it up every month and often he would change things after I finished and I would have to retype it. Oh that was maddening. So with the new computer it was wonderful I could go back and insert stuff and change it without having to redo the whole thing. It also made discs and we could send photos on those. He would n't get a modem or go on the Internet, he was too worried about someone stealing his social security number. I think it was a Compaq.

Then we moved up in the world and got a Windows 3 computer. Don't remember the brand but that was great. Lasted a long time. I think the next one was XP. He had that built by a computer shop in town we knew the people. He had that for 10 years. I bought myself a Dell and it was XP then I updated it to 7. He finally had to get a new one this summer. It was so slow and so he got a Dell too. With Windows 10. It was a big learning curve for us both. Thanks to TC I think we finally are getting there I plan on sometime soon updating my 7 but I hate to let it go. I am used to it and have everything all sorted out. I had thought to make the new window 10 our only computer but I shall keep mine and I have made an account on 10 for me and one for hubby. He does n't use it much. He loves his iPad and seems to have forgotten how to use a  computer. I will warn you. I have yet to find out  how to leave comments with graphics on NOTH. I can write notes but trying to redo my Page is impossible. It is very handy though and so easy to do a lot of every day stuff. Read the local  newspaper when the snow stops delivery. Read library books and get the weather. Like a cell phone which I hardly ever use. Print is too small. Thanks for the memories.

Eileen




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