So, I woke up early this morning and couldn't sleep any more. So I got up, and tippy-toed off to the kitchen/family room, trying not to wake The Other Half. Got the coffee cooking, peeled some potatoes to partially boil (feeling like hashed browns this morning), and opened up the laptop computer to see what's going on in the world. And I was confronted with a couple of things from my pet peeves list, from my little Dell Inspiron 1525.
Now, I've been using Windows 7 for a while now, and for the most part I love it. It looks significantly "grown up" from its more cartoonish-looking predecessors, it's sleek and clean and works pretty well. That doesn't mean I can't crash it if I try, but it doesn't do that with any frequency. I've been dubbed a "computer guru" for my self-taught progression from Windows 3.0 to the current version, a title I only partially agree with. I'm often a bumbler, and sometimes just get lucky stumbling upon solutions to computer woes.
There are a few things about Windows computers that have never worked particularly well, like networking and printing controls. Or rather, they often don't work well for me. If you've sent a document to the printer and want to cancel it, you're often SOL, and if a computer on your network can't "see" any of the others, it can be a brain-squasher figuring out the problem. If Windows 7 has made the networking a bit easier (if no more understandable), there hasn't been any change to printing controls. But these weren't my problems this morning.
My first problem is just the time and clunkiness involved in "waking up" a computer from sleep or hibernation mode. Windows 7 does a great job waking up from "off" (compared to earlier versions), but from a suspended state, there is much whirring and clicking--and waiting. At least I've figured out how to wake up my laptop. If I unwittingly press the "moon" button on a desktop, and it goes to sleep, I haven't the barest clue how to "wake it up," as there seems to be no button for that. I suppose I should look it up.
The second problem is with virus-checking software. I use McAfee because it's free with my Cox Cable. But every single time I turn on my laptop, the McAfee program insists I have a problem, and that it can "fix" it with a click of a button. But "fix" does nothing but start a scan, and the scan will not finish. And next time I pop open the laptop, same thing. Grrr.
The third problem is an intermittent one with the text cursor. Often, when typing for the blog or in Facebook (or anywhere), my text cursor will hop up to a different location. If I'm not looking at the screen, I may type several words right in the middle of something I typed earlier. Inordinately frustrating, and worse when you try to find a solution. The Googles are great for finding solutions to problems, but there is more frustration to be had there as well.
It will never cease to amaze me, when I go to message boards for computer issues, how many people will try to help solve a problem when they've obviously never experienced the problem themselves. How can I tell? Because they'll start off with, "Well, have you tried?. . ." or "What exactly were you doing when. . ." or "What version of Windows/processor/browser/etc. are you using?. . ." or "Well maybe you accidentally. . ." Each of these lead-ins tells me, they're fishing. If they knew the answer, they'd say: "Do this:" And when you run into one of these kinds of answers, it is like a eureka moment. My cursor problem isn't me. It is either my hardware, or it is my software, or it is a combination. But I'm not the only one it has happened to. So, why isn't there a computer problems database out there somewhere that just has answers?
ps. Yes, yes, get a Mac some will say. They have no problems whatsoever, are perfect in every way, and will even boil your potatoes for you. Sure, sure.