Just as a carpenter wouldn’t be caught dead working without a hammer and nails, today’s writer would not be similarly caught without a computer. Like the writers of old, who’s writing staple was the typewriter, and further back the quill and parchment, the computer has become an essential piece of equipment to the modern day writer in this digital age.
Oh yes, we can write things longhand in notebooks and journals, but we submit completed manuscripts via PDF files, instead of shipping boxes filled with paper manuscripts. This is much easier and more convenient to all parties involved.
We writers have a tendency to wear many hats, when not writing, and I found that my main hat happens to be GEEK. Quite simply I found that these days if I have to use a computer extensively the way I do, I must have either a trusted friend who is an IT person, pay to keep someone who is an IT person on retainer, or become a amateur one myself. Guess which one I am?
Introducing Zena the Geek Warrior Princess! Why? Because I’m always fighting with my computers! Downloads, uploads, spyware, malware, cookies, memory, defrag, backups, updates, you name it, I’m my only go to person.
Take yesterday as typical example. I stopped by Staples (The Office Superstore) to purchase a copy of Microsoft Office 2010. One of the sales reps showed me where to get a copy and I took the cardboard coupon holder up to the register.
I thought I was going to pick up “physical software” at the counter after I had paid. You know these large box stores must have strict security measures in place in order to discourage the criminal element. . . . .
But no, I was informed by the sales rep that there was new procedure. First, they scanned the card while you pay. You go home, go on line to the Microsoft site, open the card, enter the code, click and download. Voila, your software has been downloaded from on high. . . .
Now, this sounded so Easy Peasy and Cheesey. . . . .
It took me all night (06/09/2012) and all of this morning (06/10/2012) to discover that Microsoft Office 10 was not going to download and open my computer! I don’t know if it’s The Old Grey Lady’s (my laptop) age (six years old) or what. Either the software downloaded and would lock up/crash my entire system, or it failed because there is some sort of er-ror.
I don’t say this lightly because since I’m a geek, I tried all avenues. I used three different browsers (Opera, Chrome, and Fire Fox) to download and got the same result. Yes, I know, banging one’s head against the wall in the same place gets the same result, a headache. . . The only browser I did not try is Internet Explorer, and I HATE that browser. Most Geeks do. Not secure.
I tried signing back into my account on the site and trying to do a back up. I was kindly told I’ve already used my code so I could not. Now, I have NOTHING!
Gaaahhhh! One hundred and thirty bucks down the proverbial drain! Perhaps later after I cooled down (I felt like throwing my laptop out of the 15th floor window – what an ignoble end to 6 faithful years of service) I will call Mircosoft and rattle their cage about sending me a back up disc.
Why didn’t Microsoft provide a disc in the first place? Like I mentioned earlier folks would steal them, so, companies switched to online downloads. So you go from people swiping discs to big named companies swiping your money for defective downloads?
Of course this puts a damper in my writing. I’ve got some heavy duty editing to do and I wanted to use Microsoft Word. I have a . . . . .eh-hem. . . . cough. . . . . . . bootlegged copy of it on MiniMe (my netbook) which will have to suffice until this whole mess is straightened out.
For now, I’m putting up my Excalibur and I’m going for a run. My personal version of running and screaming into the night.
Yes, I have to do that sometimes, or I’d go quite mad. As if I have not already. . . . . .