Sep 17, 2007

Hasta La VISTA!

Let me begin by uttering the words, "I HATE VISTA!" As I am typing this, I am copying files from a Windows XP machine to an external hard drive, and then from that drive down to a Vista-based machine.

At the time of this writing (about 6:45pm), I was able to copy just over 10 GB of data in the time it took the Vista laptop (a Dell Inspiron 1721 with a gig of ram) to shut down and reboot to the desktop. Puh-Leeze. Add to that the fact that the external drive runs SLOWER hooked up to the smokin new laptop than to the old 512mb ram desktop! Yes, the laptop is smokin... Or would be, if it weren't for Vista.

On my TO DO list is the following:
  • Transfer Email Messages,
  • Transfer Email Addresses,
  • Copy Internet Favorites,
  • Copy My Documents,
  • and finally transfer iTunes music.

As of 6:45pm, the Favorites have been copied (though because of the new interface, I misjudged where to place the goofy things, so I had to re-copy them into the correct place!). Presently, I am watching the green progress bar inch its way across the "Copying 10,509 items" window.

And, yes, I am writing this chronologically, and speaking as if you were sitting on the phone and I was telling you this verbally, fully realizing that by the time you read this, I will (please, Lord) be finished with this project. Now, I should not complain too loudly. After all, I am able to type in my blog while getting paid to watch a progress bar on the screen. However, there are many other things I could be doing, ya know? And, the fact that I am working on a U.S. Legislator's computer ain't a bad deal, either! :-)

And, since I brought the subject up, I have been doing work for Mr. Ross for some time now. Mostly, when he owned a local pharmacy, and sometimes for his personal computers (like I am tonight). For a while, I did some computer and networking jobs for him during his campaign.

I suppose because I've known him since around 1991, and because he is almost the same age as I am, it took me a long time to think of him as anything other than Mike Ross, the guy I know... Which, he still is, but, over the years, his various state and national government positions have had an increasing effect on my respect for what he does and what he has to deal with.

Alas, I digress from the task before me... Vista tells me there are about 20 minutes still to go on my initial copying. I say "initial" because once everything is on the Vista machine, I still have to figure out where in the blankety-blank to move it so that Mike's wife (it's her laptop) can find it easily, and make sure that as many things work "like they used to" as possible! :-)

To give you an idea, it is now 7:05pm and we still have about 15 minutes of initial copying to go....

SIDENOTE: I left the metal bucket (that Emily and I used to wash her car) in the back of my truck. If you have never heard the sound of metal rolling around in a truck bed, let me tell you, it's not fun. The first time I noticed it, I had stopped at a traffic light. When the light turned green, I hit the gas, and heard the most awful noise come from the rear of my truck! I thought I had hit the pole or something! As I drove on (because SURELY I did not hit a pole..duh..), it dawned on me that the bucket was back there, sliding, rolling, and generally enjoying its new found adventure. I, on the other hand, was losing my nerve the more it went banging and crashing everywhere. Though, I'm glad I have a bed liner now, for sure! :-) Could I have pulled over and put the bucket INSIDE the truck? Of course, but why would I do that? That would mean STOPPING on my way to work... Man, in retrospect, maybe I should have... Well, did I get it out after I got to work? Of course not, I had already closed my locked doors and I did not feel like climbing into the bed to get the stupid bucket anyway...

Of course, I forgot about it until I was driving home again... And, if I were to go outside right now (and leave the laptop to its copying), I would still find the thing in the bed... But, really, when I get to the house, OUT IT COMES! I think. If I can remember it.... :-)

(We now return you to your regularly scheduled update)

While staring at the Vista screen, I have to admit that I HATE the new interface. On web sites, "breadcrumbs" telling you where you are and how yo got there are great. On a computer? No. I know how I got there, thanks. Now, I will admit that the mini-slide show that runs on the side of the desktop is kinda neat. A little too much eye candy for my liking, but still, I could get used to that, I'm sure.

I think my biggest gripe is that nothing is where M$ has been preaching it to us since Windows 95! (well, okay, somethings are still in the 'right' place). Yes, I know, I can invoke "classic mode," which I would if I had Vista, and which I did when I got XP), but even that is not a cure-all. At least the "start" button doesn't say "START" anymore... It never made sense to me that you had to START in order to END your computing for the day... :-)

Just under 5 minutes to go, now 7:20pm...tick-tock....tick-tock....

7:46pm - the laptop throws a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) my way in the middle of copying pictures from the temp folder I created to the Pictures folder in Vista. Any BSOD ain't good, and one in Vista is REALLY scary... From what I could make out, it looked like a drive problem, but I won't really know until (or if) Vista boots up again....

I realize the GUI has little to do with BSOD in most cases, but this is exactly why I prefer the old DOS command: XCOPY *.* c:\Users\Documents /e /c......

7:51pm - Laptop finally shows the welcome screen. and at 7:53, "Windows has recovered from an unexpected shutdown..." Yeah, tell me about it!

Well, at 8:03pm, the crazy computer tells me it has an hour and 30 minutes to go! How on earth does a FILE COPY from one place on a computer to another place on the SAME computer take nearly 2 hours!?!? Okay, yeah, there are 7.70GB of pictures (which is a TON!), but still... AUGH...

Ah, and the "Import" feature of Windows Mail did not like the folders from the XP Outlook Express, so I'll have to figure THAT one out... I did manage to get the Address Book imported though...

I also have the Word documents copied to the Documents folder, so those should be good to go now. Once pictures are done, I just have iTunes music and Emails... Of course, at the rate the pictures are going, it could be a while.......

8:13pm - Finally got Word to launch and moved the mouse around enough to figure out where the heck you go to OPEN a document in Word 2007... Seriously? A stupid round button for that, too?? Come on, you have GOT to be kidding....


10:15pm - I am home. I left at 9:45ish, my task FINALLY complete. Or, as complete as it can get to this point. Imported the iTunes music, got email imported, everything on the list was checked off. I did add one thing that will need looking into... Turns out the ATI video card was the cause of the BSODs (There were three before the night was over). I'll let Mike know, and he can call Dell to have them troubleshoot it (or shoot it...).

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