Huff-puff-puff, I Did It!

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Well, I’ve just cranked out and submitted my Newswithviews column for the week. Thanks to all of you who were pulling for me! But my head feels like it’s been used for a basketball.

The hardest part was shifting my focus from writing another chapter of The Wind From Heaven to writing about the inane goings-on in this shameful era of our history. Hint: the novel is a lot more fun.

So I contemplated the past few days’ blog posts and found two that seemed to go together very well: “Beyond Putrid” and the one about the Youth Climate Strike. Tune in Thursday to see how I did it.

And now I think I’ve earned the right to sit outside on this beautiful September day and do a crossword puzzle. Don’t worry–I’ve already done my bike ride.

21 comments on “Huff-puff-puff, I Did It!

  1. Lee, I sympathize. Right now, I’m trying to wrestle with a new computer and new operating system, having lost one of my programs entirely (along with all the data in it) because it won’t work with Windows 10 and the company has gone out of business so there are no updates; and having lost all my Quicken data from the last ten years because I can’t reinstall the old version of Quicken on the new system and the newest version won’t import files from the old version. Fortunately, I’ve kept paper backup versions of most of the data, and I thought to export various text versions of most of my data before disconnecting the old computer, but now I’ll have to hand-enter all my data into new programs because … oh well, it’s too complicated and no one’s interested anyway. (Here she goes into a sulk of self-pity but is unable to go out into the garden and eat worms, partly because she has no garden.) 🙁

    Anyway, the point — which I lost somewhere along the way — is that I may not be around much while I try to get things back to normally confused.

    1. It took me ten years to get this far with Windows 7, and now they’re going to force me to use Windows 10. That’ll probably be the end of me.
      Computers. It’s like a high school chemistry class that never ends. A lifetime of big red Fs.

    2. IMHO, Windows 10 is the biggest travesty in the world of computers. Linux (Mint) and Libra Office would be my suggestion. I use Libra on my Mac and it’s essentially every bit as good as MS Office.

      For the record, I don’t like any of these operating systems, at this point. I’m a Mac guy, but that company has changed direction since Steve Jobs died. Microsoft; don’t get me started. Even my beloved Cisco Systems is a far cry from what it used to be.

    3. I understand about one out of three words of this. You can imagine the trouble I’m going to have with Windows 10. I won’t be surprised if it kills me.

  2. I think a miracle just happened. My new version of Quicken did convert and use my supposedly unconvertible old files, and I won’t have to re-enter all the data after all! I thought I’d give it a try — the worst that could happen would be a file crash. And by golly, I have all my data back … so far. (I don’t want to count my digital chickens too soon.)

    UnKnowable, I find myself actually kinda sorta liking Windows 10, especially after doing a certain amount of customizing and after a massive update this morning that made the icky tiles less obtrusive. What I do NOT like is the way Microsoft shoves the subscription versions of their application software down one’s throat. I thought I was buying the standalone version of Office Pro, but when I found that the Pro version no longer includes two of my most important apps — Access and Publisher — and tried to get standalone versions to round out the suite, Microsoft pulled a bait and switch on me and made everything subscription.

    Oh well, at least I don’t have to re-enter a gazillion check, savings, and credit card entries into Quicken.

    Sometimes I wish I could just go back to a typewriter and an adding machine. And then I remember carbon paper and white-out, and I say “never mind.” 🙂

    1. There are reasons why a lot of people hate Microsoft.

      My first four published novels, the horror novels, were all written on a manual typewriter, plus Wite-Out. And of course my theses (“A Systems Analysis of the Viking Age”) required the use of carbon paper. Ghaaaah!

  3. “UnKnowable, I find myself actually kinda sorta liking Windows 10, especially after doing a certain amount of customizing and after a massive update this morning that made the icky tiles less obtrusive. What I do NOT like is the way Microsoft shoves the subscription versions of their application software down one’s throat. I thought I was buying the standalone version of Office Pro, but when I found that the Pro version no longer includes two of my most important apps — Access and Publisher — and tried to get standalone versions to round out the suite, Microsoft pulled a bait and switch on me and made everything subscription.”

    10 has some good points but Microsoft’s licensing is atrocious. They have a gold mine with Office 365.

    1. They’re going to stop supporting Windows 7, and trying to switch over to 10 and learn everything all over again only different… well, I expect that will kill me.

    2. I resisted the change for as long as possible, but was essentially forced to it by my employer. The key to Windows 10 is to hit the “Windows Key” and type in the first few letter of whatever you’re looking for. For instance, hit the Windows Key and type “con” and the icon for Control Panel will come up. I use a computer, mostly, for managing a network, so I spend time in a lot of different programs and searching for programs using this technique really helps. However . . .

      I really like to work from a Command Line environment. On a Macintosh or a Linux machine, there’s a command line environment called BASH, which I find greatly to my liking. In BASH, you can do the things I need to do, usually without ever touching a mouse, which is great, because using a mouse breaks your rhythm. Using BASH in a Mac allows you to have numerous BASH sessions open in different tabs and I can use BASH as a terminal program into several routers or switches at the same time. I use the Nano editor if I need to work with a text file and that runs directly in BASH. For me, that is computer heaven.

      In view of the fact that you are writing books, there’s no need for a lot of fancy stuff, basically you are generating plain text. You might be able to use a simple editor for a lot of your work.

    3. Lee, you might want to get an after-market book about Windows 10 and browse through it before you switch over. The “…for Dummies” books are usually good. Just make sure the publication date is as recent as possible, because Microsoft keeps doing big updates that sometimes add or change features, so that what you see on screen may be a bit different from the illustrations in an early book.

      Myself, I found a marvelous in-depth-and-yet-simply-written book that I’m still rereading and dipping into for tips even after reading the whole thing from cover to cover. It’s “Windows 10 May 2019 Update: The Missing Manual,” by David Pogue. It’s been very helpful for me, both in starting out and in finding neat little tweaks that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. Funnily enough, though, he does mention at the beginning that Microsoft does so many major updates so frequently that any aftermarket book is going to be obsolete within six months. He’s exaggerating, but he’s right in essence. After yesterday morning’s update, the two desktop/program screens have been coalesced into one, and although the result is much smoother (and less ugly), the two-screen illustrations in the book are now obsolete — just a couple of months after publication. Still, it’s a great book.

      But then again, I’m an after-market-book junkie (or users’ manual junkie, when they still included manuals with software). An old friend of mine and I used to joke about how we’d read users’ manuals in bed at night. 🙂

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