Sunday, March 15, 2009

All Change with Vista

Kia ora tātou – Hello Everyone
I’ve just set up our new computer. Hooray! It’s taken me most of my spare time yesterday and a good few hours today sorting out Net connections (again), getting email started, setting up Firefox, sorting set-ups etc – and there’s still a bit to get done, and how.

I’m really pleased with the replacement. We had a rather world weary PC with Windows 2000 on it with an equally world weary 13 inch CRT monitor. I must say that we were nevertheless grateful for the machine, a gift from my son, and the good service it gave to the family over the years - it has done its dash.

Shiny new machine:

But now we have a brand new HP 2 Duo CPU E4700 @ 2.60 GHz with a 19 inch LCD. The family think it’s rather swish, and I must admit that, apart from the extremely tinny audio from the screen (which can be easily rectified with some decent speakers) it all has a good feel to it. Fast as, I can get writing a blog post within 30 seconds of switching it on. I just love the automatic spell checking when writing a post or comment.

With the help of a good friend, I have been using Winternals to lift some of the files off our dead machine. Images are all fine. Word files – no problem. Even a few old educational games (.exe files) that my daughters still enjoy, carried across and work well, including some of Grey Olltwit’s brilliant creations, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare in an easy to use search and find suite.

Cut the losses:

There are a few losses though. I can’t retrieve the PhotoShop software, which is to be expected, as well as some other proprietary software including PowerPoint. Nothing to complain about there. I'll miss the PhotoShop until I can get it replaced.

But the software packages that we had on CD and that should have been useful cannot be installed or run on Vista. These include a suite of SIMS, and Sid Meier’s Civilization III. All the software was gifted by my son as it happens.

UPDATE 11 April: I have since located dll files that are absent in Vista and that are required for several installations to function as well as an extraordinary fix on CIV III involving an unwanted file to do with fonts of all things. We now have CIV III installed and running on Vista.

The Outlook pst files that are intact and carry our archived email, though transferable, cannot be accessed on the new machine. They remain 150 Mb of impenetrable, inaccessible data. It appears that such files die with the machine, for even if our old machine was still operable there is little that can be done to transfer the emails across in any useful form, other than by taking text dumps of the individual files.

Considering the need for fortitude and resourcefulness in these days of a strained global economy, I can’t help feeling that there are several lessons to be learnt here.

When I’ve completed the retrieval of all that can be salvaged from our old PC, I shall take great care to ensure that, dead though it may be, it is appropriately recycled along with its twentieth century monitor. I'm into green computing.

Ka kite anō – Catch ya later

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