Horrible weather – the trauma of installing a new computer

A truly horrible weather day – the trauma of installing a new computer – advice for PC users

Pepys Diary Saturday 19 November 1664

All the morning at the office, and without dinner down by galley up and down the river to visit the yards and ships now ordered forth with great delight, and so home to supper, and then to office late to write letters, then home to bed.

For the first time since 1 February 2017 I have absolutely nothing to say about the entry except what I have just said which I suppose is something.


There is weather and weather. Today from about 10 am there was unremitting drizzle accompanied by a uniformly grey sky. My complaint is that nothing actually happens. If it would pour with rain, fine. Thunderstorms including lightning are even better. Flood and pestilence, frogs raining down would be added entertainment provided you are not caught in the middle of it.  Now, I look out of the window and it might be a prelude to the end of the world. I for one would welcome such an apocalypse – re-boot the whole planet I say. Let’s all start again and this time, listen to and respect nature and don’t mess with it.

Be thankful you do not live in places like Seattle. Although it only rains three days a week, on the other days it looks like its going to rain.  The area gets 152 days of rain and 37. inches of the wet stuff.  UK gets 133 days of rain and 33.7 inches during the year. The Atacama Desert is commonly known as the driest non-polar place in the world where it has not rained for years. I wonder if even David Attenborough would be hard put to find some evidence of life. Well, maybe we are not so badly off.


This morning was when my new computer was delivered by my kind Fundi, Terry. There are several comments and warnings which I would like to pass on. Sooner or later, your computer will fail. It will do so with no warning. There are two things that you need to have at all times. A backup especially of your data (the programs can be reloaded from your discs all from the Internet) and a list of passwords including the ones you think you will never forget. Memory is so cheap these days. I obtained a 1 TB backup disk for about £60 and I’m sure they will come down further in price. I also use dropbox for backup which I find adequate for most purposes. Dropbox is free for smaller usage anyway..

It is not a good idea to have the same password for everything because should someone break in and they discover that this is the case then all your systems will be compromised.  Over 1 million people were compromised by scams of various sorts in the UK in 2016. Because the criminals are always thinking of new ploys, you may be very intelligent and aware but you might still get caught.

It is very unlikely that you will lose data but you may forget where you put it and you may lose the program associated with it. For example, DragonDictate, which I’m using at the moment to write this diary was not able to work when it was transferred to another disc. Don’t ask me why, I had to reload it fresh.

The problem with ageing computers is that the rate of innovation is so fast that even if the developers wanted to test a new part for example a motherboard for compatiblity with every known other bits of hardware the cost would be prohibitive in time. Rather than replacing bits there is an argument for getting a new computer every three or four years. I have done this and benefited from a thoroughly clean system with no malware or hidden advertising.

Anyone who works from home should consider very seriously having two screens because very often you are writing about something referring to something else also on the computer and to have to split your screen, or alternate,  is wearing on the eye as well as the brain.  Most PCs have two outputs for screens, VGU I think they are called – and you just plug in the second monitor which you can get for £20 second-hand or for £100 the new and the computer will figure out what to do with it.

If you’re going to spend any length of time during the day I do recommend you invest money in a comfortable chair. I have one that swings and rocks. I had a hard chair, an ordinary four legged thing, and I realise now what a price I paid in terms of back aches and stiff necks. You should try not to have the screen against a bright light because that will put more strain on the eye. The wall behind my screen is more or less of the same colour as the screen, actually a light yellow, and I can sit happily in front of it for the day if I have to.  It is recommended that you get up at least once an hour and walk around possibly the garden or to make a cup of coffee.

Back to computers again, it is of the utmost importance to get someone who will give you personal service. Computers can be remotely interrogated so they don’t have to be physically with you to trouble shoot. Having said that, any advice you need on absolutely any aspect of computer building, design, software, problems, you only have to go into Youtube to find the answer. Okay the speaker may have an American drawl or an Indian accent but the information will be there.

I have a Nokia Lumia and I couldn’t quite figure out how to load a map so I went on to Youtube and got the answer within 30 seconds. There was a button that I did not see which took me to the right path. It’s nothing to do with your intelligence, it’s to do with lack of familiarity and experience and no one is going to take you to task for that. There is no such thing as a silly question. If you ask a question the chances are that you need an answer so if you’re on the receiving end or the giving and just get on with it and make a fool of yourself. We are not supposed to know everything about everything


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