Well, I did get my new computer as planned. Great deal on it too. But it’s quite a jump going from an old Windows XP to Windows 7. It’s the little changes that make life so difficult some ways, and that’s certainly true in the differences between Windows XP and 7.
We decided to officially call my laptop my main work computer. That’s because it’s true. I only use the desktops when I’m doing work that is simply more comfortable on a bigger computer… or rather a full size mouse and keyboard. There are times when I still prefer those.
The new computer went to my husband’s desk, not mine. His old computer will soon be set up on my desk for the kids to use when they want to play games… once I make the time to clean it off, and the dying computer…, well, it’s pretty near dead. Once I’m utterly positive I didn’t forget anything on it I’ll work on wiping the hard drive. Sadly, it’s not as simple as running a couple of neodymium magnets across it. I could have had fun with that, as we have a couple boxes of BuckyBalls Magnetic Building Spheres sitting on the shelf.
Nope, it’s safer to write random data over and over on the old drive.
The new computer is of course way more powerful than the old. That amuses me because it’s definitely a lower end model we bought this time, but not too low, while the old was a pretty good midrange in its day.
On the minus side, I have to consider whether to buy new software or go open source on some of my favorites. I don’t use it much now, but my old computer had Dreamweaver on it. The version I have doesn’t run on Windows 7, so the upgrade would not be optional if I want it on the new machine. Same for some of my other programs.
Then again, I can delay and use my husband’s old machine for such things. Such are the advantages of updating the house one computer at a time. I still have time to figure these things out and find a solution without being completely depriving myself of familiar programs.
The most difficult part with the new computer has been setting up individual user accounts. I had done that lightly with the older computers, and decided to do so for this one right from the start. Shared documents now go into a Public folder, and it took some time to figure that out. I’m still trying to decide how I want to make it so that it includes all my photos when the screensaver comes on. XP did that just fine, but because my photos are separated into subfolders, Windows 7 considers them to be in separate locations. It’s a small annoyance, but I’ve always loved having my photos rotate through the screensaver so they aren’t eternally hidden away on the hard drive.
Of course, one of the first things I did was install my preferred antivirus program on the computer, Avast. The free version works great. Sure, it came with a 6 months subscription to a different program, but Avast is far better rated.
Still, once I get things going, I know the newer computer is going to be a lot of fun to use. My old computer became so touchy in its old age that I barely used it because I would have to restart it before I could do anything. Be nice to not have to do that anymore.