Friday, 17 June 2011

Today is New Computer Day...good or bad?

Do you like getting a new computer or do you hate it? 

I have mixed feelings.  My 'old' computer was nearly five years old and had become so slow, with frequent 'seizing up' when I had to crash out and restart. I also had a keyboard where half the letters had worn away.  But at least it was familiar. 

Now I have, not just a new machine, but a different Windows version, upgraded I.E. and Office Professional 2010.  My computer expert installed everything for me, and and it's all working perfectly (fingers crossed!).  He's transferred all my docs and pictures, even my list of bookmarks (or 'favourites').  It's super-fast and doesn't struggle to load a new pages or post a message.  The new keyboard shows all the letters and I have a nice non-reflective screen.

I know I should love it, but now I have to think about tasks which I previously did automatically.  Where's the website address?  Where are the drop-down menus?  How do I turn the sound on or off? And why do I keep hitting caps lock instead of shift?  Why do some pages not have scroll bars at the side?

I'm sure I'll get used to it in time, but is it a sign of age that it takes me longer to adapt to new things? Or maybe it's a case of preferring to cling to the familiar rather than embark on new learning curves?

Technology moves on so quickly these days; my 16 and 22 year old grandsons move with it as fast as it changes, but I guess I'm from a generation where things didn't change for the sake of change, which seems to be the case these days. 

In the 'good old days, you bought something and it lasted!  You didn't have to upgrade or replace it.  You had it mended if it went wrong.  Nowadays you get rid of it and buy a new one, since it's often cheaper to do that than to pay someone to fix it.  My mother had the same vacuum cleaner for over 40 years.  Things were made to last in the old days.  But now?

In the last 20 years, I have had about 6 new computers (my first one didn't even have Windows and I remember using DOS commands!).  Maybe that's some indication of the speed of technological progress - and I HAVE adapted, honest I have! 

I'm not anti-progress - but I do sometimes question the very rapid changes.   Is it change simply for the sake of it?  Is it necessary?  Or is it due to the greed of the manufacturers?  Does Microsoft introduce new versions (e.g. of operating systems or Office) because they are necessary or simply because they want everyone to rush out and buy their new version - and therefore make older versions obsolete??

Or am I just becoming a grumpy old woman??  (don't answer that!)


  1. Oh, Paula...I can identify. I'm on my second Toshiba laptop, and it's now 3 years old. I need Windows 7, and the new hard drive, whatever, and all those new bells and whistles. But I can't decide on which one, even though I'm not looking at a wide variety. I know I'm just procrstinating, knowing I'll go through exactly what you're going through.
    I keep thinking, in July I won't have so many things to do. Wrong. In August, I won't have so many things to do..Wrong again. Let me know how this comes out. What did you get, by the way? Celia

  2. Ah, Paula, so many snarky comments I could make here, but I'm going to refrain (pause while head explodes). On a serious note, yes, technology does change very fast (I used to do PR for technology companies and 6 months was about as long as things lasted before something newer, better, faster came along) and I find it frustrating too, sometimes. The unfamiliarity is stressful, but give it a few days and you'll be praising how fast it is and you'll be used to things! Good luck.

  3. Celia, I've got a Compaq computer, Windows 7, a huge hard drive (which I doubt I'll ever fill, think I'm using about 3% of it so far) and double the amount of RAM I had before (think it's now 4GB). Not that I really understand all this! I'm more concerned about understanding the differences with all the menus etc.
    But then I always did like a challenge LOL!

  4. Hi Jen
    Yes, I know I'll get used to it, although it may take me more than a few days, while I try to find out where everything is!
    Love the speed though, after weeks of feeling I was watching paint dry while pages loaded!

  5. Hi Paula,

    We recently had out computer crash and had to replace the hard drive. It was a nightmare to unload and reload all of the docs, pics, music, etc. And I'm still getting used to the 'upgrades'. It took forever to find 'familiar' things. And there are still things I can't do. As in I still can't post a blog from this computer because of some IE9/Blogger dislike.

    So, no, I wouldn't say you have an exclusive on the grumpy thing!

  6. I'd rather my computer stay the way it is, but even my good old computer seems to just change without me knowing what's going on. I wouldn't mind having a new computer if I had my expert come in and set it up and transfer everything and come in and fix it when there were problems--that is if I had an expert to do those things for me and I could afford it.

    Tossing It Out

  7. I like upgrading tech, but it does take a little time getting used to it, which is always annoying.

    I think manufacturers do build in obsolesence these days because they realise they can make more money that way. They hold back improvements and roll them out slower than they could so their turnover is greater, just the way it is I guess.

    Moody Writing

  8. I don't like change in general, Paula, and new computers in particular as I get so used to the one I'm using. However, sometimes we have to embrace it as you seem to have done! Hope it proves even better than any that went before.

  9. Debra - so far so gfood with the IE9/Blogger glitchy here - at least I can actually sign in now. But agree that it takes time to 'find' things once you upgrade.

    Lee, I found a wonderful computer expert a few years ago and fortunately he doesn't charge the earth to fix things for me!

    Mood, agree about the built-in obsolescence, but for something to become 'obsolete' after just a couple of years seems crazy. I now have a pile of discs to throw away simply because won't work on anything after Windows XP.

    Rosemary - I think getting a new computer is a bit like 'breaking in' a new pair of shoes, necessary but slightly painful to start with!

  10. I'm clinging to my XP laptop for as long as possible, but backing up files for when the inevitable crash happens.

  11. Hi Paula

    *Snap* Last year I treated myself to a Compaq laptop with Windows 7. It's great for when I want to write in another room, or out in the garden (weather permitting) but I still prefer my four year old desktop with Windows XP. I've had about four computers before these two and have to say I prefer Windows XP to any of the OSs before or since.

    I'm sure companies do bring out new systems and products solely to entice us to get rid of the old and purchase the new. Vista was a disaster (so glad I didn't get sucked into buying that one) Windows 7 is fine and I'm used to it now, but there was nothing wong with XP and I certainly won't be upgrading my desktop until I absolutely have to (By which time Windows 7 will probably have been replaced by something else.) Now I have a decent laptop and desktop with ample memory and room to upgrade, I'm afraid that's what I'll be doing in future - can't afford to replace with new for the sake of it!

  12. Ana and Lyn - I too was clinging to my XP computer and wasn't looking forward to changing. But eventually the 'old' (relatively speaking!) computer became so frustratingly slow that I had no choice.
    3 days after getting this new one, I'm getting used to it (although I still have to search for things in Word 2010!)

  13. I love and Hate getting a new computer. I like the idea of having something new and improved but the idea of readjusting to a new machine is so dreadful.