Saturday, February 19, 2011

Struggling Up a Steep Learning Curve

Have you upgraded your computer or software lately? I just did and it’s frustrating as hell. This isn’t the first time I’ve done this. When did the learning curve get so steep?

Two years ago I went from desktop to laptop. So many people gave high marks to Toshiba that I decided on a Toshiba Satellite L350. Another point in its favor – it was one of the few models that I could get with Windows XP. I didn’t want Vista. The computer arrived and I couldn’t wait to set it up. My excitement over my new purchase waned as soon as I fired it up.

I had a different blog back then and as soon as I logged on, I knew the laptop was not displaying the colors correctly. I adjusted settings, looked for new drivers, called customer support – all to no avail. Finally I was told to bring it in. Fortunately there was a service center close to home. The tech set my laptop next to his and compared. Yep, I wasn’t crazy. My display was bonkers. He kept the laptop and replaced the monitor.

Two weeks go by and I notice my keyboard is not responding. We take another trip to the service center. They work their magic and things seem to be okay for awhile.

Then my one day my display was distorted and I couldn’t get it back. My husband took a look, twisted the top back and forth a few times and voila, it was fine. His diagnosis – loose connection. Then it started happening a few times a week. Then a few times a day.

Of course I was out of warranty by then. I was trying to decide if I wanted to spend some money on repairs when I got the blue screen of death. It was a shock. I hadn’t seen one of those since Windows 3. When I started getting them once a week I threw my hands up and said enough!

This time I ordered a Dell XPS 17. It’s sleek and beautiful and has the back-lit keyboard I longed for. But I can’t use it. It came with Windows 7 and Word 2010. The learning curve is steeper than I had hoped and right now I just don’t have time to sit down and get comfortable with the new software. I’m used to Word 2003. I don’t want to start doing edits in 2010 and screw everything up. Not to mention Win 7 is a lot different than Win XP.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress. I just hope this new laptop will last many, many years so I don’t have to go through this again in the near future.

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Calisa Lewis said...

Ah- I so feel your frustration Gale. I got a copy of Word 2003 and it was the first one I used to any great extent. I loved it. Notice I said 'loved'. When hubby got my new Acer in Sept, 09 it came with Word 07. Yikes and crikes! It was as if an alien had invaded my work space. But I determined to learn it and a week later I was doing fine with the 'newer model'. A month later, better still. After a year? I LOVE Word 07! But I dread Word 10 now. But I'm excited about trying Windows 7. I have Vista, don't know if I'm just not techy enough, but I can't see what all the negative fuss is about it. Course, I can't really tell the difference between one Window program and the next either. But I like my comfort zones and strangely XP is that for me, even though I can't tell a real significant difference to Vista. But then, I liked Windows 97, too. *shrugs* I hope your laptop ventures fare well.

Gale Stanley said...

The new software is a lot different and it's so frustrating when something that used to take seconds turns into minutes and longer. So far I'm still using the old laptop for actual work. I'll let you know how I fare.

JP said...

Progress can be painful but it's still progress.
Hang in there.