Thursday, August 19, 2010


Crikey. It makes you want to spit or, as a Yorkshire friend once said bitterly: 'it makes you want to write bum ont' wall.'

What's rattled her cage I hear you mutter?

Bloody computers that's what. No, not computers per se - software.

My lovely wireless mouse (aka Mrs Cinnamon after a childhood pet - don't ask it's not that interesting) has been ailing and failing for a while. I undid her belly and tried a quick fix with sellotape but nope, that didn't do the trick. New and juicy batteries were supplied regularly but to no avail. Her little red light had lost its sparkle and it was time to put her into retirement in the big box of computer spares. Sob.

But let's see it as an opportunity and not a threat. We'll invest in a 'Magic Mouse'. Gulp. Apple know how to charge don't they? I order it from the Apple Store online and only afterwards have a thought. Hmm....I wonder if my operating system will support it. The short answer is 'no'.  A quick call to a real and silver-tongued Irishman at the Apple Store tells me the solution is either to up grade my operating system or choose another mouse. I choose to upgrade. Well, we'd all still be sitting round in caves, grunting and mutually grooming if we never explored the dangerous and unknown future would we not? My lovely Irish salesman was keen to let me know that he would not pressure me in any way - and I believe that - his sales were not commission based. It was my damned choice and an upgrade it was.

The software was soon uploaded and I became the proud owner of Mac OS X 10.5.6. How bright and shiny my new operating system seems! The Magic Mouse, delivered in the same post and deliciously stylish and sleek, fails to be any more magic than my dear Mrs Cinnamon. Where is the promised scrolling and effortless shifting between pages? The mighty magnifying and reducing thingies - where are they? Humph. Blow this for a game of soldiers.....I rootle around various help desk and eventually discover that another upgrade is needed - to 10.5.8 - this time available for free.

Ah yes, at last the wonders of the Magic Mouse are revealed and late into the night I scroll up and down and across. I do 2 finger stroking up and two finger stroking down. I press 'control' and slide my finger down MM's silken back.....the image on my screen is enlarged horrifically.....I slide it in the other direction to make it small again. Then I go to bed.

Some time around 4.00am - that deep dark time when sleep can be elusive and thoughts loom large and oppressive I wondered,  'What else isn't going to work?........'

As it turned out, most things. On the plus side my screen was incredibly bright and optimistic looking. (Just as well because I have spent much of the day looking at it and engaging in fault diagnosing 'chat' with my new friends at Quark.) I do mean all day too; add that to yesterday's marathon upgrading and mouse work session and I have spent nearly 10 hours investigating the innards of my Mac. Validation codes, activation codes, serial numbers....I can't save...I can't print....I can print but only with a Quark demo template on every page. So it goes on, to say nothing of the printer which subsequently refused to speak to the computer and had to be teased and cajoled into some sort of relationship. We won't talk about the screen equivalent of post-it notes - 'Stickies' - wherein I jotted and noted all those passwords and codes and membership numbers.....gone...gone...gone. I expect there will be something else but I don't want to know about it right now.

How I wish these things came with some kind of warning along the lines of reinstall your printer software, be prepared to archive this and that, be afraid, do not expect anything to go to plan. But why shouldn't it? Why should all this be cloaked in mystery? Why can't I just put the stuff in and get workable stuff out? It's only a tool for heaven's sake.

Sob. Sigh. Sorry. Rant over.


Chris Stovell said...

I feel your pain! I just want everything to work, work and not have to worry about it! Poor you!

rachel said...

Oh yes, the magical world of computers..... the joys of change/upgrades/new language/not being a teenage boy......

What's even worse is when someone says to you that Macs are so intuitive (I wish I knew how to italicise that word!) compared to PCs.....

Be consoled by the thought that if you actually knew how to do all this, and blogged about it, you wouldn't be read by most of us, your loyal followers.

elizabethm said...

Oh no! I can feel the frustration as I read you. Hope it will, in the end, be worth the anguish. At least you will forget, like childbirth, I suppose.

Wipso said...

How frustrating for you. At times like that I am happy to shout for my very clever big boy. He always just seems to click a few buttons and things work to perfection. Good luck with it all.
A x

Twiglet said...

I have learned never to upgrade anything!! I sit there knowing that the moment I do, everything will go against me - including my hubby!!! Modern technology - ha!
Word verif.....fookle
yes I am afraid you have been fookled!!!!

her at home said...

deepest sympathy we have a house full of electronic mice with and without wires none of which seem to work or only work on some computers not others!!

Pondside said...

Big sympathy. You probably really only need a 15 year old boy in the house and all your technological woes would be magically and effortlessly wiped away.
I live with the certainty that I am always a mouse click away from losing everything and whirling off into the dark abyss of cyber nothingness.

muddyboots said...

you have my sympathy, have had similar problems with printers, it works now, but getting to the fine bit took rather a long time

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Good Luck !It's the emotionless blank calm of a non-cooperating computer that reduces me to panic and hysteria .

Oh yes , and I need to see the photos of the grafitti in that Yorkshire village .

Pam said...

I learnt with my Mac 3 years ago NEVER to upgrade anything becuase then everything else is not compatible. I'm even afraid to so the automatic system upgrades! I love my Mac but sometimes it drives me nuts. Good luck. X

Fennie said...

Poor you. I have a Mac too and part of the reason is because things are just supposed to 'work.' I don't though have a mouse, magic or otherwise. But it is so infuriating when, for a reason that you cannot begin to understand, your world ceases to function as you know it. No wonder the ancients were terrified by an eclipse of the sun! Fingers crossed for you that all will settle down and be well!

Nikki-ann said...

I had similar issues with my mac at work. It got upgraded so a new piece of software would work, then we found that other stuff wouldn't work as it should.

I like Macs, but I find upgrades a nightmare!

Pam said...

Me again :-)
Today my iPhoto Library went nuts and won't open. My Mac guy at work says to download IPhoto Buddy (free) and catalogue all my pictures in different libraries. Just thought I should share that with you.
Night night.