Saturday, February 23, 2013

Struggles with my Surface

We'll get on to that in a moment. One of my spam comments yesterday suggested I would have more readers if I put titles on my posts.

I did the supermarket run yesterday. The place was full of Mother’s Day stuff, and I spotted my first Hot Cross Bun. “Mother’s Day”, over here, is Laetare Sunday a fortnight hence – the word means, Rejoice! It’s the day in mid-Lent when we lay down the load of self-denial, drink cider, visit From there it’s only three weeks to Easter… So, five weeks more. That doesn’t really suggest that Lent will ever end.

I knit happily on, and now have five rows of eyelets. It’s time to start winding another skein. I’m approaching half-way from cast-on to armpits. There’s an awful lot of knitting in this baby, but I’m making progress. Rugby-watching without cider (see below) should advance things today.


My husband wrote an email on it last night. A titanic struggle, lasting a hour and resulting in a short paragraph. But he got it done. The cursor kept vanishing. The text was too small – there must be a way to enlarge it (easy in Word). I’ll work on that. The signal was fine in the sitting room.

I am enormously grateful for all your help. An iPad won’t answer, and anyway we’ve got one. Years ago, before James gave me mine and when my husband was much more mobile, I thought maybe that would be the answer – something he could carry to libraries and make notes on. But – to the iPad’s credit – a little investigation showed that getting his work into it and out again would be too difficult.

Then the Surface came along! With a USB port!

I think Southern Gal’s suggestion is probably the best – upgrade to a Surface Pro. I bought this one directly from Microsoft – I’ll email them today. In for a penny, in for a pound.

My husband set me a Google quest, just as we were going to bed. Now, that’s a job he could learn to do, even before we solve the Dropbox problem. The heirs of Baron Herzog are suing the Hungarian government to recover pictures which they say were snatched by the Nazis. Herzog was Jewish; he used to own a major work by my husband’s artist. I have established that it’s not in the National Museum or the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest. I have also discovered that “Herzog” is a famous photographer and “Baron Herzog” a distinguished wine label. It would do my husband good to find out first-hand what life is like in Google-land.

Rugby resumes today. Scotland will play Ireland tomorrow here in Edinburgh – Brian O’Driscoll is walking these very streets at this very moment! Today I will watch England and France. We cheer for France, for the sake of the Auld Alliance, except when they’re actually playing us. They’ll lose, today. 


  1. On the subject of titling your posts, I would have thought that giving a title would have attracted more spammers as well as more readers - it seems to me that the irritators would likely have some way of trawling titles, looking for places to be a nuisance. I wonder if today's title will bear me out?!

  2. My husband (by profession a writer & researcher) will turn 84 next week. When he was in his 60s or so, we weaned him from an IBM Selectric to a computer and WordPerfect. It wasn't easy, but he did it. Sometime after the year 2000 or so, we pushed him in the direction of the internet and email. Progress. The next leap forward (perhaps 2005 or a little later) was Google. He is happy as a clam and has never looked back. He can now plumb the depths of Google with the best of 'em. I jumped onto the technology train a little earlier than he did, but when he was ready, he caught up. We old dogs absolutely can learn new tricks. Walk your husband thru Google. He will thank you for it, even if the early struggles are painful.

    Knitting content:
    Someday (maybe) I'll finish the Vivian Hoxbro shadow knitting sweater. I'm so close... In the meantime, my heart reaches out to knitted lace triangle shawls made with the skinniest yarn I can currently persuade my hands and my spinning wheel to produce.

  3. Anonymous1:34 PM

    Would it be easier to search for Baron Herzog’s painting on ArtStor? The wealth of information available there might be sufficient reward to entice your husband into mastering its use. Good luck!

  4. I will call the local MS store today and ask them but from the way I'm reading the description of Pro it uses "apps from the Windows store". No improvement there.

    1. The reviews of the Pro say that it has BOTH Windows and the modified operating system in the basic Surface. That means there should be no trouble using Dropbox so long as you open the right operating system.

    2. You are correct. I did call the MS store just now to confirm that it does have a full OS and will use the 'regular' version of Dropbox.

  5. Your husband sounds very much like my mom when it comes to technology. In spite of the fact she now own an iPad, a device she uses so infrequently that in three months of ownership she has only had to to charge it once, she still phones me and asks me to Google things for her.

  6. Anonymous10:51 PM

    I'm guessing as an expert user of Google yourself, you've turned up the website on the case ( with it's list of art being claimed. In addition to museums you've checked there appears to be a Museum of Applied Arts and the Budapest Technological University that hold the works that are being sought.

    Maybe sling an e-mail to the solicitor that's handling inquiries?

    I have to say, the post-Holocaust art cases are entirely fascinating to me. I always feel blessed that my family got out early and nothing of value to take. You live with quite enough 'what might have beens' that way, I find.

    1. No, I hadn't found this site and am very pleased to have it. I have printed out the list for my husband. Many thanks.

  7. Forget the Surface Pro. MacBook Air. Done