Monday, January 14, 2013

I made good progress with the Surface yesterday, thanks to Theresa’s comments. I have also taken Hat’s excellent advice and ordered “Microsoft Surface for Dummies”. Alas, not yet published.

I have dimmed the screen, thanks to Theresa, and found the virtual keyboard. I am still having trouble with Dropbox. I can access it all right, and there are all my husband’s files, as they should be. But I can’t set it up on the Surface.

Even the one in the Windows store won’t load (with no explanation or apology). Nor can I download it, as would be usual, from the Dropbox website – “won’t run on your device”. I suspect a conflict between it and the adjacent cloud onto which the Surface automatically backs up everything. So although we can download files from Dropbox on its cloud, and edit them, we can’t send them back up. Or at any rate, I haven't figured out how.

I’ve found a work-around. I’ve associated myself with the Surface cloud. I can download onto my desktop computer any file that my husband alters, and then drop it into Dropbox from there. He is rightly concerned that we mustn’t have multiple versions floating around in cyberspace – we must know where the definitive one is.

He is perfectly sound on matters like that, but I despair of his ever getting to grips with a computer. He has been using one for 30 years now, but he has never acquired the faintest notion of how they think. I smoothed his path by composing little macro’s in the old days. In the 90’s and 00’s when everyone in the world was mastering the basics of mice and logging on and how to create and arrange folders, he remained insulated. That experience of learning by interaction, familiar to us all, remains alien to him.

I fear it’s now too late. I think I’ll be able to make the Surface usable for him. I doubt if I’ll ever get him surfing the Web. That can be a task for his grandsons Archie or Alistair, the next time they’re here. And good luck to them.


The sleeve speeds forward – more than half-way there, measured length-wise, although that’s deceptive because I’m still increasing stitches.

My sister registers no more than modified rapture for the Vitamin D pattern. But maybe Scotland will win the Calcutta Cup on Groundhog Day and I will be fully employed for the following six months, thus postponing the decision about the fate of the Japanese shirt.

If that happens,  I really must contrive to see it. I never have. It is genuinely of Indian manufacture, dating from the days when it was played for by Scottish and English civil servants in Calcutta itself. One of the oldest sporting trophies in the world, considered as a physical object. And I must be one of very few, to have knit it.


  1. I would like to see it too. I have put it on my list for my someday visit to the UK

  2. I thought my father would never master surfing or any other i-pad related activity either nephew did an excellent hard copy explanation of how to do certain things. It was "step by step" and now he copes with surfing for things he is interested in. I cannot get him to use e-mail "because they might not get it" and, I think, because he is a Columbus-method (discover and land) typist. Your husband is a little younger and much more experienced so I am sure he will manage!

    1. Dear Cat, I like Columbus-method: I always thought that typing method was called Hawk - circle and swoop.

  3. Jean, the post before this lamented the demise of the software manual, a sorrow I too share. So I wanted to make sure you didn't miss the excellent "Missing Manual" series by Pogue Press: well-designed, funny, and thorough. I just checked to see if there's a Surface one out, but it looks like it's too early (my guess is that there's a frantic team of writers pulling all-nighters right now). Here, however, is the link to the's Office 2011 for Macintosh: The Missing Manual. And I wouldn't give up on the old dog learning the trick of Internet research just yet. He may just need the right research topic to light his fire -- as knitting was, I suspect, for many of us in the bad old 1990s.

  4. Sorry -- I just noticed that I didn't capture the whole title of the sample Missing Manual in my link (above). It's "Office 2011 for Macintosh: The Missing Manual."

  5. Am I your only reader who trawled through the years of Calcutta Cup pics? And there are three pics of your sweaters included! Pretty awesome. We did a bit of research at knitting group and learned that the C C is 16 years older than our Stanley Cup (hockey).