Thursday, February 21, 2013

Yesterday’s score: Forces of Darkness 2, Jean 1.

No problem with the knitting, at least. The third eyelet is installed. I might even reach the fourth tonight. They certainly do help, as milestones. At some point today I’ll get the ironing out, and see what effect a bit of steam has on that bottom edge.

No, yesterday’s problems concern the outer world. My single success was making an appointment to see our GP about the disabled parking badge, and finding last year’s letter of rejection from the City of Edinburgh. It sounds as if we can just send the letter back, with a note from the dr, rather than toiling through the whole application form again. The dr has been on holiday. We can’t see him until sometime next month, but at least the appointment has been made.

But the Forces of Darkness did better than that.

I sat down to order the new router from BT, and got quite a way through the procedure, before I got to a screen that said that, if I proceeded, I would lose three features which our current telephone subscription offers. Two of them I had never heard of, let alone used, but the third was Call Diversion. We use that regularly – whenever we go to Strathardle (or, in the old days, London) we set the telephone here to deliver all incoming calls to the distant telephone.

Not that we get many phone calls. But I was reluctant to toss away the possibility, so I didn’t order the router.

Later on, my husband started pressing again to be allowed to use his Surface. He wants to be in direct contact with the Cloud so that he can tweak a spelling here, a comma there, and know that it is secure. I showed him Dropbox on the Surface, how easy to find and access all his work.

Then I tried a token Edit, and Save.

Guess what?

It won’t save. All saving is done to the Microsoft Cloud, called Skydrive or something like that. Windows 8 is irritating, but I am sure by now that my quarrel is with Windows 8 RT for the Surface. I tried downloading the real Dropbox – not the App – onto the desktop. No problem – except when I try to run it. That produces a message saying that it won’t run, go get the App.

There are workarounds. I could install Skydrive on my creaking desktop computer, and we could transfer the whole operation. I’ve just done some googling and discovered something called CloudHQ which claims it will synchronise Skydrive with Dropbox for $5 a month. That’s another possibility, but I’m not happy.

At the moment, my husband does his tweaking on his very ancient desktop computer, saves and backs up, and then saves again to one of those little square disks. I carry it from one end of the flat to the other. My desktop computer knows how to translate his very ancient Word Perfect files into modern Word Perfect, thence into Microsoft Word which I then copy into Dropbox. A bit clumsy, but it works, and we know that there is one definitive version, resident both on his computer and in modern form in the sky. The more places files get stored, the more danger of confusion. 


  1. Courage Jean. Now that the sun is out (even if the temp is bitter) it's hard to believe the forces of darkness can really stand in the way so.

    Have you tried talking to a human about the router/call diversion issue? I'm sure there must be some way round that...

    Good luck with the surface/dropbox/cloud issues - they sound more difficult, but surely not completely intractable? Sorry I can't offer any wisdom to help with that....

  2. I am sure there has to be a way around the Dropbox issue - because Surface users would need to be able to access from Dropbox and return things to it. It would be a major gap in their system if this was not possible. Perhaps the boys at your grandson's school could be set to work on the problem. I believe teenage boys can solve most computer issues more easily than many adults.

  3. Anonymous2:08 PM

    How about having your grandson call BT? (In my family, children - and grandchildren - are to do all those tasks one no longer wishes to do!) Someone else, younger or no, might have an easier time making hadway with the telephone and the Surface - distance, change of perspective, etc. - Good luck!

  4. Take a look at RainbowDrive in the Windows store. It claims to coordinate SkyDrive and Dropbox.

  5. Anonymous4:24 PM

    Your travails make me SO glad I still have my Windows 7 laptop. I will cherish it and baby it until it dies of old, old age. Maybe then Windows 8 will have the kinks worked out...not!

  6. Anonymous5:32 PM

    What a pain about Skydrive - I didn't know. The Surface ads on TV make it look so completely appealing... Best of luck with this.
    Beth in Toronto