Saturday, March 16, 2013

A dull-looking day here in Drummond Place. Yesterday was like spring again, but the forecasts continue to mention the s-word, and anyway next week is studded with event for us. This week was the one for going away.


Abiword turned out to be no good – I loaded yesterday's blog into Word. It came up funny and it lacked the note.

In the afternoon I went up to John Lewis and bought a Toshiba laptop from a pleasant and extremely knowledgeable young man. It doesn't include Office, so I asked, in an off-hand way so as not to load the question, whether he could recommend a cheap and simple word processor. He suggested OpenOffice without hesitation.

It must have taken all of half an hour, when I got home, to set the machine up, download and install Dropbox (there's all my husband's work, ready to go) and download and install OpenOffice.  That was no problem, as I suspected it wouldn't be, on an up-to-date machine. Theresa, they had a Netbook and it was a sweetie, and cheap, and small – everything we want except that it lacked a touch screen. My husband has never taken to mice.

The nice young man explained that programs which weren't designed for touch-screen can be hard to use  because one's fingers are so blunt. OpenOffice offers access to the editing menus with Alt- and a significant key, like Word itself. I suspect that's what my husband will learn to use. And maybe he'll get the idea eventually of moving the cursor with the mouse-pad.

I'm composing on the new machine at the moment – then I can send the file to myself via Dropbox to try it in Word. It's nice to have the familiar menu bar and icons at the top of the page. The Surface editing page is completely empty except for three little dots in the upper right-hand corner. It's disconcerting, and a bit scary when something goes wrong.

So that's that. There's still a steep learning curve ahead for my husband but at least we're climbing the right hill.

...I’m now back with Old Faithful – it worked, as long as the OpenOffice file is Saved As. My mind is tired from all this technology, and the morning is moving on, but I mustn’t leave this subject without asking: have you seen the new computers which consist only of a flat screen (and presumably a keyboard)?  I didn’t know of such things, and was stunned with admiration. The Apple version, in particular, is wafer-thin.


Twelve more rows to go before the neck and shoulder shaping on the front of the Relax. Maybe two more evenings – they’re long rows – unless I watch an awful lot of rugby today. That’s possible. Scotland play France in Paris, but not until evening. Wales-England is the big one, earlier in the day.

I’ve spent too much time struggling with technology. I’ll have to stop there.

1    Let's try it this way.


  1. I work in IT but still find sorting out home stuff stressful. You have done an awesome job. What is the book that your husband is writing?

  2. Anonymous1:14 PM

    I love the previous "Anonymous" comment, replete with link to an article in Cyber Punk Review! Is there Steampunk knitting in your future???

  3. Those Apples are amazing ly thin. The graphics dept at work has one. But the guy using it wants to use a keyboard and the keyboard is just too small for his fingers. We are never happy are we? I bought the Windows version "All-in-One" mostly to eliminate the computer tower under the desk. I've had it since October and I like it. The only problem I have is I touch the screen of the machine at work and wonder for a second why it won't respond.
    Toshiba laptops are very cool!

  4. I have a Lenovo (IBM offshoot) all-in-one at work, and I love it. The screen is huge, and can be used as a touch screen; it even has an onscreen keyboard. I swapped out the keyboard it came with for a larger, ergonomic keyboard I already had.

  5. Goodness, I have a new Lenovo all in work at work and had no idea it could be used as a touch screen. I shall investigate first thing Monday.