Sunday, 3 January 2021

The 'On' Switch and Other Mysteries.


Here's my most recent art video, which shows how I created a watercolour and gouache portrait of Freddie Higson, a lovely lady who I've had the pleasure of knowing since our high school days. I hope you enjoy watching it.

I've been offline for nearly two months. My computer suddenly died. It was six years old and had already been fixed a couple of times, and had always been okay rather than great. So I decided to pension it off and buy a better one. This in itself caused minor confusion, as when I unpacked it there was no tower. Had it been left in the shop? So off I went, back to said shop whose staff then hunted for the missing tower. It stayed missing. So they contacted their company's computer whiz kid, who gently explained that this computer doesn't have a tower - it's all built in behind the monitor. Oh. Mystery solved.

So I began the process of setting up my new computer, which seemed simple. The various bits were plugged into the correct places, but could I find the 'On' switch? No. The instruction booklet used only illustrations without any explanatory text, which is fine if you know in advance which bit of the computer you're supposed to be looking at. The 'On' button image showed only a line with a 90degree bend in it, obviously indicating a corner. But which corner? There was absolutely nothing on the monitor which said 'On'. Nearly an hour later - I kid you not - out of curiosity I poked an insignificant-looking pattern on the back of the monitor, which was exactly the same colour as the rest of the machine's back and just looked like some sort of manufacturers' logo. Yup, that's the 'On' switch. Another mystery solved.

The next obviously job was to set up my internet connection. Simple, isn't it. Ah, but while I quickly linked the computer to the modem/router, (call it what you will), there was hardly any response from the computer. Odd. Usually new computer runs towards the internet like a hound sprinting after a squirrel. Not my computer, oh no; mine didn't budge. Diagnostics insisted nothing was wrong with the computer.

I called out an expert, who scratched his head then linked the computer to the internet by hotwiring it via his mobile phone. The computer was fine, he said, but my broadband speed was awful, so awful that the computer couldn't function. Go see your broadband supplier, he said.

So I did, and the assistant looked at my account and told me that my contract was out of date and so they'd dialled down my speed. A new contract was agreed upon, which is exactly the same as the old one except that I needed a new router. I was assured this would arrive in seven days. Wrong! When I went back to query its whereabouts, I was told the router wasn't scheduled to go live until nearly three weeks later, and it would arrive in the mail five days before that. A quick calculation followed. So my new router would arrive on Xmas day? "Er, erm, well, no, but close to that". Okaaaay, (like I had much choice!)

Anyway, here we are, back online all solved. 

Well, mostly. Now I have to figure out how to make video slideshows of stuff in Windows 10, as Movie Maker seems conspicuous by its absence.

Happy New Year to you all, by the way!

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