Friday, July 25, 2008


Yes, I MEANT to post. I wrote all sorts of interesting and witty things in my tiny head, I did.

But the computer gods were angry this week, very very angry.

Starts with a nice shiny new computer which, natch comes with Vista. I have been playing nicely with Office 2007 for quite some time now (after a brief rant about how GOOD interface design does not abandon existing and working paradigms and what were you thinking Microsoft?? Also, why do you put the most important functions - save, print, open etc - behind a loverly button that gives you absolutely no visual hint of what it does? Smooches, Me). I'm prepared for that, I have accepted that Vista is The New System and XP Shalt Not Be Supported. I even watched covertly as Child 1 got to know its new laptop and seemed to survive the experience.

Shiny new computer is thus plugged in every which way to Sunday, tethered firmly to elderly but remarkably good monitor (one of the best color calibrations in the office by gum) introduced to its [new] keyboard and [new] mouse aaaaaand


Vista hates the mouse. Hates it. Mind you this is a Microsoft mouse but Vista, it spits upon the mouse. In fact the mouse feels much the same way so every 10-30 seconds it turns itself off and sulks and has to have its button prodded just to make it even think about moving the cursor.

And don't get the mouse started on clicking buttons. It simply doesn't want to know. Buttons, it felt, should have their active spot three pixels to the left and seven pixels up from where it looks like the button is. Or maybe waaaaay over to the right, or only in a three-pixel area that you find by the immensely satisfying method of clicking madly all over the page. Also clicks are really only recognizable after two or three (or four... or more) initial tries at it, and could you hold down the button just a leeetle longer because it's just so hard to know what you mean unless you say it REALLY REALLY LOUDLY.

Which means I got to use the tab-and-arrow method of getting around until I could find and install the driver for my Wacom tablet instead. And Wacom tablets? Brilliant for design work - love that pressure sensitivity baby - but for searching the web for "Troubleshooting Stoopid Microsoft Mouse and Vista Because if I Can't Get This Working I Just Might DIE" it's just not so hot.

Still, after uninstalling (and mucking around in the inner bowels of the driver files), reinstalling, removing battery and shouting a few times, going through same process THREE TIMES, the mouse reluctantly decided the game was up and stopped shutting down. Of course it then also decided to stop moving the cursor properly but it was pretty simple at that point to work out it was a surface problem (bare desk top? BLECH! Spanking new mouse pad that came with computer? AUGH!! Manilla folder? Please. Small black canvas tote bag brought back by colleague from England and subtly shouting "LONDON" with a large Union Jack? OOOOOH! I likes it, I likes it!)

Of course there's the remaining issue that Vista refuses to go slumming with my work-mandated email program but I'm ready for it now, I can take it on.

Just let me catch my breath a bit.


Anonymous said...

Vista is so bad it made me an Apple user.

emily said...

lol, i know i sghouldnt laugh at your misfortune but the whole post had me in stitches :)

i cant really commiserate - im not a big computer fan, they are ok for what i need them to do - word, internet and my job - but other than that they frustrate me. i am also pretty thick when it comes to working out what wrong - the other day i was swearing at my mouse because even when i hadnt pressed and buttons a menu was coming up on every page.....took me literally half an hour to work out i had something pressing on the "menu" button on the keypad. I am special :)

For Kirk said...

anonymous - believe you me if I had a)the money and b) the ability to do it what with work not wanting to talk about Apple I WOULD BE THERE.

emily - not only did I just allow the Male Child (the one who spent a happy summer taking apart every electronic it could get its paws on and then sort of swimming in the chips and small bolts and things...) to fiddle around with both my laptop and the ancient computer that still has thousands of files on that I need to transfer - I BEGGED it to. I was delighted that it do so and then I went and hid in my bedroom and chanted, "it will all be all right. My work will not be lost. It will be fine..." and to my everlasting delight and amazement it was - and even better I finally have internet AT HOME. I do believe I hear angelic choruses or something. Either that or the kids have their i-pods up too loud again.