Sunday, June 15, 2008

Windows Vista

This week, my Compaq Presario R3000 with Windows XP literally died. The power source inside of the computer shorted out and the computer would not start at all. It would have cost me more to fix it than to buy a new computer. Over the last year, I have had numerous problems with my computer- what appeared to be the backlight going out, which somehow “fixed” itself, problems starting up and crashing in the middle of work, and then the latest fiasco with the power source. My guess is that all those prior problems had to do with my system shorting out. However, despite the problems, I used my computer every single day for my writing and internet activity. It really was a great computer.

During my computer experience, I learned that there are still good people out there who are not after a buck. The technician at Mawson Computer Center did not charge me for the labor he had put into repairing the power jack ($270), but charged me a $69 diagnostic fee and told me to go buy myself a new computer. If I were to have the power source replaced, it would cost me well over $1,000 with part and labor. Without being asked to do so, and without charging extra, he also saved all of my “stuff” onto disc. I am really grateful. Here is a blurb on their excellent service record: http://www.diamondcertified.com/sonomamawsoncomputercenter.html

Now, this brings me to the real meat of this entry, which is a subject that makes many computer users out there pretty sore- Vista. Yes, my new Compaq Presario F700 came equipped with Windows Vista. I could have had XP installed for one low price of $59.99, but I wanted to try out Vista first before making that decision.

Let me tell you…..

I am glad that I did not install XP. I like Vista a lot. I have found it to be user friendly, fast and it looks great. Yes, it does look different and is probably a near-clone of the Mac operating system. However, it does things a lot easier and differently than Windows XP. For example:

1. When I hooked my DSL modem up to the internet, no action was necessary on my part other then plugging the correct cable into the correct port- Vista did the rest (whatever the rest was). XP required that I go through a few steps.

2. I installed my HP printer with no problems and no software- just plugged the printer cord into the computer and Vista did the rest. XP required that I used the software, which was cumbersome and too overloaded for my taste.

3. I removed the trial version of Word 2007 from my new computer because I didn’t like how difficult to navigate it was, didn’t want to purchase it, and love Word 2003. Since I already had my Word 2003 software, I tried to install it despite warnings from others that it might not work. Well, it installed just fine and is now in full working order.

For someone like me, who uses the computer for creative writing and simple things, Vista Home Edition is perfect. I don’t do gaming, but I do love to browse the internet to the writer's digest forums (link in sidebar on the right), research, listen to music, view videos and review blogs, and I spend a lot of time writing. Speaking of writing, it is time to get back to my editing chapter 8 of my novel, which now lives on my new Compaq.

4 comments:

Steven said...

My suggestion is: You should get yourself a 2 gig thumb drive and back your stuff up to it regularly or burn it to a cd\dvd. I back up weekly, I would hate to loose my stuff (been saving it for almost 15 years.

Susan Littlefield said...

Hi Steven:

Thanks for the feedback. Yep, backing up is always essential.

Margaret Fieland said...

Susan,

I got a laptopwith windows vista in January. Like you, I use it for my writing and to surf the net.

I didn't have a previous laptop, so I downloaded open office (which I've used before) and have been very happy.

Deleting the horrid (and expensive!) word2007 sounds like a good idea...

Susan Littlefield said...

Hi Margaret:

I uninstalled Word 2008 trial version and then installed my Word 2003. Works perfectly!!

I have heard great things about Open Office too. If I did not already have Word 2003, I would use Open Office.

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