Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.
Sad to announce that the last of my Orange Grove Experiment has scummed to the effect of kitty pee in the soil. Seems the New Sophia found an alternative to Kitty Litter. Now the kitty litter is in the lowest level of the house and the soil in the Orange Grove was too tempting. It was the Orange Grove Dirt or walk down three flights of stairs to the basement. The dirt option won and the Orange Grove Experiment came to an untimely end. By the time of the discovery of the problem, nothing could be done to save the tree. New dirt didn’t work so I had to put the tree out of it’s misery. Chain Saw Massacre.
The brighter side of the EastWing Forrest is the Avocado Tree that’s showing signs of starting a new growing season. Standing 16 inches and producing 2 inches of new growth in the month of December, she on her way. I named her Alice, Alice Avocado. If you don’t know already, you gotta talk to your plants. They’ll talk back, not by words, but by growing with a smile. That is unless they encounter kitty pee, then they will go the way of the Great Othello Orange Tree. Gonna miss Othello Orange. Ya, but the seed planting season is rapid approaching. We’ll start growing things a new. Already got some seeds drying for an new adventure come January.
Did you convert to Windows 10? Not at the office, but here at the EastWing I made the conversion. It was a smooth process for the home computer. My involvement was pretty much sit and watch the magic. All was well until a week ago. Pushed the button to turn the machine on and nothing happened. I mean nothing happened. No bells, no whistles, no lights, no nothing.
I suspected it to hardware failure. After all, computers do fall into the category of mechanical devices. The one thing that can be said of mechanical devices is that they will fail some time in the future. I was surprised the future came so fast for this computer.
Now not hearing the best, actually not hearing damn near anything. For those not knowing, I wear two extremely powerful hearing aids. Without these mechanical pieces of magic in my ears, when spoken to I’m kinda like the deer in the headlights. I just look at you kinda dumb. I know you said something. I saw you mouth move, but the sound never made the full trip.
So I decided to take the computer apart to see if I could hear any noise with my head almost inside the computer. I did. What I heard told me the problem was not mechanical after all. It was a good feeling to find out the computer had died. That meant the problem was programming. Then the problem was I knew nothing about Windows 10 and what to do if it didn’t work.
Few people know about the F1 key. It’s the way to get inside the mind of the computer when it acts crazy. Just as soon as you push the button to turn the machine on, press the F1 key, then press it again about every second for 4-5 time. Depending on the speed of your machine, pressing the F1 key at the correct time will bring up a screen that will allow you to make changes to stuff inside.
A major word of caution, if you don’t know about things called “ c-mos and start sequence”, don’t and I repeat, don’t press the F1 key. Not knowing what to do there and pushing the wrong key can cause you some long term heart ache. So don’t press the F1 key unless you are sure of what you are doing.
With that warning being said, I pressed the F1 key. Various options were there. Non of which fit my situation except one I did not recognize. It was called Machine Rebuild. I chose that option and pressed the button. At that point I was told on the screen that Windows 10 had failed to start normally.
Duh. Must have thought I was blond. That’s why I pressed the F1 key to begin with. Below the blond statement on the screen, the machine put up it’s intention to rebuild Windows 10 on my machine. I was not asked for permission, the computer was operating on instructions that I could not reach from my keyboard by pushing F1. Once again, I was not in the drivers seat, just a passenger going along for the ride.
And so 90 minutes later, a total and complete new Windows 10. Just one problem. All the programming I’d put in place on the computer, all that programing was gone. All the data I’d created was intact, just the programming to create the data was missing. And so the reinstall of programs began.
For many years I’ve used the Microsoft Programs. MS Word and Excel have been my work horse word processor and spread sheet ever since my computers were made of wood. It’s been a long time.
Actually before these two I used one called Word Perfect and a spread sheet called Lotus 123. Both were state of the art back before Microsoft was around. The office switched to Microsoft programs when it became apparent to me that Microsoft would dominate the operating systems of PCs in the future. After all, it seemed to me to be logic to use Microsoft Programs when it was going to be their football operating the machine.
And then Windows 10 re-installed. I put back in my old (2007 version) of Microsoft Office. It didn’t install without an installation key. Put in the key, was told key too old Windows 10 could not run this program. There I had an option to install Microsoft Office 365. So I said sure. Figured it was time to upgrade anyways with my program being 8 years old.
But no, I could not buy Microsoft Office 365. I could only rent at $7.95 per month. No option to buy, only to rent and that made me mad. A quick calculation showed if I used that rental program the same time I used the 2007 version, I’d pay well over $700.00 for a $300.00 program. Oh, so that’s the game. Much the same as in the ink jet printing business, sell the printer for almost nothing, and lock you in forever at a high price for ink that will only fit your printer. The same game has come to programming.
There’s always another option in the computer world. Years ago, I was much closer to the current state of what is called public domain software. That is simply programs that have been written by people for the fun of writing computer code. They make this programming available free to anyone and everyone. Simply download and install. After a long time being away, I revisited the public domain to see what had transpired since I’d made some simple suggestions on programming a long time ago.
WOW! An early Christmas! What I found was programs that preformed at or above anything you can buy at Best Buy, Staples, Walmart or any other place you may buy your computer programs. It’s called Open Office 4.1.2 and it’s far superior to the old Microsoft Office I tried to install. The one that Windows 10 turned down. Thank you Windows 10 you made my day.
Without reservations I recommend Open Office 4.1.2 to any one looking to upgrade either word processor or spread sheet, or for that matter, any of the other Microsoft Office programs.
From The EastWing, The EastWing Trees, Windows 10 & F1 Secrets, Old Software No, New Software Rental Only, Free Software Better & Free.
I Wish You Well,