Yesterday I had one of those days which comes around every few years. I know they’re inevitable, but that still doesn’t make them palatable. So what am I talking about? Well, I was about half way through the day when, out of the blue and with no warning, my laptop died on me. As the title says, I know this isn’t exactly the end of the world but it sure as hell is inconvenient. It’s not necessarily the expense which bothers me (although I could really do without that outlay right now), but all the hassle which comes with a new computer.
I’m picky, and this means I like my computer set up just so. That way I know exactly where everything, but with a new machine I have to go through all the hassle of re-creating this set up, getting all the files in the right place, and getting all the programmes loaded up which I like to use for my work.
Then there’s the issue of new versions of the software I use. It seems my computers last just long enough for the software designers to completely re-design their software so that it’s virtually impossible to just pick back up where I left off. In my case, this means having to change from using Word 2003 (an old favourite of mine for writing) to a newer version which has completely changed and rather than writing, I’ve had to spend much of the day re-learning where everything is (and they seem to have hidden them in some very odd places!). The same goes for the operating system, with Windows 8 having replaced Windows 7 since I last purchased a computer and I have to say I’m not finding it exactly user-friendly.
All of this means that while I’d set aside this week for putting in some serious work finishing off the first draft of my next book, I now know this isn’t going to happen. Instead, I’m going to have to spend the next couple of days getting a new computer set up just so. I can’t help but think it would all be a lot simpler if you could keep all your old programmes rather than being forced to adopt newer versions, and I wonder how much time (and money!) is wasted on each upgrade as people struggle to get to grips with new designs and new interfaces. Some updates are good and useful, but in many cases, it just seems that software is being updated for the sake of updating it rather than to actually improve things.
Added to the software issues are the hardware issues. Specifically, all the keys are in a slightly different position to those on my last one relative to the screen. This means when I’m touch-typing, I keep hitting the wrong keys, and when I try to type ‘said’ consistently end up with ‘dsof’. This is slowing down my rate of work quite considerably and really interrupts my creative flow. Again, it’s not exactly the end of the world, but it’s seriously annoying me, and it feels like I’m having to learn to touch-type all over again.
Anyway, give me a week or so and everything will (hopefully!) be back to normal, but until then things might be a little slow around here.
From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in print and as a Kindle ebook. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more. To download a preview of the first three chapters, click here.
To read the Foreword Clarion Review of For Those In Peril On The Sea (where it scored five stars out of five) click here.