Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Problems continued

Thanks to advice from J, husband of N, mentioned earlier, the links in the December blog are now functioning as they should. The cause of the problem was simple : while coding the links I had inadvertently used smart quotes instead of straight quotes.

J’s eagle eye spotted this, he suspected it was the cause of the problem and, via his wife N, sent me a detailed explanation of how to correct it, for which I’m extremely grateful.

If I explain how the mistake happened, it may be helpful to other bloggers. Skip the next section if you’re not one, or not interested in techie stuff.

Buying a new laptop

In 2004 I bought my second Dell laptop, the Inspiron 1150, and was very happy with it until suddenly, towards the end of last summer, the screen died. The cost of replacing it was going to be high and the laptop had just passed the end of its two-year gaurantee period. So the best course seemed to be to replace it. Luckily I still had an ancient Gateway monitor cluttering up my Guernsey workroom so that, attached to the Inspiron, made it possible to keep writing.

Having mail-ordered both the Dells, this time I felt it might be better to buy the replacement from a local computer shop. After looking around, I settled for a Hewlett Packard Pavilion 6101. [In the past I’ve had two HP printers, both of which were excellent.]

The Dell had been fitted with XP Professional but the Hewlett Packard had XP Home. Foolishly, I assumed that Home would be much the same as Pro but without some of the high tech bells and whistles which I hadn’t been using anyway.

So it was an unpleasant surprise to find there were significant basic differences in word-processing and picture management. Also, instead of having most of the cable connections at the back of the laptop, as both the Dells did, the HP 6101 has two important cable connections in the middle of the left hand side, obstructing the space on my desk where I normally have an open file, book etc.

These dissatisfactions are entirely my own fault for shopping in a hurry [our departure date was looming] and not requesting a test-run before paying the bill.

But if I, online for ten years, can find myself struggling with an unsuitable machine, what a minefield buying a computer must be for those just starting out. Or maybe, because they have no expectations or particular ways of working, it isn’t.

Anyway I must now live with, or remedy, the problems. I shall return to my proper topic, books, very soon.


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