Monday, February 11, 2008

Information Technocracy

Windows Vista was the only option for my new laptop. Just an update to let you know that it's a Jekyll and Hyde experience. It runs beautifully most of the time. It automatically discovers and connects to available wireless networks without as much as a dialog box. I love that! It never shuts down, it just hibernates between locations. However, every once in a while, it misbehaves in a heart stopping fashion. Last week it suddenly decided that it didn't know what a spreadsheet was and when I tried to open Microsoft Excel directly, it agreed that installing Excel was a good idea if I would just insert the disc. Yikes! A reboot (to the head) made that problem go away.

Third party programs work fine, but updates often fail, usually with fruitless attempts to find the software that it's trying to update. The updaters know the software is there, just not exactly where. This has been a problem with Adobe and Apple products. It also has a tendency to have self-induced cascading problems that self heal themselves while I'm gone. In other words, the system does something idiotic on it's own, gets screwed up, fixes itself, and lets me know how proud it is that it's such a good problem solver. So when Microsoft offered to buy Yahoo last week, the host of my email and website, I was doing the mental calculations of what was involved in moving my site and email to Google.

The POS machine had trouble today as well. The network cable went bad. Yes, you heard correctly, a bad cable! In ten years of working in IT, I think I've encountered this maybe once before, and it may have involved an animal. I've got all the parts I need to get the external backup drive working, but the new USB2 card isn't working. That's my project for tomorrow morning. Once everything is working, I should have a push button "Ghost" system for backups.

So to refresh what people stopped asking me after a couple years in business: No, I don't miss the IT work, but yes, I do miss the money.

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