August 3, 2010
In early June, my department at work changed over to a new version of one of our development tools. When I tried to install the software, I found I didnâ€™t have enough space on the hard drive partition where it needed to go, even after I deleted everything I thought I could safely do without (and a few things I wasnâ€™t sure about but which hadnâ€™t been updated in a very long time). I had some free space in another partition, so I asked the IT Services department for help re-partitioning. When the guy came to do that, he was more than a bit surprised by how old and slow my PC was. He was able to get done what we needed to on it, though, and I got the new tool installed and working (with only a little more help from a couple of the young gun developers). I also got pushed to the top of the PC upgrade list, so a few weeks later my Dell Optiplex that had been with me since early 2005 got replaced by a new box with much more speed and much more drive space.
The new PC came with Windows 7. Considering that the minute I got Windows XP on the old machine I changed to the Windows Classic theme, jumping to Windows 7 was a bit of a leap. The first theme I tried had strange creatures on the desktop background, one set of which Iâ€™m pretty sure wanted to leap off the screen and chew my face off; the one I tried next, and which Iâ€™m still using at the moment, has some pretty pictures but also a few scenes that appear to be the product of mind-altering substances. A smiling rainbow-striped worm? Ooohkay, then. I do like the way I can drag icons around on the taskbar so theyâ€™re in the order I want them; on my old machine I had to get some add-on software to do that (before that I just opened things in a specific order and had to start over if one of the applications crashed later in the dayâ€”why yes, I do have a touch of OCD about some things). I also like that I can postpone the Windows Update reboot by four hours at a time rather than having that annoying popup appear what felt like every five minutes. And I must say that in the month Iâ€™ve had the new machine, I have not gotten the blue (or any other color) screen of death even once. I have had Excel crash on a fairly routine basis, but fortunately my job doesnâ€™t often require me to use Excel, unlike in my accounting days, when I lived and breathed spreadsheets. All in all, itâ€™s been a lot less painful of a transition than I expected.