Sunday, September 30, 2007

Friday we had the first Red Hat dinner of this autumn. Ther hadn't been any dinners over the summer period as there wasn't enough members available on any one date to make an event practical. But Friday there was a dozen of us. I had difficulties taking a decent picture as I was on the outer side of a dog-legged table and I couldn't move eaily from where I was sitting. So I just aimed the camera to the other end of the table. Generally there was a lot of chatter and much laughter at the dinner. It may not be a good picture but it gives some impression of how much fun was being had.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Why is it that as soon as I can use the computer properly an IT item in our household decides to play up, requiring me to spend hours searching the internet for the way to put it right?

I decided to spend a small (ha!) amount of time this afternoon dealing with my iPod. I have an account with which by the payment of £14.99 each month enables me to download two audiobooks each month. As we both like unabridged books, which are of course, more expensive than the abridged ones, we save a fair bit. Anyway I bought and downloaded the two books for this month ("Monarchy" by David Starkey and "I, Claudius" by Robert Graves) and added them to my iPod with no problems at all. Then the Husband asked what versions of "Rebecca" by Daphne Du Maurier were available. He had heard some years ago a cassette audiobook of the unabridged book read by Anna Massey and he felt this was the definitive reading of the book. Well, it wasn't available on (although they had other versions of the book) but it was on iTunes. So I downloaded it and tried to add it to his iPod.

That was when the problems started. His iPod froze and wouldn't do anything. Neither would it appear on the iTunes on my computer. I have just spent all afternoon trying to sort it out. I've tried searching My Computer, restarted the p.c. several times, redownloaded the iTunes software - all without success. I've also spent a dishearening amount of time trying to find the answer on Apple's support pages - which are totally impenetrable if you aren't a techie.

The iPod is only 11 months old and I have a horrible feeling we are going to have to send it off for repair. The Husband is the ultimate Luddite and I even have to turn on the computer for him if he wants to look up something. Giving him the iPod last Christmas was a not very subtle attempt on my part to get him to feel more comfortable around technology. He will not be impressed though if his iPod has to go off for repair.

Oh well, as a last attempt to sort the thing out I've put it on charge overnight. If that doesn't help I've no idea what to do. It shows how helpless we can be when something technological goes wrong. Perhaps Ned Ludd was right.

The next day, after it became clear that putting it on charge didn't help, I rang a technical help number I found on Apple's Support website. After double-checking that the iPod was still in warranty they did help me and finally we got it sorted so it's now working properly. What happens if it goes wrong again after it is out of warranty I do not know. Oh well, it's ok for now.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I'm back

I'm back and I can see. The cataract operation on my left eye was in August and all went well, Then I went through what was for me a really weird period when I had what could best be called "limited vision". The sight in my left eye is the same as that in my right eye now - I can see long distance very well but everything else is out of focus. While waiting for my left eye top settle down after the operation I bought a pair of "over the counter" reading glasses which helped with reading the newspaper, etc. However, I discovered that everything between the close and distance work was just a blur which made my life rather interesting for a while. Shopping was a nightmare, unless the Husband was with me as I could not read labels of anything and you just don't know how much you read labels of goods in shops unless you dig out the reading glasses every time you want to read something and then put them away until you get to the next label to read - a generally time-consuming and fiddly thing to do every time you go shopping.

I did try to use the computer after the second operation, using the magnifier which is part of the accessibility package provided by Windows but it gave just a "letterbox" slot of magnified text. This was both disconcerting and wasn't much help when trying to navigate the Internet. As it was, virtually the first time I tried it I managed to click on the wrong link and ended up with a Trojan on my computer that I've now finally managed to dispose of.

I got my new glasses yesterday that have finally given me back my freedom. Varifocals, of course, so I now have full vision both with close work, what I call "middle distance" and they even sharpen up my long distance vision slightly. But for the first time since I was about 5 years old I can go out without glasses at all, a pleasure I cannot describe.