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Posts tagged ‘laptop’

528 minutes

While I wait for Husband to sort out my Dell, I’m back using my Compaq Evo N200.

Now, I love my Evo. I bought it about – ooh – six? seven? years ago. I still travel with it, since it is compact at 25.2 x 19.9 x 2.1cm, and weighs only 1.1 kg. I love it despite the just short of full size keyboard which cramps my hands and turns them into claws. I love it regardless how much I have to squint to see the 10.4″ TFT screen.

For some reason, Husband took against my Evo. Barely six months after I bought it, he started muttering darkly about obsolete technology (“Look, it only has 192 megabytes of RAM”). His resistance only grew stronger (“Niamhie, it doesn’t even have Bluetooth”) in the face of my protests (“What the <expletive deleted> is Bluetooth?”)

Eventually, I decided to upgrade. Anyway, Husband was begging me to BUY something, and who am I to slam the door in the face of opportunity?

Um, nobody.

That’s all I’m saying.

Although it would have been nice if he had been begging me to buy pretty clothes or kitchen utensils.

Regrettably, my Evo is not the laptop it once was. These days, it takes up to five minutes to load a webpage. When I try to install new software, I get told my version of Windows is not registered; then it throws a tantrum and will only run in ‘safe’ mode. Every so often, I get a message saying: ‘Your computer is out of memory. Click here to desperately claw back 10 Kb of free space. We will not be responsible for any damage you sustain holding your breath’.

So I am currently backing up my Evo onto an external disk – only 546 minutes to go – before reinstalling the machine. I will be back online soon.

I will not be responsible for any damage you sustain holding your breath

Filthy, disturbing images

[NB If you are a PERVERT, will you ever put that thing away RIGHT NOW, and go and play some hockey or take up smoking or something. The post will REFER to filthy, disturbing images ONLY. No filthy, disturbing images will be reproduced on this site.]

When I am home, I often supervise my parents’ adventures into the wild, untamed electronic savannah. They think of me as a kind of safety valve. An internal fuse, if you will. My presence gives them a measure of (frequently false) confidence that they won’t accidentally delete the Minutes of the Autumn Girl Guides & Brownies Meeting 1984, or disappear into a quickfile, or get savaged by a tribe of head-shrinking phishers.

My father’s computer literacy has progressed to the extent that he is now able to change the view panes in Windows Explorer – when he can locate it – and compress images for email. One afternoon, Dad and I embarked on a daring mission to discover how to compress/email multiple images.

I was of limited use, because when I modify photos for my blog, I tend to crop/reduce specific images individually. It was Dad who hunted down the option in Windows Explorer.

I was proud of my protégé.

“Well done, you!” I said, and left him clicking happily away.

Five minutes later, I was in the sitting room, when Dad called. I knew something was up by the way he broke my name into two distinct syllables; with an equal, urgent stress on both.

“Can you come here a moment, please?” he said, and I could hear him admirably striving for nonchalance.

“Yes?” I said, going into his office.

“Right. Well. Now, you know that option to compress multiple images and email them?”


“Ok. So, I went to the folder – like you told me to!” he said, defensively. “And I clicked on the images. And I went to the pane – here – and clicked on ‘Compress and email’. Right?”

“Ok . . .”

“And the email popped up, and I sent it. So now I go to my Sent Folder, right? And here is the email I sent to Gillian.”


“Now, I open the file attachment.”

My father double clicked on the JPG.

A rather lovely picture of my parents opened in Microsoft Picture Editor, standing next to the Houses of Parliament in London.

“That’s nice,” I said.



“But see here, on the bottom of the screen.”


“This little arrow.”

“Ok . . .”

“When I click it . . .”

I can’t tell you how much I regret that he did. The image that loaded was framed in livid pink, entitled ‘JUICYGIRLS’. Two girls with pigtails pulled up their skimpy t-shirts to reveal their choice of underwear (none). The one on the left merely displayed her ample charms, but the one on the right demonstrated a wide variety of skills: she nibbled a dildo balanced between her norks, whilst massaging her nips.

“Dad, I’ve got to tell you how disturbed I am to be looking at this with you,” I said when I finished laughing hysterically.

“Now, where did that come from?” he said, worrying his beard.

“I don’t know.”

“I never took that photo.”

“I believe you.”

“Juicygirls,” he said conversationally.


“That girl on the right – is she-”


“Do you- do you think,” he coughed delicately. “Do you think I might have sent this?”

While Dad agonized whether he should call Gillian to alert her to the potential presence of largely naked women, or not tell her and hope she didn’t notice, I checked out the email. When opening an image from the mail client with Microsoft Picture Editor, it appears to offer a library of all recently sent/received images including pornspam. In other words, it appears to be a feature of my parents’ software and how it accesses temporary internet files.

I’m not sure this appeased Dad, who still wonders whether Gillian received a picture of him and Mum outside the Houses of Parliament, and Juicygirls, and is judging him

Reward offered for return of muse

I think Róisín kidnapped my muse, because there hasn’t been a cheep for days. It doesn’t help that I read over old work and consider it a pile of crap; alternatively, I think, “Wow, that’s terrific!” followed swiftly by, “How can I ever write like this again? Pass the razor.”


I’ve been here before and know I’ll come out the other side eventually – however, it feels like I’ll never be able to write again. I have spent the slack time reviewing my notes, and keep coming across things like: ‘The crow flies thrice around the scorched holly tree’ and ‘Snails. Withered balloons’ or ‘Karmic tantra as applicable to cayopses. Can make something out of this? Investigate’.


I have no idea what I was trying to tell myself (any suggestions welcome). This state of affairs is particularly distressing for two reasons: (1) it’s not often that I have an idea inspiring enough to write down, so these lines of gibberish represent the best that my brain has to offer and (2) I’ve never fully realized how twisted my mind actually is.


On the bright side, I now have a sleek new laptop with full size keyboard, glowing blue lights and shiny silver casing. It is about five times faster than my Compaq Evo – I don’t know what to do with myself now that I don’t have to wait three minutes for web pages to load.


The great laptop hunt was ferocious and poor Andrew spent hours prowling around the computer shops with me.


“How about this one? Is this a good one?”


“You’ve already asked me that. Five times.”


“What was the answer again?”


“Same as last time.”



In the end I went for a Dell XPS M1210. Much to Husband’s disgust, it was the very first laptop I’d picked out over three weeks ago. To his even greater horror, it was Dhs 500 more than a HP laptop with slightly more features. He was bitterly resentful that I chose a computer for form rather than functionality. Regretfully the HP computer was quite revolting; every time I looked at it, I wanted to gouge out my eyeballs with stale nachos, which I didn’t feel was conducive to creativity. In addition to which, I’m sure nacho crumbs are bad for a keyboard.


At the same time, I don’t want to give you the impression that I simply picked out the prettiest laptop. Oh no. After viciously paring the shortlist down to two – the Dell and HP – I looked up some reviews on the internet. The Dell is geared more towards gamers, so all the reviews were written by geeky kids. They may have no idea how to get to first base with a girl or use multi-syllabic words, but by gum they know their computers and acne gel. The Dell consistently scored higher reviews than the HP.


I am delighted with my new computer, and my fingers are already starting to revert back to hand rather than claw formation.


Better go and see if I can torture some creativity out of myself. At the least I’ll spend a couple of hours caressing my new laptop – I’m quite shallow that way

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