Thursday, February 13, 2014

PC Bluz - Part 2

Wouldn’t you know it?  Literally 10 minutes after I dropped that last post, UPS dropped the new PC at my door.  I spent the evening setting up my new gear.  I almost waited until the next day… after all, I hadn’t mentally prepared myself for homework.  My plans were much more pedestrian; namely to lay around and watch the Olympics.

But it’s hard to resist cracking open the shiny thing, you know?  Plus, I had a mystery to solve right off the bat.

You know how I took special pains to find a PC that had Windows 7?  I was most alarmed when the first thing I looked at, the recovery CDs, were labeled Windows 8.  I took the PC out of the wrapping and examined the back, finding a label that said Windows 8.  I was beginning to get pretty steamed, not knowing whether I should repackage the whole thing and return it, before I pulled out all the packing, or to plunge forward and see what happened.

I loathe returning things, so on I plunged.  I regretted it almost immediately, when I found that all the peripherals used USB ports.  There were only 4 USB ports on the back of the unit, with 2 in the front, and now the mouse, keyboard, speakers and printer were going to take up two thirds of them.  I also have an external hard drive, a LP/Cassette-to-PC conversion unit, and the charger for my MP3 player. 

On my old unit (and my PC at work), the keyboard and mouse and stuff have dedicated jacks on the PC, so the USB ports remain available for accessories, rather than being taken up by necessities.

But I continued on and hooked up everything I could and when I fired it all up, lo and behold, I was greeted by the Windows 7 welcome screen.  What a relief!  Within a few minutes, I was logged on and firing up the Internet.  Right off the bat, I downloaded the Google Chrome browser, and as soon as THAT got going, my iPad synched up with it and delivered all my bookmarks.  Whoo Hoo!

Next, I pulled all the pictures and documents from my external backup hard drive and put them in place.  I was troubled to realize that I never backed up my prime spreadsheets that were “loose” (un-foldered) in my My Documents file.  Gah!  I have copies on my work PC, but they are not fully up-to-date.  What am I going to do if my Game Jersey Mojo Spreadsheet, DVD roster, Movie Rating Guide, Sports Event History and Camden Yards Seating Chart aren’t up to date?  It’ll be chaos!

Anyway, the next day, I found a 4-into-1 USB adaptor on Amazon and ordered it, solving my USB port problem.  And last night, I downloaded the Microsoft Office Suite, so I can continue laboring under my spreadsheet addiction.  I also found that this PC didn’t come with Outlook Express, so I’d need to use the full Outlook email tool, from MS Office.

This was the thing I was most worried about.  I hate dealing with online email services.  I like my Outlook.  But as I recalled from past experience, they can be a bitch to set up.  I was hoping that the “state of the art” had improved since I last I messed with Outlook settings.

Well, I was half right.

I have two email accounts… my “main” address on Verizon that I use with friends and family, and a Hotmail account that I use for all online dealings.  (Hence, that’s the one that gets all the boner pill spam.)

The Hotmail account basically set itself up, probably because it’s a Microsoft application working with a Microsoft operating system.  But the Verizon account was a 4-alarm bitch to set up.

I already had directions that listed what the settings were supposed to be, so I wasn’t terribly worried going in.  So when the auto-setup function bombed out, I went to work to configure things manually.  That didn’t work either.  Then I spent the next 2 and a half goddamn hours looking the problem up on various message boards and trying every variation of settings I could find.

Who knew there were so many options?  You’d think that the settings for Outlook 2013 and Windows 7 would be the same across the board.  Lots of people had my exact problem, but the solutions that worked for them weren’t working for me. 

I almost gave up several times, figuring I’d re-attack the problem the next day, but that stubborn streak I have guaranteed I’d soldier on.  Eventually I found a thread that had some new information; namely that those with a Verizon account that originally came from Yahoo, had to use a different setting.  Once I tried that, voilia!  I was an Outlookin’ mammajamma.

Would have been nice if Verizon would have had that shit on their instruction site though… might have saved me a couple of hours of aggravation.

So, slowly but surely, I’m putting my online life back together again.

Hey, does anyone remember what game jerseys I wore the last three weeks of the season?


Rich D said...

Not for nothing, but Windows 8 still allows for the traditional desktop view. The program view is a little messed up, but it isn't that bad.

bluzdude said...

I know, but from what I'd read, it was pretty inconvenient to use. I'll wait a while until they introduce the next thing, because W8 seems to be eating it, in the marketplace.

Of course, if they drop service for W7 any time soon, I'm screwed.