Monday, June 20, 2011

Days When I Love to Hate Computers

Updating B’s machine to Internet Explorer 9. The stress of such ventures is awesome at my age. It takes part of a morning as the interminable downloads proceed and percentage changes, very slowly, mark progress on the screen. The ghouls of our age have names like Service Pack 2. Now I couldn’t install Explorer 9 because Service Pack 2 was missing. So I am now into the first hour of getting the pack. The tension mounts. As soon as Service Pack 2 is finally installed, I’ve no idea if Explorer 9 will be there or not. Probably not. Will I then have to begin that process all over again? Maybe so or maybe not.

Later...

Maybe so! Turns out they’d downloaded a bloody icon already, but when I clicked on it, they announced that now they are downloading the program. But—and there’s always a but—the downloading “requires updates,” and now I am into the first quarter hour (minimally) of the updates. After that, no doubt, they will want to “restart” again, and what with swifty Vista, the restart is another interminable process. Time to vacuum some rugs while the green bar advances in micro-milimeters-an-hour from left to right...

Later...

Yep. Restart it was, the full nine yards. But then, at last B’s computer’s now equipped with Internet Explorer 9, the cat’s meow. Let’s see it trot its new, glamorous stuff. And I asked Explorer 9 to dance. Then came the discovery that Explorer 9, the cat’s meow, operates slower than frozen molasses flow. I launched investigation to discover the reason why. Turns out that the thing comes with so many glorious so-called “add-ons” that every keystroke or mouse movement is monitored by an army of these, every add-on waiting for its chance to add itself on. After a frustrating twenty minutes, every add-on became a has-been-add-on. Explorer now not only looks like the last one, Version 7, but operates as fast as the ancient version of two years ago. So B’s machine is back to the future, as it were, but at least the version number has changed—and Google will now finally show her her Google Profile again, which Google refused to do this morning, which is what started all this in the first place.

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