Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Computer Hell

Don't know if you've all noticed or not, but I haven't been online since last Friday. Why? Well, it wasn't because of some fun-in-the-sun Fourth of July weekend vacation.

I awoke Saturday morning to find that some vicious creature (worm, parasite, virus -- beats me what category it falls into) had taken over my computer. As soon as I booted up, a big ol' window appeared that claimed to be a Windows alert. My machine was allegedly infected with a gazillion different things and I needed to download some (obviously bogus) $50 AV program to get rid of them. This "alert" wouldn't let me get online, wouldn't let me open any files, and wouldn't go the fuck away. It just kept popping up and popping up and blocking every move I made.

So, into the shop my PC went. Actually, it's the home of a local guy who works on computers in his basement. Just got the thing back today. However, now I'm facing a whole new boatload of problems.

For starters, I now have Word 2007 instead of Word 2003, in which most of my documents were made and saved, and this is making for a total cluster-screw when it comes to opening and working on manuscripts. I had no idea how very different these two versions of Word are. The toolbar is completely alien to me. I only have a tiny fraction of the fonts I used to have (what's up with that?), can't find the Track Changes feature (it's critical I find it!) and, in general, am totally confuzzled. Plus, I have to try to get my printer to work again, because at the moment, my computer doesn't recognize it. Plus, my carefully arranged desktop folders are in disarray.

So I'm working my way toward a monster headache at the moment -- a situation not made any better by the backlog of email I found. Just so you know. (Any advice or words of wisdom? Send 'em over!)


Tam said...

I am not a fan of Windows 2007. I find it very difficult to use and not at all intuitive or user friendly. I'm slowly getting used to it at home but at work we use an older version so I have to switch my brain between the two (although we also use WordPerfect which I actually am more used to).

No advice but we had something similar pop up. It took a visit to the shop as well to get it fixed although I wasn't completely shut out.

No advice but much sympathy. I've used the "help F1" button more than once to figure out how to page number and a variety of other things. PITA. Good luck.

junkfoodmonkey said...

Don't know about your fonts, but I can tell you the Track Changes stuff is on the Review toolbar (or "ribbon" as they call it now, because obviously a word everyone now understood wasn't good enough any more...)

Val said...

My sympathy, K.Z.. Computer problems can be such a hassle!

wren boudreau said...

Sending you my sympathy. But I can't help - I use a Mac.

Jenre said...

That's crappy for you KZ. It took me a while to get my head around Word 2007, but once I did, I was fine with it. Tam is right, it's not as intuitive as Word03.

Mind you, I only use it for the odd bit of writing and for the thesaurus - great for when you run out of superlatives/criticisms in a review :).

Katrina Strauss said...

I feel for you, because I got the exact same bug last year. Even computer g33k hubby couldn't fix it, while some of his cohorts told him it's known to be nasty. We finally had to wipe my harddrive and start from scratch, then update with all new anti-virus and malware stuff. Not fun.

Katrina Strauss said...

Oh and I have Word 2k7. Track changes is under the Review tab. You can also tweak and add to your toolbar by clicking the tiny down arrow at the top left of the screen near the save disk icon. (At least this is how it looks on my end.)

Chris said...

Ugh. :(

We have Office 2010 at work, which is very similar to 2007. I am SLOWLY learning how to do most (but not all) of the things I knew how to do in 2003. Liked 2003 MUCH better.

Don't be afraid to use the help! It's the only thing that's saved my sanity more than once.

LVLM said...

Oh damn, that sucks. Can't you reinstall 2003?

I just had to take a 5 credit Word 07 class to learn all the crap in it.

Well, I didn't really know 03 outside of basic stuff so it wasn't such a shock of difference. Now when I open 03 I don't know where the hell anything is. heh.

I just installed 07 and kept 03. So I have both on my puter. It's a bit of a pain, but if I click on 03, then the old 03 comes up. It says it's installing but it's really just windows readjusting between versions.

But I can use either program, no problem.

I don't know about fonts. I think they are all the same ones as 03, but you have to change the default if you want New times roman or any other to come up regularly.

K. Z. Snow said...

It's so nice to see all your shining faces again! :-) I kid you not, I was going through computer withdrawal. Since I don't even have a laptop to fall back on, I did all my writing the old-fashioned way: with notebook and pencil.

jfm ~ It's driving me buggy that all the features I once had front and center on the Word toolbar are now concealed within indecipherable tabs. Why does Microsoft have the maddening habit of fixing things that ain't broke?

Val ~ You said it. Add car problems to the mess, and I'm fit to be tied.

wren ~ How ya doing? Thanks for not launching into too much of a Mac brag. ;-)

Hi, Jen! Problem is, I don't have the luxury of time when it comes to Word07. I'll have to get my head wrapped around it damned fast, because I'm expecting edits for Electric Melty Tingles.

Here's an idea: why don't you start coining words for your reviews? Nobody would ever get angry or hurt, because they wouldn't know what the hell you were saying!

K. Z. Snow said...

Katrina ~ I believe that's pretty much what my tech guy had to do: purge the hard drive. He also added Avast...but now that I think about it, my anti-spyware program might be gone and have to be loaded again.

I swear, this ordeal makes me really wary of the Internet. I'm feeling very skittish about even doing research. Sucks.

Oh, thanks for the tip!

Chris ~ I can't find the Help button. Seriously, I can't!

Leah ~ The reason I couldn't just reinstall Word03 is that a friend lent me a copy she had to get for some online courses but ended up never using. I returned the CD to her after I installed the program. If I get desperate enough, I'll have to track her down and borrow it again.

I'm rather flabbergasted the repair guy just assumed word processing programs were interchangeable! I wanted everything back the way I had it, but that hasn't completely been the case. It's very frustrating.

Chris said...

Crap. Now I'm at home, not work, and no access to 2007/2010. :(

What are you using for virus protection? Truthfully, I'm not particularly impressed with Norton or McAfee - esp when there are free programs that work really, really well. AVG is highly rated, but I'm a HUGE fan of >Avast, which I've been using for at least six (virus-free) years.

K. Z. Snow said...

Chris, I now have Avast. I had Norton for years, but it quickly became more invasive and troublesome than the viruses it's meant to protect against. It had my system so gummed up and bogged down that I finally had to uninstall it. Besides, as you said, why pay $60 when there are far better programs available for free?

LVLM said...

I've been using the free version of AVG for years and so far no problems at all.

For a firewall, I use the one with windows. Although we have a hardware firewall on the router plus the modem has a firewall.

But I've taken my computer out and been on public wifi and still have never had a problem.

AD-Ware is also a free program that cleans out spyware and malware.

Norton? That crashed my old computer on a regular basis. I was an expert at reformatting until I got fed up with it. When I got the new puter I immediate deleted any and all Norton product before I did anything. Even if you use the free trial, that crap gets loaded on and will interfere with any new antivirus even if you delete it. It still leaves its evil spawn all over your computer. Ugh

K. Z. Snow said...

So true what you said about Norton, Leah. I got online at one point just to see if other people had complaints...and they were everywhere! So I waited until my subscription ran out and got rid of it. The improvement in my computer's performance was drastic and immediate.

It amazes me that such a horrid product continues to be used.

Chris said...

KZ, did you have any antivirus running before?!?

Lily said...

No info or help that I can give. Sorry! Just wanted to say Hi and hope you get things sorted out soon. :)

Chris said...

KZ: To access help look in the upper right corner of your screen. You should see a question mark in a blue circle.

K. Z. Snow said...

Hi, Lily, and thanks.

Just in time with the info, Chris. I'm about to start writing. Keeping my toes crossed that the work goes smoothly.