Tuesday, March 26, 2013

TING AND I, Computer Glitches, Viruses, Formats

Computer Glitches

Computer crashes and computer viruses threaten my literary efforts. It was merely death that Keats feared would still his pen,

When I have fears that I may cease to be

Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain...

Now that I have Carbonite backup service (free plug for a good company), I no longer fear crashes. When our elder son gave me a new computer, I was able to get all my older computer’s files by logging on to my Carbonite account. Nice.

Last night, for instance, my computer screen was filled with a blue background with superimposed scary warnings from a company telling me that a viral infection threatened my computer, needing immediate attention, which their service would provide. The headline is “WARNING! YOUR’RE IN DANGER!” A few clicks later, I was asked to give credit card info to get a virus removal program. That made me suspicious. The misspelled word in the headline added to my suspicions. When nothing I tried got rid of this malicious program dominating my screen, I found a way to get to Google, which led me to lots of information about this Malware. More reading convinced me that Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware was the product I needed, and it is free. Worked beautifully. Thanks. A free service deserves this free plug, too.

Technical Formats

Do you have a useless collection of vinyl long-playing 33-rpm records or of eight-track audio tapes? Betamax videotapes? Manuscripts on discs no longer usable or in formats no longer readable?

The fear of becoming unable to regain material “lost” this way has me writing this memoir with Wordpad, a program that puts it into plain text format, file extension “.txt.”

I have used plain-text word-processing programs whenever I could in the past. Often they lack features that a sophisticated word-processing program has, but the advantage of continued future access outweighs those considerations for me. Midway through the project, I switched to Microsoft Word, with many more features and the capability to create .txt files if I need them. As Polonius advised, one must neither be the last to shed the old, nor the fist to embrace the new.

Tina likes to have photographs taken. I do not. No doubt she liked the results of these in her earlier years. I did not. I prize the beautiful photos we have of the younger Tina. Mine, not so much. My best photo was taken when I was 17.

We have taken our photo shots during our marriage primarily with Polaroid instant film, no longer readily available. Our sons use digital cameras and get some beautiful results. I wonder if the formats they are saving them with will be available when they want to see them again, decades hence. We still have our photo albums. Hard copy is (nearly) forever.

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