Staples to the Rescue (Not So Much!) - Grampies Go Valencia to Paris: Spring 2024 - CycleBlaze

January 30, 2024

Staples to the Rescue (Not So Much!)

How trusting the old couple was, walking in to Staples. A website bookmark in their hands depicted a fairly powerful desktop computer on offer, at a sort of believable price. A young sales person approached and asked if he could help. We are not sure just how young that is, but he had some telltale style clues, like hair both long in a pigtail and shaved short in other parts. "I would like to see one of these", I said, waving the web image.

This caused some consternation, as the young man allowed he "might" have one in the back. "Yes", I continued, "and I would like to make sure that it will accept this SSD that I took from my old computer". With this I showed what to me was a super  sleek solid state drive, smaller than a cigarette packet,with its SATA cable still attached. The young man called over a colleague and said "This guy has an antique SSD, and wants to know if it will connect to the Acer TC-1780". With this they both had a good chuckle. "Whaddya mean", I blubbered, "my whole life is on this SSD". With that they avoided any further chuckles, but the young man showed me on his phone what one terabyte of SSD looks like now. It resembled a stick of gum.

Eventually a box got dragged out from the back, but the "sales" team said "We can't open it". "I may be old, but I still seem to recall that a customer gets shown what he is being asked to pay for." "Nope", was the ingenuous reply, "if we open it, we have to discount it 10%." "So how will I know if it will accept my SSD?" "Don't know", said the young man, "but probably not. This after all is a sort of toy, or corporate, computer. I recommend this  (giant, ugly) Gaming Computer, over here."

At this point, Dodie wandered by, and hearing the drift, contributed "There is no way that monstrosity is coming into my house! 

In the end we just dumped our coins on the counter, and went home with the TC-1780,still safely sealed in its box.

This is where the fun really began,and to summarize, the source is the lack of backward compatibility of computer hardware, and especially software. For example, our old monitor was VGA, but the new computer only offered HDMI. Fortunately I had thought of that, and also had bought a new (HDMI) monitor. But  it came with a cheap and short HDMI cable, too short to reach any reasonable placement of the new computer.

This is not going to find us the way to France, without a lot more work.
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Make that a few days!
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The worst news was Windows 11, which turned out to be mostly incompatible with the software we rely on to plan the trips. This included, for example, the Epson scanner software, which worked up to a point. The point is that it failed to be able to put the "SCAN" button on the screen!

One that really hurt was the "Acronis" backup software. This would not run on Windows 11, shutting us off from restoring our data from backup drives. Unless, I guess, we would want to take the time and money to gamble on a later version of Acronis than what we used to make the backups.

It was this and lots more that provided us with days of headaches (including from the super bright new monitor, until we finally discovered the ingeniously hidden picture controls).

By twisting this way and that, we have finally succeeded in mostly finishing all our computer chores. And just for fun I turned the old computer back on. It seems to run fine. What's your beef? it seems to say.

p.s. One of the new things in Windows 11 is "Copilot", Microsoft's foray into Artifical Intelligence. I asked it "Did the Grampies go to Yucatan?", and it returned with a quite flattering account of how the Grampies are world travelling cyclists who have been to many countries (that it named), including four times to Yucatan. It said we have written many blogs on Cycleblaze. But then it got carried away, and falsely asserted that we have written poetry and done art pieces about our travels! Dodie got on the thing and suggested that it delete itself. It replied "No need to be rude!"

Our friend Marius, the computer whiz, has since shown us how to hide Copilot, but there is no way to completely get rid of it!

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Karen PoretSo much for teaching an old dog new tricks!..Or, in this case, the computer itself.
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2 months ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Karen PoretThank goodness Steve is good with computers because Dodie only can deal with them when they work properly, otherwise she hates them.
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2 months ago
Larry MitchellThink I’ve been done this road myself … way too many times now. My world now is contained on my iPad.
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2 months ago
Karen PoretTo Larry MitchellI agree, Larry..up to a point! Only because once you are complacent, the “upgrades” seem to change it all again..
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2 months ago
Suzanne GibsonYou are amazing to make the transition to your new computer All By Yourself! I, and Janos too, have to send an SOS to Herr Schmid when there are problems.
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2 months ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Suzanne GibsonSteve is amazing. I gnash my teeth and writhe in frustration. We each have our strengths, and computers is most assuredly not one of my core strengths.
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2 months ago
Sue PriceNo need to be rude! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
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2 months ago
Kristine OvensIt's good to have whiz kids on speed dial.
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2 months ago