Tuesday, May 13, 2008

IT 101

Computers - don't you love 'em? For example, without today's electronic wizardry this blog would be a daydream. My photos, spanning over 40 years, are stored on my computer; so is my music. But there is an inherent danger involved in this increasing reliance on the digital tools (and toys!) we so take for granted. What if something goes wrong?

I suppose that we all have had the backup mantra stuffed down our throats until we are heartily sick of it. But when you come to the day that it is needed, and you know that you have a current, accessible backup, you can pat yourself on the back for all the hours you have spent maintaining it.

I am at that point. I haven't had a hard drive failure or a complete system meltdown (thank goodness!) but my Windows Vista OS has been slowly deteriorating in performance until my patience has been tested to its absolute limit. I could take a short holiday while my computer boots up, and waiting for Outlook to access and deliver my email is slower than the days of mail being delivered on foot by the local mail man who knew everybody's name and business.

Solution: I am going to reinstall the OS. That means a complete dump of my files, reformatting the hard drive and then a clean install of Vista including SP1. Am I nervous - absolutely petrified! I've done this before with previous versions of Windows, and it doesn't seem to matter how careful you are, there is always some hidden gotcha or "Factor X" that prevents your computer from being exactly the way it was before you started, only much, much quicker.

Anyway, I've reached the stage where the fear of losing something is less than the annoyance factor of using this clunking monstrosity, so wish me luck. I'll report back in due course.

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