Thursday, November 18, 2010

Inspired By an Old CDROM

There's a new section on my blog ("Music Out Of My Head," to the right), and a new song, which I composed on the fly using an old program called SimTunes.

It was quite a challenge to install the Window 95 program on my newer Windows XP machine (I don't know if I'd even try it on Windows 7), especially because the disc, found in a local landfill's "swap shop," was so encrusted with dirt I had to (gasp!) scrub it clean with a dish scrubber.

But I got it to load and I got it functioning, and I'm having fun. I hope listening will be fun for you, too.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Computers and Headaches

I'm having issues with my computer.

I should explain that I have, in fact, more than one computer. To tell the truth I have more computers than most people, even most computer people. I have trouble, sometimes, letting go.

For example, I have three Amiga 3000 computers. I keep them even though they are considered obsolete, because they run a program called Deluxe Paint IV, which only runs on Amiga computers. Deluxe Paint IV is a great tool for teaching children how to do simple animation. I'm planning on combining the three Amigas into one truly-decked-out machine, but I just can't quite get rid of all of them.

My family has four Windows machines, and I have one. I use mine, an ancient machine that runs Window 98, for legacy software like Autodesk Animator Pro, a DOS program which can only be run in Safe Mode under 98, and can't be run under XP at all. Three of the four others are laptops, and the fourth is the central family desktop computer that I happen to be typing on.

Because, as I said, I am having issues with my computer.

I have three Macs. One is an old iBook, and the other two are Minis. And it is one of these that I consider "my" computer. It is, or was, the one that I did 90% of my computing with. And it's hard drive developed some nasty glitches that couldn't be fixed using Disk Utility, and so I had to carefully copy everything I could grab that had changed since the last backup, reformat the drive, and reinstall the system.

That sounds easy, but I seem to have some issue with the optical drive as well, and so ended up installing the system from the optical drive of the other Mini, hooked up to my Mini with a Firewire cable and started up in Target Disk Mode.

And, of course, since this is a G4 Mini made about five years ago, the system software is hopelessly out of date. And so my computer is spending the next evening or two endlessly updating the system software. And then I have to step in and figure out what I'm going to put back onto the machine. Because, after all, in five years you accumulate a lot of junk that you don't actually need taking up space on your hard drive anymore.

And so meanwhile I am browsing, blogging, Facebooking, Googling, and even FTPing and writing my Website updates, on a Dell PC running Windows XP. I won't start a fight and say that it's a step down.

Let's just say that it takes some getting used to.