Monday, April 9, 2012

This Week's Sneak Peek

I had to replace my computer last week, so I'm learning my way around a new operating system and graphics program. It's a good thing I'm taking a day off from the office job.

This all came about because of planned obsolescence from the folks at Silicon Valley. Our internet service provider switched the anti-virus program it packages as part of its service. We uninstalled the previous AVP, but were repeatedly thwarted in attempts to download and install the new one. The on-line help at the new AVP diagnosed the problem as being that Microsoft Service Pack 3 was not installed on our Windows XP computer.

Service Pack 3 refused to install no matter how many times the techies at Microsoft Bangalore had me go over the same instructions again and again, so the choice was to go without anti-virus protection or get a new computer. After digging up as many installation disks as I could find and  backing up every file conceivably worth having, we had a new Windows 7 computer built. (Yes, I know that a Mac would be a better computer.  If it were strictly up to me, I might have taken this as an opportunity to switch over.)

Installing the AVP on the new computer was a piece of cake, but the Adobe Photoshop installation was interrupted by a warning of "known incompatibility issues" with Windows 7 -- not surprisingly, since Elements 3.0 was designed before Windows 7 was a gleam in Bill Gates' eye.

Curiously, however, my old version of Ulead Photo Express, designed for Windows 98, installed without complaint. I've continued to use this old program because there are a few things it does better than Adobe Elements, such as putting that e-mail notice precisely where I want it; Adobe, for some reason, always stubbornly wants it a few pixels to the left, right, higher, and/or lower than I do.

Unfortunately, there are other areas where Ulead Photo Express falls short, so I sampled the trial version of Adobe Photoshop CS5.1 this morning. It took some digging to find some of the editing features I frequently use, but they proved to be in locations that made sense. I'll probably buy this program.

And I'll be going through much the same process at the office. The Windows XP OS computer on my desk tries and tries, but it has never been able to install Windows Service Pack 3, either.

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