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Of food, technology, movies, music, and travel—or whatever else strikes my fancy

Requiem for my Windows 7 PC


Sunday night, when I returned to the computer I’d been working on just fine all day, nothing was displaying on either monitor, beyond a brief Analog / Digital message. The usual step of just rebooting produced no better effect, and checking all the plugs found nothing loose, nothing amiss.

The next morning, the computer didn’t entirely seem to even be booting anymore (though it’s quite hard to tell what’s going on, with no display).

It was actually the first time a computer had just up and died on me. Of course, I was not pleased. But really, thank goodness it happened in 2013 and not in, say, 2003. Or 1993.

Was a time when losing a PC meant potentially losing an awful lot of data, stored on that hard local drive, not necessarily all backed up.

Now, we store pretty much all the files we care about—songs, documents, spreadsheets, photos, videos, sheet music–on a network drive, with backup . And  like everyone else, we’ve moved to keeping some stuff “in the cloud”–email, agenda, blog posts, Evernote lists that organize my life—making them accessible on any tablet, smart phone, or computer. I may not have a computer right now, but I still have basically all my content.

So, this is really more of a bother than a trauma. Despite the above, there are a few things on the old hard drive that I’d like to retrieve if I can, so we’re going to bring the old computer in to get the hard drive taken out and stored into an USB-connected external drive case, which I’ll be able to attach to a new computer.

Did you catch that? Despite this being just a bother (for heaven’s, we have another computer! And two tablets!), I have already ordered a new computer.

I guess the greater speed and power will be nice. Just too bad it’s Windows 8. I swear, the biggest issue these days in having to upgrade hardware, is in then having to relearn software.

I know Windows 8 has its fans. The problem is, Windows 7 is hardly leaving my life. All day, every day, of my work life, I am on a Windows 7 computer, and that won’t be changing soon. And our other computer? Also Windows 7. So it’s not as if I can really move on and switch over to the Windows 8 way of doing things. I fear being in permanent, irritated “learner” mode on my own PC.

Windows 7 desktops are still available, by the way. (Yes, desktop, not laptop. I don’t see the point of a laptop when I have a tablet.) Jean kindly (or, more likely, fearing he’d otherwise have to go back to sharing a computer with me) did the online research and found one decent Windows 7 option, and one Windows 8. I was trying to decide which to get–the Windows 8 one was more powerful, but the Windows 7 one was Windows 7!–when I thought to dig into the question of HDMI ports. The Windows 7 PC didn’t come with one.

“That’s it, then,” I said. “Because HDMI is an absolute necessity!”

And then we both looked at each other laughed at my having put high-definition signals on the same level of importance as food, shelter, and oxygen.

But I still bought the Windows 8 one. Because I do really love being able to connect the PC to the big-screen TV and watching online video super-sized, with great sound, from the comfort of my couch.

And I have found an article called How to make Windows 8 look and feel like Windows 7 , which I’m hoping will be of some help in the transition. And at least iTunes 10 is still available, so I can avoid the transition to iTunes 11 (shudder) a little longer.

2 thoughts on “Requiem for my Windows 7 PC

  1. I don’t know why everyone keeps moaning about Windows 8. Once you’re past the metro screen (or whatever it’s called) it’s identical to Win7. And you spend 99% of your time in the desktop mode, reverting to the metro screen only if you need to open some program you don’t use very often. The programs you use all the time will all have shortcuts on your desktop or taskbar. It’s JUST LIKE WINDOWS 7!!! Really, people need to chill! What I’m dreading is the stupid Windows 8.1 “update” that’s supposed to actually make it just like Windows 7. I’m hoping that’s an optional update and not one we’ll be forced to adopt. 😦

    • That’s good to know – that it isn’t really “that bad”. (Main advice seems to be, add a Start button and open it in desktop mode.) At this point, I mainly want the new computer to get here so I can see for myself. I love ordering online – except for having to wait for things to be delivered!

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