It had been something like 14 years since I had invested in a new computer. In the space of a lifetime that hardly seems like more than a few blinks of an eye. But technology being what it is, I might as well have been living in the dark ages.
First, my brand-new computer of a decade and a half ago was equipped with a Windows Vista operating system. Touted as state of the art at the time, it retained that distinction about as long as eight-track tape players. Within a few years, not only had Vista been replaced but so were two or three of its successors.
My old computer kept on keeping on. Its efficiency, however, became less and less reliable. Finally it quit even turning on. I took it to a local computer repair shop, which gave it a thorough cleaning and replaced a couple of components. Good as new.
A geek I’m not. While discontinued support of the operating system was affecting some of the online stuff, I figured that what I use a computer for would probably last as long as I would.
That is until some of my email operations stopped working. For instance, we use digital coupons for grocery discounts, and the ad connections stopped connecting. And then I began having difficulty posting comments on social media, a real trauma for an opinionated guy.
The only logical solution was simple: upgrade the operating system. I briefly considered installing Windows 10 on my old computer, although there might be a problem with hard-drive capacity. An ostensibly easier, albeit more expensive, option would be a new computer. Either route, of course, required downloading and reinstalling everything I wanted to save, including hundreds of pictures, from the old system.
My family liked the idea of going all the way, and they even chipped in to defray the cost of a new tower.
Fortunately, daughter Ruth is something of a computer wiz. She captured all the transferred data on flash drive, plugged everything into the new tower, installed my Internet software and fired it up. It worked!
The rest was up to me. I quickly discovered what worked fine on one machine didn’t necessarily work the same way on the new system. In some sense, it was like learning to walk and talk all over again.
Gradually things started coming together. Ruth had tried to install an office program, but the directions kept coming up in German. I uncovered an option to use English, but she eventually obtained a CD to load it more easily. And I figured out how to set my wallpaper and turn on a picture-scrolling screensaver.
Response time is quicker. Sometimes, anyway. I’m told DSL may be slower, but I’m not a WiFi kind of guy. And the just-released Windows 11 offers innovations I’d never use. But what the Dell. I’ll live with it. At least I’m in the 21st century now.