March was a tough month with two deaths on my hubs side of the family. Not to mention that I was already behind on certain things card wise, blog wise and with the admin stuff that takes up a minimum of about five to six hours each and every day. The weather hasn't helped either. It has been so grey and gloomy. Now normally I don't let the weather conditions affect me but this winter has just been so darn long. In fact, just a couple days ago we had three more inches of snow. I'm afraid I may never seen the ground again!
If it was only those things, I might be able to deal but unfortunately there is more. Microsoft that <<<insert curse words of choice>>> company may just be the end of me for a while. Seriously, I am almost in tears over here!
Microsoft has decided to yank all support from Windows XP users, and I just found out today, also from Microsoft Office 2003, as of April 8th. What does that mean if you, like me, are an XP and an earlier Office user? Well, it means we are screwed, blued and tattooed. It also means that if we continue to work with these programs, we will run serious security risks. Of course all of this also means doling out oodles and oodles of money for not only new operating software, but also for a a new hard drive (because the current one is apparently too small). On Friday, the hubs researched some prices and boy it is going to be a rather expensive month considering we also have Easter, our birthdays and our 25th wedding anniversary coming up later in the month.
Computer wise, first there is $80 for a new hard drive. Then there is the $250 to purchase a copy of Windows 7. Since my computer is just a year old, we've gone this route. For the hubs machine we are actually going to buy a new computer, because as ridiculous as it is, he can get one for $250 and it includes a copy of Windows 7. Of course I don't know what I am going to do about Office. We sure as heck can't afford to pay for the updated versions of Office. Office 2010 is not a viable option because soon it will no longer be supported. Then there is this ridiculous thing called Office 365 which is subscription based and costs $99 a year and that is probably in US prices. That leaves me with the option of using some open source software like Apache Open Office or Libre Office that appear to allow you to read Word and Excel files. However, one of the programs that I work with a lot is called Publisher. While I should be able to learn the open source software equivalents easy enough, there is nothing out there that will convert or read .pub files before 2003. Every time I create a card, I create a publisher file to do all of my arranging and printing in. As, I am sure you can figure out, that adds up to a lot of files I will be unable to access. As far as conversion goes, I just checked and my version is 2002. There is an online conversion tool at Zamzar but you can only upload smaller files and of course everything I have is way to big to convert. Oy Vey! I am in sooooooo much trouble that I am afraid the anxiety I am feeling right this minute is going to progress to a full blown anxiety attack very soon!!!!!!!
The downside, other than the money we don't have for this right now and the sheer inconvenience of it all, is that many of the old graphic programs and possibly some of the other programs I work with, may not be compatible with version 7. That is one of the main reasons we didn't upgrade a long time ago. Additionally, it means that I have to hope to God that I have everything backed up properly, and then reinstall everything once the hubs has the new system set to go. It also means a serious learning curve. Windows 7 is apparently a lot like Windows 8 (which is on our laptop) and one of the main issues I have with 8 is I can never seem to find anything. I can't set my folders up the way I want, I can't access areas that I was easily able to on XP either. Also, the pathways to install, presets for programs like Photoshop Elements, are completely different.
Then of course there is the time that this is going to take up. I have already had to spend so much time these last four days, doing research and trying to figure things out, that I am now even farther behind in everything. Never mind the fact that I am going to experience considerable down time as the hubs has to install the new hard drive, upload the software and then I need to reinstall all 5000+ fonts, all my brushes, textures, shapes and layer styles, and of course every single program that I need on my system. At last count there was 26 on the list.
Now I did manage to get a post done and uploaded to come out on Wednesday on this blog, and I have one set for later in the week over on the Path of Positivity and two over on Creative Bug on the Loose, but other than that, I have nothing ready. Next week I am supposed to have a minimum of four posts out and I don't know how I am going to pull it all off! I am seriously beyond worried at this point. Then of course there is the fact that I STILL haven't done the winner announcement nor the papers for Feb. and March for the 12 Months of Christmas and that I am two months behind in Wonderful Wednesday items. Oh and then there is the fact that I am so far behind on visiting all you wonderful people, I daily hang my head in shame.
So, what have I learned from this?
- I seriously need to earn some money to pay for these computer issues. Selling one card a year is not going to cut it.
- I need to pay better attention to when program support is going to be yanked from the programs I work with.
- I need to find a way to punish all the hackers out there. It is there fault I even have to worry about upgrading.
- I need to figure out how to take on less, so that when situations like this pop up, it doesn't cause such a panic. However, given that I have been trying to figure out what to cut for over a year and nothing has been cut yet, I am not hopeful this will happen any time soon.
What am I thankful for?
- We found out in time to do something, well before things become a serious security threat.
- That I have a husband who knows how to install hard drives and set up operating systems.
- credit cards.
- that there are possibly free open source software suites that may help me out.
So, if you don't hear from me for a while, you'll know Microsoft won.
...And that my friends is today's adventure in LA LA land.
Oh, and in case you are wondering where LA LA Land came from, my maiden name starts with an A so L.A. are my original initials. So while LA LA Land may be a place that is a little out there for most people, it also happens to be where I take my day to day journey through life. I'm glad you were able to join me and hope that you do so again in the future--that is of course if I ever manage to find my way back.