Monday, April 07, 2014

Adventures in LA, LA, Land: Microsoft Woes

Oh dear. As much as I try to stay positive, I'm not doing too well at the moment.  It is time for another episode of Adventures in LA, LA, Land.  For those of you new to this feature, it is basically where I unload about my latest life adventures! 

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.



Maryann Laursen said...

Oh my goodness Lisa, I really feel with you in this. But when is said, I can tell you, that Windows 7 IS a lot easier to work in, than Windows 8 is, and I speak of expirience. I´ve also just got a new computer, and it had Windows 8, but now hubby has just removed that and put Windows 7 on it instead, and it works much much better, and I have no problems working with Office with that, and he´s also been able to get it to work with all my very old files, by updating the office program too, so it can be done without having to buy too much new programmes, casue he´s just got mine to work, after I´d been freaking the same way as you, so I´m sure, you can get it to work too, and if he knows about computers, then I´m certain, he can make it to work fine too, as we´ve jsut done, but it has taken about a couple of weeks, before it runs like I wanted ot too, and I totally agree, it´s a real pain in the a.. to have to get a new computer, and I really hate it too.
But please don´t panic, cause as I said, it can be working with some updating and work, and I really hope for you, that you´ll soon be there and back on track. And about all these entries, then don´t worry, I´m very sure everyone can understand this situation and bare with you for a while, and we all know, you would never cheat anyone for anything, so what is still missing will just come a little later right? So just relax and do what you need to do and forget about all these non important things like the prizes and stuff like that, they´re not going anywhere right? And we have a saying here that sounds: Those who´s waiting for something good, can´t wait long enough, and that´s the case here right?
Take a deep breath and just take things one at a time and dstop worrying okay.
Have a wonderful day and best of luck with everything hun. And feel free to ask, if you need to know some of the things we´ve done to make things work, then you know my mail, and I´ll be happy toask hubby, what he did and try to explain that the best I can.
Biiiiiiiiiiiiiig cyber hugs to you my friend.

Granmargaret said...

I am sorry you are having so many computer problems I had Windows XP on my computer so had it upgraded to Windows 7 last October. (My computer was 4 years old). They installed an extra 2 GB ram to take it. They had to take everything off my computer and then reinstall it for me. It cost Aust $469.00. Then during a storm in November my computer died and I had to pay $251 for a new power supply. I have word 2007 and publisher 2007. I use publisher mostly. I had to take it to the computer company where I originally bought it as my husband knows nothing about computers. My computer stopped last week but luckily it was only the mouse that died. We took the mouse back to get a replacement and they gave a new one free.
I hope you get it all sorted soon. We will wait patiently for you to get to the Christmas challenge papers, don't stress. I am sure most people will understand.

KT Fit Kitty said...

I think you need a big HUG! So sorry you are going through this. I've been reading stories like this a lot lately. Don't get too worked up about it - I know it's frustrating, but keep it all in perspective. Just do what you can do. You are only one person, and in the big picture, if a few things are late, then they are late. Everyone will understand! Sending big hugs your way!

Donna Ellis said...

(((((((((((( hug )))))))))))))))

hope things are looking up soon!

Nikki said...

Windows 7 is soo easy to work with you should be surprised at how easy :)
the fonts are going to take a while to install but I've lost a couple programs that didn't keep with the time but I've gotten over that miss them but what can you do.
May it go easy for you :)

Edwina said...

Lisa, I wish I had warned you. I just thought you would know. That is why my brother replaced my computer. There are a lot of people who will have to do this and do not realize it. I hope everyone will check into it. Edwina Brown

Crafting Vicky said...

yikes... that's so hard... really really sucks! I was hoping la la land was the crafting side of it... :( It really does suck that we need this so much... I've changed to windows 8 and now totally know where to do what I need to do... but yes there's a learning curve and I was cursing big time at the beginning! Big hugs to you my friend!

SAMARA said...

I totally empathize Lisa. My computer (laptop) went loo loos, I was going to tell you all this on the phone, but haven't heard back from you) so went and got a new touch taptop with windows 8. I went INSANE!!!! It is CrAZY. Makes no sense at all. I asked at Future shop, after I had gone in 3 times, does anyone in your store use Windows 8. The manager said NO, we all convert our computers to the Windows 7 Shell. I said "What, you can do that and still have all the software capacity of the computer I bought etc." He said not only that, you can switch back and forth, but will have the 7 shell, the start menu etc. of the 7 and can use that instead. no one in the store uses the 8 - it is non efficient and overboard." I felt so relieved. So home I came, with my new Windows 7 shell and worked on it for a week. Then I felt like a total dud that I could not master Windows 8, took my old laptop to a repair guy, got it backed up on an external hard drive, totally wiped clean, cleaned off totally of any and all additions etc. and it is like new with Samara's back up files on the front desk top and the new poopy computer went back to future shop. My desk top is now at the repair guy (an XP) and is now going through the same thing (external hard drive) wiped clean, converted to windows 7, samara's file of everything that was on XP will be put on a file on the desktop but it will start to work with 7. See, there is a solution to everything. Never a need to panic. btw, April would have been the last day for updates, but it would not have needed to be stopped using for months, they said at future shop. Good luck. xoxoxoxoxoxox