Monday, February 25, 2008

Computer Update

Progress Report on hard drive replacement: Changing the hard drive was no problem. I mean, anyone who can remove and reinstall four screws and two plugs can handle that job. Getting our personal files restored was also no problem. Getting all the programs (and updates) reinstalled is a different matter. That's not really a problem, but it certainly is time consuming when I need to download an up to date version of a program, and while I'm downloading, I cannot do anything else online. Over the past couple of days, I've spent a lot of time singing The Dialup Blues.

Getting Windows fully re-patched took around 18 hours, and today I think I set a world's record for the largest single file ever downloaded at 21Kbps. If it wasn't a world's record, I'm sure it was at least a state record. For several years we've been using the OpenOffice suite for our word processing and spreadsheets. We've needed to update the program for a long time, but haven't due to the large file size. Today, I decided to go ahead and tackle that 120MB file. It took 14 hours to download.

Late in the process I checked the progress and saw that the download was 99% complete. Just as I walked out of the room, I heard the computer redialing after dropping the connection. I think my heart skipped a beat or two. However, the download manager I was using worked just like it was supposed to do and resumed and completed the download as soon as the connection to the Internet was re-established. Whew!

I think I can see light at the end of the tunnel -- and with any luck it isn't an oncoming train. I'm sure I'll be tying up loose ends for a couple more weeks, but I'm close to getting the bulk of the restoration done. I should be able to start getting back to my routine computer activities (like blogging and visiting blogs) in another day or two. I certainly hope so.

Nature Note: The geese seem to think winter is nearing and end. I saw three flocks heading north today.


Anonymous said...

Gosh what a long download. I am happy for you that you got through it all. Your download with Open Office suite reminded me that there is now something almost the same online like that I use and I have MS Word.

Sign up at

You might be surprised. It works really nice.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Hang in there Marvin. Even I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Tom said...

Looking forward to your posts.. interesting about the geese on the move.

Marvin said...

Abraham: I've used Google documents and spreadsheets. I agree that they can be a viable alternative for the average person, but unfortunately, I'm below average. My slow Internet connection causes problems there too. Composing is okay, but doing anything that involves reloading a page -- like switching between documents -- is frustratingly slow at best. And, online applications don't really like a slow connection. If the Internet is having a bad day, I have problems using Gmail and commenting on blogs.

Lana Gramlich said...

Hooray on all counts (except for the hassle, of course.)

smilnsigh said...

Good news, all round. You are making great progress and the geese are coming north!


Anonymous said...

Computers . . . ugg!

nina at Nature Remains. said...

So that's where you are--I'm glad it's nothing more serious--always hate to find bad news has befallen a fellow blogger!

Hang in there--we miss you and your stories!

Q said...

Glad to know you are getting everything down loaded. I would be very frustrated!
Thank you for letting us know how you are doing.
Also good to know the geese are on the move. I will be looking for them. My husband thought he heard a flock the other night fly over but was not sure. I am looking forward to Spring migration.

Michelle said...

In my part of Canada (Southern Alberta) the weather is certainly the kind of weather geese should be returning to (8C/46F -- hey, it's warm for Feb!). I was wondering if it would last.... maybe the geese know something we don't!

Hope you get through your computer issues quickly and painlessly.

Jackie said...

What fun, updating everything on dialup! I now have a couple of external hard drives, and for auxillary programs, I store every downloaded program on an external hard drive. It makes installation way simpler. Once you download a program and install it, send that original download to the external hard drive, and you don't have to down load it again, if and when things crash. You still need updates, but those original files that took hours, are safely stored.

Small City Scenes said...

Oh my gosh--what a chore--I HOPE you see the light at the end of the tunnel. We all worry when someone is missing. MB

Mary said...

Having computer problems is very stressful for me. I don't envy you one bit. But it sounds like you are making great progress!

We'll hear from you soon, Marvin.

smilnsigh said...

It's the 28th of the month now {as I write}. How are you coming along???


Lana Gramlich said...

You seem to have vanished again...I hope all's well.