Saturday, April 22, 2017

It Is Here

CIMG0690

I went to pick up the new laptop yesterday, and managed to bring it home safely. So far, so good! It started smoothly - and oh, so quickly and silently compared to the old one! (But then the new one really doesn’t have all that much in it to wrestle with yet!)

The store did the initial set-up of Microsoft 10 + antivirus software for me. But I still had various registration processes to complete when I got it. (Actually not sure I’ve even managed all of those properly yet. I spent most of yesterday reading the Windows 10 manual - again…) And then to collect and install and log into other software that I’m used to having… It will no doubt take some time! After seven years with my old laptop, it’s a bit like “moving house”. Almost worse in some ways, considering the billons of accounts and apps and passwords involved! Oh dear…

Someone wanted to know what I bought. It’s an ASUS K756UW-T4071T. Should anyone happen to find any info or reviews about it anywhere else than at Swedish Media Markt where I bought it, please tell me. I haven’t succeeded so far! (I’m beginning to think I really bought the One and Only!)

It is the same size as my old computer, with a 17.3” screen. It has 8 GB RAM (2x4), Intel Core i5 processor, two hard drives 128+1000 GB, all the same ports as my old one (+ USB 3.0 and 3.1 which I didn’t have on the old one), DVD burner, bluetooth, memory card reader, webcam… If anything essential is missing, or not working as it should, I haven’t discovered that yet!

I might give the machine a more personal nickname later, but we’ll get to know each other a bit first…

I’m still using Bella, the old laptop, to write this post. I have got the new one to connect to the internet, though; and besides Google Chrome I’ve also managed to download Firefox and sync my bookmarks saved there. I normally use Firefox in Blogland, because of how my DawnTreader blog accounts were initially set up. (In Chrome, I appear under a different identity and it gets so very confusing. So I find it easier to switch browsers for different jobs, rather than to go through the hassle of logging in and out of Google on the same browser, depending on what I’m doing.)

All my personal files (photos and documents and whatever) are still either on the transition drive or on the old computer. I’m trying to get some things better organised in the process.

Luckily while all this is going on, I also have my smartphone to help me keep an eye on what I’m “missing”…

Now I’m going to relax just passively watching TV the rest of the evening, though!

 

 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Update Update

After several more failed attempts, late last night Bella (my old laptop) finally managed to complete the new Windows 10 update. Good girl!

However… Realizing that these frequent update struggles are not likely to get any better, I actually also “took the plunge” yesterday afternoon and went across town to the huge Media Markt store to look at (and buy) a new one.

It was not really a random decision – I had done my research online first. As I wrote at the end of my previous post, I really felt I wanted one very similar to my old one (same size, same kinds of ports etc)  - just “perkier” (more memory, more storage)… This proved easier said than found. One that looked promising at first (in my online search) turned out to have a few things against it (which might also explain its low price). And others that filled the requirements were so expensive it really made me wonder if I was perhaps setting my goals way to high…

But then, in yet another online search, I suddenly came upon one which actually seemed to fit all my requirements, and at quite a good price too. Their ad informed me that the MM store in my town had it in stock, but didn’t specify how many - and the web shop had only five… So I decided it was worth going to MM to have a look – immediately.

I haven’t been to that store more than once or twice before. It’s really huge, and I felt quite lost when I came in there. But luckily, they also turned out very service-minded – and it seemed I had come at an hour when there were very few other customers in the store. I got almost immediate attention from one (young, male) shop assistant. I showed him the specification that I had printed out at home the same day, and he set off finding it for me. It turned out not so easy. The machine I wanted turned out not to be among the dozens on display. But their stock inventory did say there should be two left… The guy told me I could just stay where I was while he kept on searching. Round and round the shelves he went… scratching his head… But eventually he found it – just the one. He got the box opened for me so that I could have a look at its exterior. Unfortunately I could not see it with the screen turned on. But as it seemed to be the very last specimen of its kind, and according to the specifications just what I wanted, and at a good price… I decided to buy it. The shop assistant too, the more he looked into the details (and the price), seemed more and more impressed with it as well. He also seemed to wonder what I wanted all this capacity and storage for… 

I should add (because I found it rather amusing myself) that before the purchase was completed, I think probably all the staff in the store had been involved in some way or other. While the first guy was running around searching, others came up to me and asked if I needed help; and first guy in turn asked others for help with this and that.

The laptop is still at the store as I decided to accept the offer (for a certain amount extra, of course) to let them do the initial setup (Windows 10!) and backup copy for me + installation of antivirus software. They called this afternoon to tell me it’s ready. (And I assume that also means it turned out to work as it should!) So I intend to go and pick it up tomorrow.

The offer also included transferring files from my old computer (if I brought that in). But I decided against that, as I'm really not sure that I want “the whole mess" of old files copied straight over to the new one. Again this decision seemed to make the shop assistant curious… But when I explained that one of my hobbies is photography, and that I have more than seven years of photos collected on my old computer (not to mention lots of other stuff too!), he seemed to begin to “get it”…

So instead I also bought a new extra external hard drive, and will copy my old files myself to that. But I feel I want to start afresh with only the more recent stuff transferred to the new computer to start with, taking my time to re/organize things. A lot of old files can probably just be left on the extra drive to be collected later if I need them.

Copying everything will take time, but as the old computer is still working (and I can let it do this copying offline!) there’s no hurry. I got started today… The last five years of camera photos (2012-2017 = 35480 images… took around 3 hours to copy… It’s just the “tip of the iceberg”, though. (I have had digital cameras since 2006; and also have lots of copied and scanned images from before that. And music, and various documents, and…)

My blogging may be set aside a bit until I get things “sorted”… But we’ll see! Downloading various software to do with blogging will of course be at the top of my list…

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Photo from a walk on Easter Eve. It’s still very chilly… I’ve been taking in my own (small) pots of daffodils from the balcony almost every evening the last week because of frosty nights!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Still Struggling…

… with my computer, and the Windows 10 updates…

*Bella, my laptop, is still “alive” and keeps trying to download and install the tiresome updates; but for some reason she has not yet been successful with the last “Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1607 for x64-based Systems (KB4015217)” this weekend.

And as far as I can understand, Windows does not even give one the choice to do it manually any more, even when one feels that might be better.

Automatic updates may sound good in theory – implying that “you’ll hardly notice it being done”… Bah! The thing is, when it doesn’t work out smoothly, what actually happens is that one ends up thinking about nothing else, and getting nothing else done either! The computer’s eternal searching and downloading and failing to install slows everything else down too. And after a certain amount of trying and failing, poor Bella sometimes gets overheated now and just gives up and shuts down… (I can’t say I really blame her! I tend to do the same myself…)

Checking up on when I bought it, I find that it’s actually 7 whole years that we’ve been together now. That’s a long time for a laptop. She probably deserves to retire!

So I’ve started looking into finding a replacement… But there’s sooo much to think about, and I’m not really all that good at all the technical details and terminology. Basically I still want one rather similar, but perkier and not full of 7 years of cumulative update clutter…

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Young Bella back in April 2010.
(She still looks much the same, really.)

*(Named ‘Bella’ by me because it’s a Packard Bell.)

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter

We’ve had rather a chilly Easter in Sweden – in many places, and even in the south, they even had around 10 cm (4 inches) of snow. So far, just around here, we have not had any snowfall. But last night there were warnings of the temperature falling several degrees below freezing point over night. (And it did.) So actually the last thing I did before going to bed on Easter Eve, was to take in my three pots of daffodils from the balcony, and hang a blanket over the budding clematis…

I’m a bit worried about the many ornamental cherry blossom trees that were just beginning to spring into bloom around town. But not much I can do about that!

170414 Caroli kyrka långfredag

Walking into town on Friday to attend a church service, I passed by this lovely tree below, which is the only one I’ve seen so far putting on a full display already:

170414 Körsbärsblom 1

170414 Körsbärsblom 2

170414 Körsbärsblom 3

Yesterday, I went to check on another group of such trees in a park on my side of town, but found them still hesitating (and no wonder):

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In my mind, seeing these threes in bloom is also connected with the eager buzzing of hundreds of bumble bees… In the chilly winds yesterday, however, not a single little buzz to be heard…

My computer seems to think Easter Day a lovely day for attempts at various Windows updates again - so I think I’ll just try to get this post off now, such as it is, and then leave the computer to its resurrection games….

Happy Easter to you all.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Postcards for the Weekend - Spring

What to look for in spring...

Little Lambs, and Ladybirds 

Postcrossing card sent from Australia, March 2017
(AU-482921)
  
Doors to Dreamy Gardens

From Ginny in the US, February 2017

Wild Women on Wheels

From Jarina in the Netherlands, March 2017
(Artist: Inge Löök)
  
Cute Cuddly Chicks  

Postcrossing card from Germany, July 2016 (DE-5373629)


Eggcited Easter Bunnies

From John in England, April 2017
(Artist unknown)

... and Beautiful Butterflies

From Jarina in the NL, April 2017
(Artist: Molly Brett)


Happy Easter Weekend, Everyone!





Weekend Linky Party:
Postcards for the weekend 33: Spring, flower buds & blossoms, green foliage

Monday, April 10, 2017

Moving On


Sarah Dawn Finer singing "Moving On". One of many videos available on YouTube from a manifestation for love and solidarity held in Stockholm on Sunday afternoon (9th April); two days after the terror attack on Friday (7th April), in which four people lost their lives, and many more were injured. 

Bildresultat för Stockholm manifestation

The manifestation was a private initiative by Stockholmers, but also broadcasted live on national TV, with local politicians participating along with several artists - and many thousands of people joining. A silent minute was also held at 14:53 (exactly 48 hours after the attack). 

Flag at half mast at the official ceremony at Stockholm City Hall with one minute of silence at noon to remember the victims of Friday"s terror attack on Drottninggatan

 
A minute's silence was also observed throughout the country today at noon (Monday 10th April), in connection with an official ceremony in Stockholm including among others the royal family, the prime minister and other official representatives; and especially honouring the police, medical staff and others who did a fantastic job in the midst of crisis.

Bildresultat för Stockholm silent minute 

I'm compiling this post because some of my friends abroad have asked me about the reactions in Sweden after the attack.

My answer is that naturally these have been traumatic days for the whole nation; with newscasts in all the media around the clock, and initially of course just utter chaos. And who can yet foretell all the consequences! But what happened almost immediately, and perhaps somewhat unexpectedly, was that the citizens of Stockholm very quickly rose up to a spontaneous counter-reaction to the meaningless violence, by helping each other out in any way they could think of. Social media were used for good more than for spreading fear. When all public transport was closed down immediately after the attack, a hashtag "openstockholm" was set up and lots of people opened up their homes and offered food or a place to stay or lifts etc to people - including complete strangers - who found themselves stranded in the city and couldn't get home. The reaction with most people really seemed to be: No way are we going to let fear of terrorism take over our city and nation and limit our freedom! 

And so, already the next day, people also returned into the city (as close as they could get, with the immediate area of the attack still blocked off for police investigations) - to fill it with flowers and candles and flags and whatever.

Even the police cars were "love-bombed" with flowers:

 Bildresultat för polisbil blommor 


Although there have also been attempts at spreading fake news over the internet etc, my main impression so far is that Sweden in general, and Stockholm especially, has reacted to the terror attack with professionalism, determination, dignity, generosity and solidarity. May that also be what stays with us.

And blessings to all those who took initiatives to spread love and hope rather than fear and hatred in this most difficult situation. 

All photos in this post were borrowed from various news sites on the Internet, via Google.

 
 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Postcards for the Weekend - Magical /Whimsical







From John in England, March 2017
Dragon King by Jon Hodgson

  Postcrossing card from Russia, March 2017
Unicorn and other magical/mythological creatures

 
 
From John in England, February 2017
'The Traveller's Joy Fairy' from 'Flower Fairies of the Summer', 1925
(Cecily M Barker)



From Jarina in The Netherlands, February 2017
"Catching the train" by Molly Brett (1902-1990)
  
In the shadow of the terror attack yesterday in Sweden's capital Stockholm (Friday 7th April at 14:53, our time) * - in which at least four people were killed, and several more injured - I still feel I want to share some "postcards for the weekend" on the theme set by Maria: Whimsical and/or Magical

Because... All through human history I think people have felt a need of stories, including fantasy and mythology, to help us deal with our feelings about important life events - both bad and good. 

When choosing the four cards above for this post today, my thoughts go like this: The dragon may represent our worst fears of destruction, while the unicorn & co may stand for the good forces coming to help. The flower fairy looks like she's bringing blessings of peace; and I'll let the last card represent the determination to "get on with our lives" and help and support each other in the midst of chaos, which was also shown after the event yesterday. 

* (If you haven't heard about it, I'm sure you'll be able to google and find the latest updates at any major international news site.)



Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Our World Tuesday - Start-of-April Edition

So lovely to see these colours again!


Our World Tuesday Graphic







Sunday, April 2, 2017

Shadow Shot Sunday


It's true what they say: The grass is greener on the other side of the fence... Now if I could just figure out a way to get round there...

From my walk around a bird sancturary lake last Sunday.
Please rest assured that no geese were held captive in order to take this photo...


Linking to Shadow Shot Sunday

Shadow Shot Sunday 2
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