Saturday, 6 May 2017

Introducing the new Queen


…  the new queen of my study, that is … Winking smile

My old laptop, Bella, officially retired from public duties last weekend, and let her successor take the throne from May 1st. The new one’s name is Susie (she’s an ASUS). May she live a long and happy life!

In the photo, Susie is the dark rectangle in the middle (lid closed). The rest of what you see is her throne, royal court and humble servants. (Extra monitor, wireless keybord, various mice devices, scanner/printer and whatnots…)

Ex-queen Bella will be on (offline) standby for a while, in case further consultations should be needed. But we have decided that the time has come for her to “step back from royal duties that can involve extensive travel” (on the internet)…
(Quote from an article about Prince Philip) Winking smile

I kept a sort of diary of my progress (and failures) in setting up the new computer. Basically I tried to find and install software that I’ve become used to using on the old one. A new term I learned in this process was abandonware

… a product, typically software, ignored by its owner and manufacturer, and for which no support is available. [Wikipedia]

One such old servant that I really wanted to hold on to was Picasa (the main photo editor I’ve been using throughout my blogging life). It’s been abandoned by Google; but can still be found “out there” in cyberspace.

Another is MS Works (abandoned by Microsoft) which I’ve been using ever since the very first computer I had at work, way back in the early 1990s… Not much for word processing in later years (I’ve been using Open Office). But the Works database... For one thing, ever since the early 2000s I have been using it for a database list of all the books I read. (The advantage of a database being that you can search and sort it in lots of different ways.) And alas, there seems to be no free software to convert this to other database systems.

When I bought the previous computer (Bella), Works still came ‘free’ with the basic Windows software. I have also been able to still use it on Bella after the upgrade to Win 10. So I hadn’t expected this to be a problem on the new one either. But as it turned out, it wasn’t included on Susie… And my first attempts to install it from the web failed, and I just kept finding links that said that no, Microsoft has now abandoned Works, and Windows 10 does not accept it. So I was beginning to think I’d just have to print out a list on paper from Bella, and be content with that.

But then, suddenly, I discovered that somehow, one of my attempted downloads had actually installed itself – just not among other downloads, but as a fake extra DVD-unit. The laptop has a real DVD unit too; but in the file explorer, there were now two such units; with one of them containing the Works software. It still goes beyond my understanding exactly how this works. But it does; and neither Windows nor my antivirus program seems bothered by it. So I can only assume that “someone out there” has been very clever in finding a way around the installation problems… (Not sure from which site it was that I finally managed to install it. But heartfelt thanks to unknown benefactor!)

The reason I’m mentioning this is not so much that I think these are “must have” software for everyone; but more as an encouragement that if you fail on your first attempt to download something, it can be worth while trying again from another site.

Anyway. I think I have managed to track down the basic software that I’m used to. As for transferring old documents and photos etc from the old computer, I decided to copy them onto an extra hard drive first, and have only transferred the most recent and frequently used stuff to Susie yet. The plan is to take my time with the rest and sort things through and reorganize a bit. (Remains to be seen how that works out…)

Question to other photographers: How do you sort and store your pictures?? Can you find things when you need them?


  1. I have i-photo on my Mac and use that for photos, my husband, who also has a Mac, prefers Adobe. Good luck with the new computer, it's always such a learning curve with a new one.

    1. I've never had a Mac or i-anything so not really familiar with the differences.

  2. I love the name you gave her, it is very appropriate! I could never in a million years do all this. You are very computer savvy! I keep all my pictures right on my computer's picture and Photo Gallery directories. Once there, I have dozens of folders, like Plants, Sun, Grandkids, post now etc. I can usually find pictures easily this way, without going on the web to an outside storage source.

    1. Ginny, my basic sorting has been according to date + location (but not very detailed location). What I'm beginning to find difficult now is that there are so many streets and buildings and objects (like sculptures and murals) in my own town of which I've taken hundreds of digital photos spread over 10+ years. So I really need to organize some folders according to more specified categories as well.

  3. on my win 10 there is a Picasa 3 app, I don't use it but it is there, see if it is what you need. I love your set up and you are giving me great ideas, because this desk top is 7 years old and my laptop is new, this shows how I can use it as a desk top.. of course I will have to put my mouse on the 'right' side LOL.... did not know you are a lefty. it is quite the adeventure trying to get the things we love and have loved and you did great. I still love my windows live email and still do my business on the old address in the old way, but the laptop doesn't have it. I can download it but need to follow along like an obedient little MS person. I am not a fan of MS and that is all I have ever used.

    1. Picasa 3 was not included with my new Win 10, but no problem downloading it from the web.

      The "mouse" that I use most is integrated in the ergonomic roller-mouse wrist-rest, which means it's right in front of me. When I do use an ordinary mouse, I use it with my left hand, because of the chronic pain problems in neck, shoulder, arm on my right side. I'm not naturally left-handed but I have had to learn to become more so.

  4. I store my images in various folders, which I name by year, location, keywords and I add a date. I can use the search function of the folder to quickly find something. Congrats on your new computer.

    Mersad Donko Photography

    1. Thanks Mersad. I've been sorting my photos according to year, date and location, but I'm beginning to feel I've not always been detailed enough with other keywords... Sometimes the best way for me to find certain photos now is actually to search my blog! ;)

    2. Welcome Susie! I have been transferring software - much of which I got as free trials in my early computing days - through all the various changes in Windows. Sometimes it takes a bit of effort (and luck) to get it to work and one or two of my applications say things like "Not compatible.." every time I open them but I just close the "Not compatible " window and it works!!!
      I use the same method as Mersad but, like you, I don't always add enough keywords to find things.

  5. I use Aperture but Apple have now abandoned it in favour of iPhoto which really doesn't suit my needs. So I will be transferring to Lightroom for my organisation and storing.

  6. I should have added that I catalogue by year and camera and, like my brother, do not add enough keywords.


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