Friday, November 26, 2010

The Day After... Thanksgiving

I'm staying home today and ... playing!  And blogging.  And working in my database.

Thursday was not only Thanksgiving, but also "set up the new computer day."  It went pretty well.  My son-in-law, the IT director and expert on all things computer, was here to supervise and advise. Some highlights:

*  Cleared off the desktop - more piles!  Disconnected the old computer, put it in the living room for the day.  Kept only the modem, router, and external drive (loaded with files from Wednesday).  Dusted the desktop (whew!)

*  Moved the new computer box (Dell Inspiron 560, 4 gb RAM, 500 gb hard drive, running Windows 7), monitor (Dell 19 inch), speakers (Logitech) and printer (Lexmark 305) to the desktop.  Plugged it in, turned everything on, everything worked.  My biggest problem is the keyboard has the Home, End, Insert, Delete, Page Up, Page Down keys in a different order - will have to train my fingers again.  Set up the printer as a wireless device, but had problems and used the USB cable in the end.

*  Downloaded Microsoft Security Essentials (but McAfee was pre-loaded with a free six-month subscription, so I'm using that for now).

*  Downloaded OpenOffice 3.2 and associated MSOffice file types with the OO.

*  Opened Gmail, and changed all of my email addresses to Gmail.  Copied Linda's contacts and my contacts into Gmail accounts.  The "groups" did not transfer, so had to create Gmail groups for both of us and added contacts to them.  Major PITA!  I'm not sure we're going to like Gmail for all of our email - Outlook Express was much easier to use (buttons for major tasks), create contact groups (a list to pick from), create folders and use them (drag and drop), etc. 

*  Added Favorites to Internet Express, and organized them.  At some point in the day, I had to restart the computer and neglected to exit from IE and lost all of the changes.  Did it again, and reorganized them (why don't the Favorites come across in some logical order, like alphabetical?  Had to move every one of them, it seemed). 

*  Copied saved files from the External Drive to the new hard drive.  The transfer seems a lot faster on the new computer than on the old computer.

*  Time out for Thanksgiving dinner at 3, lovingly prepared by Linda and Tami.  Carved the turkey,  gave thanks for the turkey and our family, had turkey (white meat and one leg), mashed potatoes and corn on the cob (only veggie that the grandgirls will eat), and peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream.  Full!  Did the dishes.

*  Said goodbye to Tami and her family, watched the end of the Saints/Cowboys game, and took out all of the trash, including computer boxes. 

*  Set up the old computer in the bedroom so I can check the Contact group lists (the old computer is not hooked to the Internet now).  I had missed some, so added them. 

*  Loaded FTM 16, RootsMagic 4, Legacy Family Tree 7.4 and FTM 2011 onto the new computer (FTM 2010 hung up on install).  Opened each program and loaded the current database (FTM 2011 opens a bit faster on the new computer than FTM 2010 did on the old).  I'm still using FTM 16 to edit my places, add sources, find errors, etc. 

*  I caught up on my reading but didn't blog anything on Thursday.  The two Thanksgiving posts were pre-written and posted on schedule.

All in all, the setup and installation went easily and I didn't waste a lot of time making mistakes. 

I'm going to keep the old computer setup for awhile and will probably use it to print high volume reports (the Christmas letter, the Family Journal, etc.).  It may be that I choose to hook up the old printer with the new computer, and the old monitor (22 inch) with the new computer after awhile.  I think that my old HP 6350 (only one year old) may be more capable than the new Lexmark 305. 

I still need to test the scanner on the printer and figure out the best way to edit images.  I need to connect the cameras and make sure that I can capture photos. I'm leery of using Windows Live Photo Gallery after JL's experiences with it screwing up all of her image properties.  I have Paint but no other Photo program that I know of.  I had Microsoft Photo Editor 2006 on the old computer and liked it, and wonder if it is available for Windows 7.  I didn't like Picasa that much and didn't use it.  Or I'll use some other free program (I'm big on free!). 

I welcome comments and suggestions.


John said...

I assume your new computer is Windows 7. It doesn't come with an email program. But you can download and install Windows Live Mail. It does a good job of importing all your old Outlook Express mail.

Kathleen Moore said...

What I do for Gmail is I download Mozilla's Thunderbird and I set up the connection as an IMAP connection. This allows you to keep the and your email program synced. It's all identical. That way I can still have an email program.

Enjoy your new computer!

Anonymous said...

I hated the Gmail at first and managed to make it work with MS Outlook via an IMAP server. It was quite difficult for a non-techie like me to set up, but I did it somehow. I now get two copies of every email in Outlook, but it's better than none, and I'm getting to like Gmail a little... Jo