Can’t believe it worked …


This might get a little bit ‘techy’ so look away now, if you’re uninterested.

The youngest son has two laptop computers. He has an old Windows 7 machine that he keeps in his bedroom. He uses it to watch YouTube videos, and that’s about all. His other machine is a Windows 10 laptop thatNontworking lappy he takes when he is on respite and sleeping away. Some months ago, we got a message that the laptop he took away had a problem. When he got home I found that the machine was stuck in a ‘Repairing Windows’ loop. The IT people at his respite could do nothing with it and neither could I. So for the past six months it has sat at the back of the sofa doing nothing.

Fast forward to the beginning of November and an interesting article on a news-feed that I subscribe to. The article related to updating Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10, for free. The so called ‘offer’ from Microsoft(MS) to upgrade to Windows 10 expired some time last year, but the article explained that it was still available, and it gave instructions on how to get it. After reading the article a few times, I began to think that I may be able to do something with the trashed laptop. At worst it would still be trashed and at best it could  be a working laptop.

I downloaded the files and yesterday I bit the bullet and began the process. I was expecting the task to take 4 or 5 hours, but in the end it took just over 3 hours. It actually worked!! Of course, there were a few issues that made the process difficult. working againNot least, the laptop battery expiring when I was trying to login with my current MS account. By 21:50 the machine was up and running with the latest Windows 10 operating system. As you may imagine, I was beside myself with joy. I could not believe that it had worked. I rebooted the machine again and it was still working. I installed a couple of bits of software that I knew was needed and rebooted aging. Still working !

So I go to bed thinking that I’m a genius.

This morning, with bated breath I switched the said laptop on … still working !! I still can’t believe it worked, but work it did, and I’m one happy, ecstatic, cocky bunny and think I can do anything  !!

Just lazy … that’s all … or maybe not …


I started to write this post on Friday, but put it off. I didn’t have a title then and was trying to think of reasons excuses why I haven’t posted since 5th July. And they were just excuses … ‘didn’t have time’ … ‘nothing to say’ … ‘too late/early/drunk/tired etc ‘ … you get the picture?  The only one that really seems to crop up the most is (not ‘too drunk’ although …) ‘nothing to say.’ I often sit down at one of my laptops, or the iPad with good intentions, and then nothing. So I’m going to try a bit harder over the coming months/weeks, after all now I have a paid blog, I need to get my money’s worth Be right back

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Now it may sound a little extravagant to have two laptops and an iPad, but there is a reason. Since I got my first PC back in 1995, I have had a money management application (or program as it was called back then) called Microsoft Money. It was discontinued some years ago, although Microsoft did bring out some cut-down versions, but I understand even these are now extinct. It has always worked fine with the upgrades up until Windows 8.1 came out and users were advised that ‘some’ software would not work properly in future editions of Windows. I don’t use it as part of my online banking as it never really worked with my bank, it just keeps a record of my future, past and present incomes and expenses. A a pinch I could use a spreadsheet, but I think that over the years, it would get a little unwieldy.

A couple of years ago, I decided that my laptop was running very slow and convinced K*** that I needed a new one which I got. I thought it would be a good idea to keep the older one, just in case R***’s home laptop gave in. So the old one was consigned to a wardrobe shelf to gather dust. Then, along came Windows 10 and everyone was urged to upgrade with the free upgrade. This latest version was said to be the worst for compatibility of older software, so I held off upgrading for a long time. I then had a thought Thinking smile . What I should do is keep the old laptop on Windows 7 (which I knew would run the Money program) and upgrade my new(ish) laptop to the latest version of Windows 10. That way, if Money didn’t work I could always use the old laptop. Thankfully it did work and I now have Windows 10 on both machines. I’m still very wary when updates come out and I will not update the old laptop until I know Money works on the latest Windows version.

Everything comes to those that wait …


Well, that went almost as well as I could have expected. I finally bit the bullet (helped by a 30% discount) and upgraded Thinkingto from the Free Plan to a Personal Plan. I’ve been ‘umming and ‘ahhing since Christmas and missed the deadline for the last discount, Discountbut I finally took the plunge today. It was almost painless. The “hook” of 30% off didn’t work at first (think it was because I went through PayPal) but a quick chat with Customer Support and it was all sorted and a refund was issued. Pretty good customer service I must say.

So, the genie is out of the bottle as the saying goes. I’m quite giddy if the truth were known. I keep telling K*** that “I’m a Dot Com now! What do you think about that?” She of course is totally bemused by it all and a lot of ‘nodding and smiling’ is going on while she tries to look pleased for me. But I’m happy and that is all that matters.

Now what? I think (or possibly hope) that having paid good money, I should at least now have the required impetus to post more than I have been doing. I have tried with the ‘Daily Prompt’ but it sometimes leaves me uninspired. Here’s to an improvement, and maybe now I have 6GB to play with you may see more photos.

I just have to get Open Live Writer to update to the new domain and I’ll be even more pleased

Missed it …


It appears that on the last day of Winter and for “One Day Only”, the gods of WordPress were offering a 30% discount on upgrade plans. That would mean that I could upgrade to a Personal Plan, with all the benefits that comes with it for only £25.20 instead of the usual £36.00. And I missed it!

I’ve been undecided on whether to switch to a paid plan for sometime now and had I seen this offer, it would have been the push that I needed. K*** fails to understand why I would want to change. She doesn’t get the idea of my own domain name and more so “…why pay for something you have for free…” I explain all the reasons but if falls on stony ground I afraid.

But I have decided that I will upgrade. But it’s now a matter of when and not if!

Watch this space.

Have I answered my own query …


Last month, I posed the question about upgrading to a paid plan rather than the free plan I currently use. The type of blog I write is basically a random thought blog. I think of something or something is on my mind, and I write a few words about it. My wife’s argument was that I ‘…don’t write enough to warrant the fee …’ and my counter was that ‘…it would encourage me to write more…’ Now I’m not sure who wins that particular discussion as I think both are valid. But, and there always is a ‘but’ it’s been over three weeks since I felt the need to sit down and say something, so maybe my wife is correct. On the other hand would a fee encourage me? A lot more thought needs to go into this I think.

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Mrs H is out tonight. She has gone with her sister to see a musical play at the theatre in Leeds. R*** went on respite this morning, so I’m ‘Home Alone’ as the saying goes and pondering on what I want to eat. Do I have a bacon and eggs, maybe egg and chips or quite possibly something else and chips? K*** always says ‘Have something nice for dinner …’ and I always reply that I will. It will probably be fish-fingers again. It usually is fish-fingers! Or … I could go out! Now that would be different. But where would I go and what would I get to eat? I did it once, went out that is. It was when K*** was away for a few days back in 2015. I thought ‘I’m going out to eat!’ I ended up at a McDonalds and I ordered the same as I usually order. So it looks like the usual will happen and I’ll settle for fish-fingers (yawn…)

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Been doing a bit of decorating today. The hall and staircase was the task and I had to start with the ceiling. The ceiling has three levels decreasing in size as you come down the stairs. All the ceilings except for the bathrooms have a cornice. It’s a bit 90’s style, but it does break up the height a little. The real issue with decorating the hall and staircase is the access. It almost takes longer to move the ladders round the  area that it does to actually paint the thing. The second issue, and it’s almost big an issue the access, is seeing what you have painted. I’m putting white emulsion on top of white emulsion, so you can probably see where I’m coming from. Still it’s done. The next job is the walls and for that, I’m putting ‘Pale Hessian’ emulsion on guess what? Correct, Pale Hessian. Expect the same volley of bad language as before.

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The on-going saga of the eldest son’s relationship break-up continues. His ex-girlfriend has opted to go down the road of a formal ‘separation agreement’. It’s probably the wisest move as it will legitimise the break-up and all that goes with it, but it is a cost that he cannot afford. We’ve told him not to worry about it as I can cover the cost, but it doesn’t leave him with a comfortable feeling. He doesn’t see why we should get him out of what he calls ‘his mess-up’. We have tried telling him that’s what parents do, but he still finds it difficult. It is going to be a long few weeks ahead. The big issue is that he cannot get his own place until he has been removed from the mortgage/help-to-buy agreement, and that could be a long drawn out procedure. It shouldn’t be, but it could be, if his ‘ex’ does not get the correct advice. Watch this space.

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It has now been over a year since I retired. I’ve been looking for some part-time work, but I may have narrowed my options too far. I’m looking for no more than 12-14 hours per week, in a location around about 5 miles from home, with no weekend work. I gat an application pack for a post in the local council garden centre, but when I looked into it deeper, it turned out to be a ‘zero hours’ contract with no fixed working days. Basically I could be working, for example 20 hours one week then nothing for the next couple of weeks. Just not what I wanted at all, and I’m not sure I want to work in a garden centre.. I’ve an application in to work as a receptionist at a local doctors surgery, but I’m not holding out much hope. When have you ever seen a male doctors receptionist?

A bit of a quandary …


I’m going through a ‘should I … shouldn’t I?’ period at the moment. I’ll explain. I have had my WordPress blog for a few years now. I think I saw somewhere that it has been up and running since 2009. It’s a free plan and it looks like I’ve used around 3% of my allocated free space, which does not seem much. I have around 100 followers and have posted around 750 times. I have no posting schedule and no particular theme. So basically, I post what I want to, when I want to.

Back to the ‘quandary’ In the title of this post. One of my failings with this blog (in my opinion) is that I don’t post regularly. A friend has advised me that the reason for this is that it’s free! He claims, that if I had to pay a fee then I would either stop all together or make the most of it. Now, I enjoy doing what I do now, so stopping would not be on the table, but giving me another incentive to post might, just might be a good idea.

I have been looking at the Personal Plan upgrade as an option. The Business Plan is not something I need (I’m not a business) and the Premium Plan seems to be too advanced for the type of blog I write. So the question I’m asking, is it worth spending that £36.00 a year? My wife thinks I don’t use my blog enough to warrant the expense and tends to glaze over when I mention domain name, ad free etc. My current thoughts are that the increased storage would allow me to upload more/better photos for example, and I quite fancy having my own domain name.

I shall have to make a decision soon and I’m leaning toward upgrading but …

That’s a relief …. well sort of ….


   The software upgrade went as well as can be expected, with only one problem. Wrong build !!! The version was correct, but the build was wrong. As a consequence, certain parts of the software failed. So who’s fault was that ? The software house for sending the wrong client build?? Our IT department for packaging the wrong client build??? Well the IT department will say, that they packaged the client build that they were sent. I can believe that that could be the case. However (enter Hercule Poirot) the upgrade files that had been copied to the server, contained the correct client build !!!!! So the dilemma is, where did the wrong build come from, and why are there two builds ??? Once again I feel the answer is down to a lack of communication between the software house and our IT department. The next major project, is moving the whole data file structure to the new SAN storage area. This time, I will take a more pro-active role, and will insist on a detailed project plan. This will not go wrong.

   On a different tack, the eldest rang his Mum today, to apologise for his money mismanagement. I don’t know if he meant it, but no one asked him to ring, so maybe there is something there.

   My ‘Speed Awareness Course’ invitation came through today. I need to log on to a website to arrange a course and pay the £60.00 course fee. I’ve been getting lots of ‘expert’ advice people who have been in the same situation. Advice ranging from challenging the accuracy of the speed camera, to pay the fine, but send £60.01p !!! Apparently, the latter will stop the points going on, as the police cannot send me a refund for a penny, and they cannot keep the penny, so the point do not go on. Do I look stupid !!!! If they cannot process they payment, because of something I have done, then the law says that ‘I have failed to pay the fixed penalty’ and the case will proceed to court. End of story.

Hmmmf


   A little pissed off tonight. The eldest’s bank statement came today (it is addressed to here) and it shows that he is overdrawn. He has been over his overdraft limit, and so has a £25.00 charge. Mrs H is a little upset to say the least. He just does not seem to get it. You cannot spend what you don’t have !!! He must be one of the minority in Uni, that does not have some kind of job. He claims, that there isn’t any, but you need to get off your arse and go and look for a job !!!!! It is no good going into a couple of shops/bars with a CV, and expecting them to welcome you with open arms. He needs to walk the streets of the City, and ask in every shop/bar/supermarket/pub, and keep on doing that until he finds one. There might not be a job today, but tomorrow there might be !!!!

   Tomorrow is a big day. The famous software upgrade! I was full of expectation, until I heard who was doing the work. W*** !!! this guy leaves a lot to be desired. He talks very slowly (with a slight West Country accent), and leaves me with a lot less faith than I had yesterday. Some of the questions he was asking, I would have assumed that those questions had been answered. The test upgrade went reasonably well, but there were issues there too, although they were sorted at the time. I would have thought, that the person who did the test would have been the ideal person to do the upgrade. I await the outcome with baited breath.

A good deal ..


   I got the car service and MOT done today. No major problems, except one with the rear suspension. Apparently ‘one of the bushes on one of the suspension arms had too much movement’ which partly failed the MOT. All gibberish to me, but it was a similar thing with the front suspension last year. It appears that this is one of the things with the Ford KA, but speed humps accentuate the problem even more. Still, they ( K & M Motors, Nowell Lane, Leeds) did a good job, and I’m satisfied. At £190.00 for a full service and MOT seems like a good deal to me. Looks like I’ll get a better deal with the insurance, if I go with ESure too. That means that the tax will be the only thing I paying through the nose for.

   I was supposed to be doing a User Acceptance Test (UAT) on the upgrade to our system tomorrow. However, due to a slight communication breakdown (don’t you just love that phrase), our IT department were blissfully unaware, that the software house needs to do some configuration work first. The UAT has been put back until the 6th. It is crazy really. No-one else has to go through this fuss with an upgrade.

   Most people are beginning to get to grips with the change to our email system. Saying that, quite a few did not migrate last week as expected. They all claim, that they did not get the ‘upgrade email’ from IT, but I have my doubts about that. IT knows which office everyone works from, and the migration was office based. I have a very strong suspicion, that the ones who did not migrate, did either failed to do the online training (which was compulsory) or failed to action the upgrade email. Of course, everyone denies this !!!!

Friday part 2 ……


I was checking whether I could upgrade my phone contract, before the 18 months is up. It would appear that I can do this, so long as it is not a cheaper contract, but I need to do it at least 24 hours before the date of my bill. Anyway, that is not the whole story. Whilst I had it in mind, I decided to check S****’s account. Horror !! His account was showing a spend of over £17.00. Now to say, at the beginning of the week he had a £4.50 credit, this was a hell of a shock. It would appear that he ‘accidentally’ subscribed to something he did not intend to. I don’t believe it. Mrs H rang him tonight, which I don’t think was a good idea. It left her feeling more down that she was before. They are both going to have to learn. Him to ring more often, for now at least 3 times a week. For her, just to wait for him to ring.

R*** has been fine again today, up until about half past six. Then as per usual we had an episode. Then another one around nine o’clock, and another one just around quarter past ten. As usual, no apparent reason.

Well the week is now over, and I haven’t been tempted to log into the work network. That’s not entirely true. I was tempted … but I did not relent. I’m dreading seeing the mess that will be left on my desk. I did check my mobile though. There only seemed to be the usual network problems.

No lottery win again. I seem doomed to fail at this. Neither ‘lucky-dip’ or my so called system works. I think for tomorrow, I will pick some significant numbers and try that for a week or two.

The problem I am having with Windows recycle bin has not been resolved. The ‘Ask Leo’ site has not come up with anything yet. Not that I expected it to. This is the second question I have asked and got no reply. I think I will post it on ‘The Elder Geek’ forum page. That usually elicits a reply of some kind.

Why do I get weirdo’s following me on Twitter. I can go for days without any new followers, then just buses, they all come at once. Three tonight. All of them trying to ‘help’ me make money on the internet. Go Away Spammers !!!!

Is it only Tuesday ……


This week seems to be dragging already, and it’s only Tuesday. It feels like it should Thursday. Had a quick look at the appraisal preparation form today, to try and get ready for the meeting. It all looks totally inappropriate for the work I do. So a fun (sic) will be had by all.

Oh did I say things were getting easier. Well they are not. Mrs H spent the afternoon trying to ring S****, only to find out, when she did get through (at around 4pm) that he had just got up. She was not best pleased. If this goes on much longer, I am just going to have to be quite blunt, and tell her to leave him alone !!!! It’s harsh, but he is never going to be able to break free at this rate. Mind you, if it is bad now, it is going to get a lot worse, when the other one has to go.

And so to the on going saga of the pedometer. I sent an email to the coordinator, V**** this morning. After wearing the damn thing from around 6:30 until 9:00, I had done a grand total of 7 steps. Within minutes, V**** sent a group email to explain, that there were serious problems with the kit. It would appear, that the supplier had sent us the ‘Christmas Cracker’ version,when we had paid for the deluxe version. The supplier claimed it was an innocent mistake, but V**** did not seem convinced. So the general consensus was, that we should start again with the initiative, next month, when the correct pedometers arrive.

I had a look at the upgrade for my mobile phone this afternoon. My contract is up toward the end of September, so I’m looking to Nokia E71 upgrade the phone to a ‘smart-phone’, the Nokia E71, and also change the the plan. I’m currently on a plan that gives me 300 minutes or texts, plus 300 minutes on ‘3 to 3’. A kind of ‘mix and match’. The plan I’m looking at will give be 200 minutes, unlimited texts, unlimited 3 to 3 and unlimited internet. The word ‘unlimited’ is of course incorrect as Three impose a fair usage policy. But It should give me a lot more freedom. I could change now, but I could not get the benefits of the plan, until my next bill is due, and as it would only be a month to the end of the current contract, I may as well wait.

Going back to work, I managed to get a photo of G*** dozing whilst at work. I am tempted to post it here, but she does not know about it, so it would not be fair. I said a week or two ago, that she was asleep, only to be told “I’m not asleep, just meditating”. I muttered something about snoring and meditation not going together, but regretted it quite quickly .. ha ha.

I think that will do for now.