Technology in the Present

GUI Search
GUI Search

LAKE MACBRIDE— To support a couple of significant projects, more computing capacity is needed in our home on the lake. It seems unlikely any funds will be disbursed to support the projects. Rather, old computers and equipment will be located, resurrected and deployed in a way to create a couple of new work stations and bring focus to these new intentions. What does that mean?

Like many who have been on-line since the mid-1990s, we bought, sold, donated, gave away and recycled a significant number of computers. I lost count, but over the years, at least 20, with a number of them still in the house. At first, the trouble was finding a way to dispose of them without tossing them in the landfill. Some were given to a local political activist for potential use in campaigns. Too, for a while we donated old equipment to Goodwill, and now, they have a local specialty store called Reboot that will take old computer hardware and recycle it. In the case of those remaining at home, ample storage space and entropy have accumulated ten CPUs or so. There are plenty of working processors for new projects.

What are the projects? Two are most important. First, there is the persistent need of consultants to focus on business development. Determining how we will pay the bills and seek fulfillment at the same time requires a minimum number of distractions. For this, I chose an old laptop the battery charging function of which ceased to work and is too expensive to repair. It works fine while plugged into an electrical socket. Whatever work is not backed up may be at risk, but that can be addressed with good backup habits.

Secondly is a big writing project that requires a focus on words on a screen. For this project, no Internet access is needed or wanted. Regardless of the information available on the web, the craft of writing is done a word or phrase at a time, and distractions of any kind are unwelcome. For this work station, I picked a CPU returned from a family member with a monitor returned from another. The main challenge will be getting the same version of Microsoft Word installed on all three CPUs without feeling guilty about using the same license on more computers than the software package allows. There is also the issue of finding the disk, which eludes me at present and will eventually show up (I hope).

Operating systems? The desktop CPU has Windows XP, and the two laptops have Windows 7. XP is on the writing CPU, so that will take me into a different world when I boot up, and that may be okay. Regrettably, it has a 2002 version of Microsoft Word on it, and that’s too different from the 2007 version on the other two.

All of this is minor accommodation to a person who continues to recall the MS-DOS command prompts, and using computers before the introduction of the graphical user interface. One suspects people don’t even recall what is a GUI, but they have gotten much better.

Just about done with the setup, so now, let the working begin, he said hopefully.