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That's how they get ya..

I think I've seen the sneeky way in which the machines will take over. Call me a conspiracy theorist or tell me I'm over analyzing but I've figured it out. Not just that, I've let it happen to me whilst being fully cognisent of it, but submitting to it all the same.

My folks and Andy got me a laptop as a birthday present in 2013. I got it in November, a little ealry for my birthday, granted, point being not too long ago. 18 months or so and it was a new one, not a refirbished one (like my old one was). Unfortunitly it was new enough to be Windows 8 (grumble) which has been a cause of problems along the way in the time I've had it, but I won't get in to all of those. What I will say is that I was on the seemigly improved but aparently still spanners in the works 8.1 version.

Last week I was fixin' to go online to work on some QC research when I opened my laptop and I got a little pop up from HP about my warrenty being over and did I want to pay money to have it extended. I didn't outright decline, but I said remind me in 30 days (I think this was maybe my second time postponing that message). This is the common passive cheapskate move; a way to tell the computer, please don't judge me I still care about you can you just hold off on that expense right now, I'm busy. After closing that window, I tried to get online but was having limited access. I tried "turning it off and on again" and tried the troubleshooter but it was not connecting to the wireless. I figured maybe it was 'cause I was in that particular room but becasue Andy was sick at the time and napping I just gave up and watched telly. Later I was in the livingroom/dining room trying to get online again and no go. The laptop said it couldn't diagnose the problem, it didn't understand why it wasn't working. So I tried futzing with the modem this time. Still no go. Frustraiting. But I was home I could use the desk top. Fine.

Fast forward to my follow up meeting with Ryan to work on the website.My laptop was no connecting to the Cafe Vita wireless either. Ryan even pulled out an external wifi device and plugged it itnto my laptop and it wasn't even acknowledging that it was there. So Ryan started to help me get to wifi driver but I stopped him and said the website was more important to me and a better use of our time. I'm crazy excited about having a website for QC.

That was Sunday afternoon. When I got home I decided that I wanted to focus on the problem and figure it out. I tried going online and looked up solutions people suggested. Looks like the wifi driver going kaput after an update was a common problem for 8.1. However, trying to restore to previous updates did not fix the problem, godamnit. I went into the driver control center to try a fix suggested on the interwebs and instead made the problem worse.  Never trust a fix that says "some trial and error" is okay. My trial came to the error that I could not back out of and made the computer somehow forget what wi-fi was. It woudn't do anything driver related without an ethernet cable plugged in oops. I tried to do a restore where it would save my files, but that also did not solve the problem. It was becoming clear what I would have to do to get my driver back and working properly would be to back up everything and restore the factory settings.* However, if I did that I would lose my Office 2010 suite.

So there I was in this delima. A laptop is pretty useless without access to the internet. However, a laptop is equally useless without the software on which to work.**

A friend had given me the registration for Office Suite for both my laptop and our desktop, which was kind of her. I could not trouble her for it again. I would have to pony up the dough if I wanted Office suite. I priced what it would cost to get Office 2013 and it was more than I could spend at the moment.

Ever since I heard about Office 365, I've been against it. Sure we have many subscrition based services on the internet, but I felt that a subscription of a product like Office is just bullshit on principal. I feel for essential software, essentially "renting" your software is just dumb. I also had a problem with it being online and cloud based is in itself also terrible becasue It's hard enough when i can't work on the internet becasue of wifi problems, if my Office suite is web based then I literally can't do anything on my laptop if the wifi doesn't work. I feel that it is a big paradigm shift in our mindset from "owning" essential software to being comfortable "leasing" it and that shift involves possibly ulterier motives.

However now that I've been put in this pickle, while investigating my options, 365 was looking a bit more attractive to me. For one, it's cheaper at $70 instead of $215. Second it includes Publisher, which I use for the programs for QC and, since i didn't have Publisher on my home computer or laptop, I always had to work on those while at the theatre, usually day of the Friday show--when I'm at my most frantic and insane. If I had publisher I could put the information on from the comfort of my own home whenever I got it. I was looking into getting Publisher itself and it was over $100 for just that program. Finally it also indludes a terabyte of could space, which would be usefull to access my files from my various computers.

So I went for that option despite it going against my fundemental principles about software and ownership. And that is how they get you. They get you in between a rock and a hard place and you can't help but get so frustraited and at the end of your rope that you'll do whatever it takes because we are so reliant on the technology to get our shit done.

It's funny how we have our allegences to these things PC or Mac. I can work on both but I think I work more effectivly on a PC. To me it seems more intuitive. I don't like apples becasue I can't right click. I don't like them becasue they seem counter-intuitive. I don't like thier cult-like and willing to pay any price apple decreees for thier goods and services. I don't like how they always sacrafice utility in favor of design. I just I'm just practical like that, On a PC, I know my way around. Or at least, I mostly do, or rather I used to. I liked windows 7 but I'm stuck with Windows 8 which is just stupidly designed and generally rubbish. I get so frustrated when Microsoft decides to change the interface and fix what isn't broken. They start to frustrate me so much I wonder why I stay loyal to them. I guess it's becasue i don't want to pe a port of the other team. And really. lets face it. The other team does the innovations and team PC tries to copy. But why they got to copy so much? Be yourself PC be proud of being the one that values untility and accesability not elitie snobbery. Get your shit together and stop trying to be them becasue it's really pissing me off.

But again. Rock and a hard place. Where am I gonna go?

That's how they get ya.




*This might seem drastic and it's possible that there is someone out there is thinking "You should have done [such and such]." Well I'm aware it was drastic but becasue I was anxious about having it fixed myself as quckly as possible because I didn't want it being serviced or out of commission in the weeks leading up to QC. that's just unacceptable. I wanted it fixed asap.

** Sure we use Google Docs a lot for QC but I have other uses for Word like my writing and need spreadsheets for finances and other projects.

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