2 June 2010

More Crashes

It was ironic that on the day Apple overtook Microsoft as the world’s ‘biggest’ technology company, the PCs in our house decided to go on strike in sympathy. They’re all Windows PCs of course!

First, my luxurious HP Pavillion Entertainment PC in glossy piano black, bought in New York only two years ago started going all funny. It wouldn’t recognize its own speakers so it became a silent PC, but strangely if I plug some speakers into the USB port, it blasts away quite happily. Apparently a well-known Vista problem but so far Microsoft have not come up with a solution! Occasionally, just occasionally, the speakers start working without any warning which can be quite disconcerting and embarrassing depending on who is in the room and what I’m listening to. So frustrating!

And then my screen decided that it liked the designer Paul Smith so much that it made my monitor all stripy. The colours were absolutely stunning and it was uncanny how closely the screen resembled one of his designs (see picture – this is a Paul Smith image) but as for seeing my spreadsheets and reading the Daily Telegraph on-line, no chance!

Again, if I switched the PC completely off and prayed to the big technology god in the sky (Bill Gates ??), my normal screen would return but only for an hour or so and then the stripes would come back. And yet when I plug a separate monitor into my PC, it works fine! So frustrating and yet another known problem with HP laptops!

And then, as if they’d been listening to me, HP decided to send through some software updates. These loaded …….. and then my PC crashed! There was nothing for it but to return my PC to a version of its software which had been copied several days ago. It took about 2 hours but when switched on, Paul Smith had gone. My speakers still don’t work, ooops, wait a minute, they’re working again, oh not they’re not - but who cares – I can read The Telegraph again.

So I was happy, but then Kitty’s PC came up with one of those errors (can’t locate Kernel.dll) with a message on the screen which positively screams – don’t even bother trying to fix this!

And so for the last few nights Guy and I have tried to repair Kitty’s blood red Dell Inspiron. We’ve had to clear all her drives of the thousands of pictures she’s taken (and no – kids don’t even think of backing up to a memory stick) and all the other software on the PC to try and reload a version of Windows. So far it’s not worked. Looks like I’ll have to take a trip down to Antibes where Wolfgang, an ex-PC engineer repairs what Guy and I cannot.

And then just as I’m thinking that at least my PC is working, the screen goes all wonky again but the speakers start working!

So – good for Apple. I’ve never had one (apart from my iPhone and an iPod) but I bet they don’t cause as much grief as PCs and that Windows rubbish!

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