I headed over to Walsall yesterday afternoon. I’d been asked to upgrade an ME machine to XP, and there were a few smaller problems on a different PC. I was planning to stop at PC World to buy an XP upgrade, but realised that I’d be passing a Currys that was far less out of my way. I walked in and was trying to find the software section when somebody senior-looking passed by:
He: Was there something you were looking for?
Me: Hi. Do you sell Windows XP?
He: We should have that, yes.
Me: Great, I need the upgrade version…?
He: An upgrade?
Me: Yeah, so I can go from Windows 98.
He: [beat] You’ve lost me, I’m afraid. They’re two separate programs. You can’t upgrade them.
Me: Ok, but I have Windows 98 already, and I just need to upgrade it to XP.
He: [looks at me like I am sprouting horns] You just want a copy of Windows XP, then?
He transferred me to another member of staff, who dug around in a cupboard and the first box he pulled out was an XP Home Upgrade. Lucky.
The motorway was remarkably clear and the journey didn’t take as long as I’d feared. The various computer problems turned out to be fairly minor, happily. One had been described as ‘I can’t delete blocks of text in Word’, so I typed some gibberish, highlighted it and pressed delete. Word promptly placed a message in the taskbar that said ‘Delete Block? No (Yes)”, with no obvious way to select either option. This was a new one on me, and after drawing a blank in the options a quick google revealed it to be the ‘Help for Wordperfect Users” setting. Strange.
Thanks to the wonder of Hettie the TomTom I didn’t have to worry about finding my way, but the return journey was dreadful nevertheless. It was pouring with rain at rush hour on the M6, and my brain was a little frazzled after three hours of upgrading and reconfiguration, but didn’t go too badly until I took the wrong exit off a roundabout. Hettie was calmly telling me to turn around, but somebody behind me decided that despite heavy rain, darkness and the speed limit, I should be going faster. It was too busy for him/her to overtake, too dark for me to see turnings / laybys far enough in advance to pull in, and too wet to have much time to look anyway. That lasted about ten minutes, during which time I got myself more and more worked up, until I finally ditched the guy when the road split into two lanes. Hettie then, as ever, cut across country using the smallest wombat trails she could find, but did bring me out onto a main road within a mile of Stratford, which was quite impressive. I arrived home at 2000, realised that the last thing I felt like was waiting half an hour for a pizza to cook, so went to Burger King. Not healthy, or even terribly warm, but sometimes it’s just the Thing To Do.
I’d managed 700 words before leaving that morning, and another thousand seemed like a daunting prospect. It took me an hour to settle into a rhythm, but by one o’clock had reached 2300, my highest daily total so far. I’m still behind the recommended total, but slowly catching up. I find it easier to write when it’s late, although I can tell while doing so that the quality isn’t up to daytime standards. Ah well, I’ll fix that in the edit 🙂