They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me
dr_phil_physics

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Compute Modes

There are times I cannot figure out computers -- and I am a computer professional! Of course, maybe I should amend that. It's consumer computers that are the problem. Real computers are much more functional and straightforward, though still run by companies who have scurvy for brains.

For example... I've been using Norton Anti-Virus for a long time. Basically since the Windows 95 era began for us in the fall of 1996. For the previous ten years, I'd been using dial-up connections to specific email systems and BBS bulletin board systems like OPUS -- didn't really need anti-virus in those early 4.77 MHz halcyon days of The IBM Personal Computer. Somewhere along the line Peter Norton evaporated and the thing came under the Symantec umbrella. Is NAV the best anti-virus out there? Debatable, but it usually gets top choice ratings from PC Mag, etc. And I am used to how it works, within the variations from year to year.

So I'm coming up on the end of the current subscription -- a 3-user NAV 2014 download -- 22 days left. Apparently for 2014 there were nine different NAV product lines. For 2015? There are two. Norton Security and Norton Security with Backup. Found this out because I had an email from Amazon.com about a special deal through the end of the month. The $79.99 Norton Security download for $19.99. It's supposed to cover "a family's worth of computers", but what exactly does that mean? From a PC Mag review, it seems that Norton Security covers five machines -- any combination of PC, Mac or Android. Okay... I've got NAV 2014 running on SUMMER (the tiny Win XP SP2 Fujitsu UMPC), ZEPPELIN (Wendy's Toshiba Win 7 SP1 laptop). Right now, two work related machines I own, LARA (HP Win XP SP3 netbook) and KATNISS (Asus Win 7 SP1 netbook), are running the University's Symantec Protection, which is similar to NAV. There's a side issue with the ZoneAlarm firewall I usually run -- it no longer updates in Win XP -- and Norton Security runs its own firewall, rather than depend on Microsoft Kick-Me patented architecture.

My other other work machine, OUEST, runs the Symantec Protection as well, but it's owned by the College of Arts & Sciences and I'll be damned if I'm putting a dime into protecting their machine.

Amazon and Symantec are making Norton Security available for cheap? Sure. I'll bite. I have three weeks to get this done... just about the time I'm finishing turning in grades. Actually I'll probably do ZEPPELIN Real Soon Now, but put off SUMMER for a bit in case the installation screws something up.

What? I don't trust companies I've bought products from for nearly thirty years? You bet! There was that time that NAV found a fault on WINTER, my previous office machine, and told me to run this hammer-and-tongs download program to clean things up. Turned out that what it wanted to do was delete all of my pre-Windows XP software that I depend on, like Office 95 Professional and Ulead PhotoImpact. Eventually I figured out that if I just copied the deleted files from SUMMER to WINTER, it would work and it did.

Or Windows XP Service Pack 3, which screwed up my printer drivers so that Office 95 wouldn't print to a printer (and in fact crashed when you tried to print) on KATSUMI. I either had to print to a PDF on another machine and then print out of Adobe Acrobat, or edit in Word/Excel 95 and then print in Office 2003... Yes, an update to a Microsoft operating system fucked up my installation of a Microsoft product. Or it was a deliberate attack against their old code.

Then there's my Happy songs playlist on Amazon Music, now up to 56 songs and 4.2 hours of playtime. I run that on my Kindle Fire HDs at home and work, and also ZEPPELIN, LARA and OUEST. Now LARA only has a 16GB SSD solid state HDD, so I run the music off of Amazon's servers -- no problem especially with the 100/1000 Mbps RJ-45 network connection. I recently started using my Sony closed cell headphones with ZEPPELIN, so I wanted to download the Amazon Music software, which worked fine on OUEST, another Windows 7 machine.

Alas, for some reason, the webpage for my Amazon Music never displayed the Download program option. Until just about an hour ago. And now the program is running just fine.

Except it downloaded only 14 of the 56 songs to ZEPPELIN and then stopped. Go figure...

I love computers.

Dr. Phil
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