Techno-Twittiness

(attempting changes. Doing HTML. Hold on for dear life and please pardon the rough look in IE)

It is too a word. It derives from the noun Techno-Twit. Also a word. I know this because I invented it myself. Hey, if Stephen Colbert can get Truthiness into Mirriam-Webster, I bet with the collective powers of our minds/blogs, we’d be able to do the same for my little word. Who’s with me?!

Anyway, this past weekend was dedicated to a number of computer-related activities. To wit:

- Finally update to new Blogger template

- Select "decent photos", organize and edit same and upload to Flickr

- Create storefront on CaféPress

But before I move on to the likely boring tech stuff – feel free to ignore it if such things make your brain whimper, but if you know anything at all about computers, I would love some advice – I want to talk about the last item. A few people have asked me lately why I don’t do something with my photographs – y’know, to get them Out There (that’d be the Flickr aspect) and for a bit of potential income generation. Much as I love the idea in theory, this is where I start feeling awkward. I don’t want any of you to feel pressured into buying things – just because I slave over a hot stove in 80km/hr winds uphill both ways for your entertainment shouldn’t… Yo, you there! No, not you - the woman in the back who’s convulsing in a paroxysm of guilt while fumbling for her credit card? Yeah, you. STOP IT! I was kidding!!

See? Awkward. I’m a terrible salesperson. Anyway, I’ve created a few cards (might help if I added the bleedin' link) and can do other things on request - email me at landers5ATgmailDOTcom if you have a burning desire for a specific image/item (might also help if I gave you my correct email - this is why I don't write email/posts at midnight - it's the height of Blonde). As soon as I figure out how, I’ll make a link in the sidebar and then we can all go back to ignoring the crass commercialism. Oh, and let me know if the Flickr thingy in the sidebar slows down the blog too much and I’ll attempt to solve the problem (HA! Did I mention I’m a Techno-Twit?)

On to the tech issue. As is to be expected when you do something "simple and quick" related to a computer, this past weekend became a vast black void of timesucking devoted to fixing the consequences of the "simple and quick" . The Flickr thing went fairly well, but then disaster struck.

Sunday morning, I sat down at the computer to "just do a few more" (and I'm not quite sure why, as "just a few more" was exactly what had gotten me into some major pain issues the day before, so clearly, I can't be taught). Logged on to Picnik - brilliant site. Does many of the same things as Photoshop does, but for idiots and/or people who don't have time for the learning curve involved in Photoshop. I should mention that I have Photoshop Elements 3, kindly donated by my friend Andrew, but after loading it on my computer and whimpering at the perceived learning curve, not to mention hating how long it takes to load, I stuck my tail between my legs and went back to HP Image Zone Plus. Which although very basic, has served me well for several years... Where was I? Oh, yes. Picnik. Although the site had worked brilliantly all Saturday (where I'd used it to the point where I could imagine smoke coming off their server), I was editing my first image when my computer had some sort of seizure (I’ll spare you the details – it was ugly and traumatic) and afterwards, HP Image Zone Plus claims that "no images found". Liar.

So I did a system restore because it is the only way I know how to solve problems related to my computer’s innards. No luck. Not knowing what else to do, I did another one which also – big surprise - didn’t work and now there was some problem with Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Finally figured out what was happening with Dragon, fixed it, tried the software repair Wizard that came with my HP system, except it doesn't fix HPIZP and it appears that the blasted thing has been corrupted beyond repair and I have been dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, i.e., Photoshop, which I suspect I will enjoy eventually - especially after perusing the lessons given by The Queen of Self-Taught Photoshop - and likely even sooner than that (am so not admitting I’m already a bit charmed and I’ve barely done anything), yet remain somewhat bitter. I hate not having options, although apparently, it’s the only way to make me try something new.

After this debacle, I was looking for a success to bolster my tattered ego. “They” say it’s easy to upgrade to the new Blogger template (and equally easy to revert), which apparently will let me add nifty things like widgets (I am somewhat unsure about what, exactly, widgets are, but as they’re everywhere, it seemed like something I might want) and I did the upgrade. Wasn’t thrilled with the look, but decided to give it a whirl. Until AlisonH noticed all my comments had disappeared, the upgrade having left my old Haloscan comments in the dust. So I spent quite some time to find the "easy" way to revert to the old template and let me just tell you, although I did eventually locate it and yes, indeed, it was easy, finding the blasted button most assuredly was not. And all this just brings home the point that my computer has been wonky for some time and likely needs some sort of overhaul beyond my abilities. I’m currently battling a morally questionable urge to call my ex, the Tech God, and hold forth about how much I miss him, without necessarily starting the conversation with “and I have this computer problem….”. Also, I'm considering going back to pen and paper.

Here's where the advice comes in: I’ve done a Disk Cleanup and next, ought to defrag my hard drive. I’ve been a moron (did I mention I’m a Techno-Twit?) and haven’t done it monthly, as I should have, so it’ll likely take a while. Can you stop in the middle of a defrag and start again the next day or will that mess things up? Do I have to unplug my modem before I defrag? Also, I’m pretty sure I have to do a registry clean-up thingy, don’t know what belongs in my registry and what doesn’t and am terrified that I’ll “clean up” something essential. Is there an idiotproof program out there? And about Blogger… does anyone know how to keep your old Haloscan comments after the upgrade?

My everlasting gratitude in advance.

P.S. Wednesday afternoon: Yes, I know the sidebar looks like crap - although I sorta figured out certain HTML commands, I'm stuck. Must consult Blog God to achieve non-arsed look. Stay tuned.

P.P.S. Later: Looks better in Firefox, but now SUCKS in IE. Please bear with me.

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