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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Computer Travails Continue

This is Steven Petrick posting.

I continue to miss my old, now dead, computer. When it worked, my life was so much simpler and work was much easier to do. We were old friends, more or less used to each other's little foibles and oddities. Both the new computers that I now need to do my job (three if you count this one) provide constant problems and headaches.

The computer on which I do my normal internet stuff has lots of weird items in its internet programs.

One of them is this:

If I copy a lot of text from our board and paste it into a Word document, it provides special formatting for all of the "who posted and when" titles. Every "by john doe on 15 october 2013 at 1900 edit" line comes in encapsulated in a blue box. No combination of computer commands in Word will eliminate this blue box (I can eliminate the color, but the box in face remains, even if I specifically tell "borders" to go away). Worse, this box is exempt from all other commands, thus if I change the page layout to columns, the boxes exempt themselves from the command and extend into the adjoining column.

I am required to either manually remove each box and its accompanying text and then manually type in the text in the box (so I can keep track of the authors and the dates things were sent), or I can carefully highlight the text of one message at a time on the board, and then after pasting that into the document, manually type in the author's name and when it was sent.

Even better, it deletes all of the line breaks in the messages except for these boxes -- which are all that keep everything I am cutting and pasting from becoming one massive block of text with no paragraph breaks. So once I copy text from the board, I have to do a series of manual searches to put back in breaks, and that is pretty much a "guess and by God" affair.

All of which as you might imagine is long, tedious, time consuming, frustrating, and detracts from getting work done on products. It also makes me shy away from doing it, which is why I have not yet cleaned out the tactics topics, because I have to do the above for each one of them.

With my old computer I just had to highlight the whole block of text and past it in and no weird formatting came with it and all of the paragraphs retained their breaks and spacing.

And you can see my previous post about how almost every action on our board requires multiple clicks. I click on a topic I want to read, no problem. When I am done reading it and want to leave the topic to go back to the board, EVERY SINGLE TIME it asks me if I am sure I want to do that (we cannot find anyway to make it stop doing this). About a third to a half the time even after I say "yes, I want to leave this topic" it will pop up and ask me again (we have found no rhyme or reason why it does this). Leaving a topic after I have posted a message (never mind posting a message in the topic which also brings its "are you sure" message) often has it ask me if I am sure I want to go back the main board or to someplace else.

Getting through the board is thus often a very time consuming and frustrating experience (and some of you have noted that occasionally the computer will "double post" my messages, and again we have no idea why it does this).

Today we set up the other computer to let me read the board to try to have some relief.

The good news is that it does down load topics without the "blue boxes" and retains the formatting of the messages when pasted into a document.

The bad news is that every time I try to post something, or enter the board, it also asks me if I am sure I want to do that.

So if you happen to see me, and I look frazzled and am constantly muttering imprecations against computers and their inventors, you will understand why.

For your own safety, do not ask me, if you are in the same room, how things are going with my computers . . . I am pretty sure I am dangerously close to a major psychotic break over all of this . . . at least I have noticed that SVC has been taking all of the pointy things out of my office and Leanna just removed my letter opener.