i'm still here ... amended

... and considerably less sticky than before. it's been so beastly hot that i haven't felt like blogging, though i HAVE been glued to my sticky computer. the consolidation binge has hit the technology level, and i've been working steadily on combining our two main computers so that we can get rid of both (and the 2 ancient ones) and get a laptop. i'm so tired of networking and maintaining and fixing and doing things that i don't really know how to do, but call friends and google like mad and all that. they're loud machines, at least in the 'come play with me!' sense and energy use and space use and all that.

(sorry i just realized this is going to be techie, so beware. i won't do it often!)

one old machine (non-working 8 yr old laptop that i think has a bad hd sector) is getting picked up by a friend this morning so she can see if her computer guy can fix it for her. one down!
m's machine, a 2-or-so-yr-old e-machine, has had all it's email (a LOT!) and contacts ported over to my HP, and put into Thunderbird, along-with-but-separate-from all my email/contacts, which have been moved into Thunderbird also. NO MORE OUTLOOK! I've been having compatibility issues with my Office 2003 and Vista, and can't afford to upgrade really, or more importantly don't want to. I'm tired of MS bloat and don't have the same compatibility needs as before. i only have one design client left, and they're pretty flexible. so I also dropped Office and moved to the free OpenOffice.org, and so far love it! I've played around in their impress, calc, and write programs, which are virtually identical to ppt, word, and excel. A few glitches, and a few this missing (like pivot tables in .xls which i used once, for our wedding list, and hated) that i don't think i'll miss. it's come a LONG way from when i first tried it a couple years ago.

the porting of m's email, from outlook express on WinXP, to Thunderbird on Vista, involved a dos-based utility that i managed to eventually figure out, run, workaround it's issues, and conquer! thankfully my brief forays into all things .dos came back to me, at least enough to navigate thru my folders and find the one i needed to work in. so relieved :)

so the upshot? with fear and trembling and a large amount of glee, i ordered a new, green, inspiron 1525 last night! dell had some deals, and i loaded it technically with ram and hd and all that, and stripped out the extras like Office and upgrades. I added a docking station so that for the most part I can use a real keyboard, monitor, mouse, and printer. But I'll finally, finally, be mobile! whee! this means a bit of financial wiggling, but it's feasable and not pushing things too much (provided we do get a subletter ... if we don't that's a whole other story, so far a couple leads ...).

the plan is to sell all 3 of our desktops, one of which is only 6 months old. i'm kicking myself mightily for not getting a laptop 6 months ago, when i was so generously offered help from 2 sources, but it felt unnecessary. with the move this summer, the unknown after that, and the number of times i've wanted to work away from the house, it seems like the best thing after all. I think realistically I can get half the cost of the laptop covered by selling them, on craigslist, before we move. the new machine has vista, as does this one (so i'm not totally microsoft free. love the idea of linux but too intimidate to make that change at this point) so the transfer of everything should be pretty easy. i still have to port michael's other files and a few programs over, and figure out his gmail, and wipe the old old desktop clean, but the harder stuff is done (i think :).

this is all thanks to m's steady job, his willingness to get rid of his computer, and i'm thanking God for both. that, and the cool night last night! the mini-storm wreaked some havoc, which i'll post a pic of later because if i do it now the boys will get no breakfast.

Amended to add ...
That umbrella used to be in the middle of the round table, and the fence is almost as high as that brick shed to the left. mary poppins indeed ...