scribbles tagged ‘Neverland’

welcome Sparkle!

Monday, November 5th, 2012 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

Sparkle on my tableSparkle a ‘Champaigne’ coloured Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook running windows 7 home premium joins my list of personally owned computers, dating back to 2004. Hooray!

Here’s how it all started:

In 2004 my employer provided me with a really good laptop and didn’t mind me using it at home. No need for a 2nd computer.  Until a 17 year old Swedish exchange student moved into my life, my home. My official role was “Host Mother”.  I didn’t think I’d be chosen when I offered my skills to the local Scandinavian society:

I drink, I smoke, I work long hours, live alone with 2 cats and have absolutely no experience of being a parent or living with teenage kids except with my brother but that was over 20 years ago so it doesn’t really count. If she and her mother are OK with that then I guess we can work something out

Much to my surprise, and slight horror, they choose me – for a year. At work my Canadian manager  told me I was crazy.   Unconvincingly, I tried to reassure him:

She’s a half Finnish Swede, studying cookery, we’ll work something out


You’re crazy, I left Scandinavia to get away from the bossy women and you’re inviting one home!

When a 17 year old moves into your home, is studying at Redmond High School (almost everyone’s parents work at Microsoft), you have to make sure they’re equipped with a computer.  I bought a HP Compaq and set-up a home wireless for her. She would be able to do schoolwork with privacy in her room, or join me on mine downstairs. There were times when we sat next to each other on the Sofa using MSN Messenger to talk to each other.  It was surreal and fun. When she left, she left the laptop.

Quickly I got used to personalising the machine and not carrying my work laptop home.  I started blogging and met other people who had their own laptops and blogged. I was hooked.  Sparkle makes me smile, helps me to sparkle.

Meanwhile, a few of you may remember my blogging from these laptops:

  1. Tinkerbell Silver HP Compaq Windows XP Home  – suicide in 2006 (Motherboard failure)
  2. Darling Maroon Sony Viao Windows XP Home  – retired in 2008 (XP irritatingness – traded-in for Sparkle)
  3. Neverland Golden Sony Viao TT Windows Vista Professional – suicide in 2010 (Hardware failure – power socket – much loved and missed)
  4. Cupboard Maroon Sony Viao Netbook – Windows 7 Starter – suicide in 2012 (Hardware failure – Screen-crack, touchpad left-click not working, some keys getting fussy and CRAP performance. I never liked the Cupboard much)

Can you guess how long I expect Sparkle to last and the likely main cause of her demise?

welcome Sparkle!
4 votes rating 4.25

11 bits of fabulous banter »

the word is incompatible

Monday, November 29th, 2010 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

programsI used to have Microsoft Office 2003 installed on Neverland. I haven’t yet bothered putting it in the cupboard because I don’t have the patience to wait for 7 years worth of updates to install. Many of my files are word files, (.doc). When I tried to open them in the Microsoft Works Word processor it didn’t recognise their format, neither did wordpad.


Scritti Politti sang the Word girl

rate wendys scribble

what do you think of that »

please welcome the cupboard

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010 | tags: , , , , ,  |

my new cupboardNeverland has retired. Hardware failure due to wear and tear. She will be donating her organs to my home network. Screwdrivers at the ready!

Please welcome Neverland’s replacement, Cupboard. Neverland was a top of the range Sony Viao TT with fab processor, delicious styling, lightweight gorgeousness. She was yummy. Cupboard is a cheap Windows 7 starter Netbook, smaller and heavier than neverland. Another Sony Viao, I’m a bit of a brand loyalist. Lets hope the cheaper hardware is more robust.

Differences I noticed before purchasing when I tried the Netbook in the Sony store:

  • More pushy – The key-push experience needs slightly more push, the keypad is not as sesnisitve. A subtle quality thing. More pressure is also needed on the ‘mouse’ keys.
  • Small but chunky– despite being smaller than the Viaio TT the Viao netbook is heavier and thicker.
  • Skinned windows XP – Windows 7 Starter looks like a visual treatment overlay on Windows XP. Yuck. That’s really ugly, like an old person dressing in clothes for a smaller teenage person.
  • Easy file transfer is possible.

So EXCITED about getting to use the CUPBOARD, what little suprises will she have IN STORE for me!

rate wendys scribble

3 bits of fabulous banter »

symptoms of aging

Thursday, September 16th, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

Neverland is collecting symptoms of aging, the sort of symptoms that make me consider replacing a computer. 2 years old and is very well travelled. And worn.

Wear and tear includes but is not limited to:

  1. In Italy she took a bit of a beating and parts of her hinge and lid case fell off.  I managed to push them back on but her lid has been a bit ‘rattly’ ever since.
  2. Tonight I accidentally trod on the power-chord connector pushing the metal protuding plug into the rubber casing.  A pair of pliers have temporarily solved this problem but the power cable keeps falling out of the socket when its plugged in on my lap.

Of course there is always the lure of something special and new, perhaps an ipad, a netbook, a Dell Streak, an Acer somethingorother?

symptoms of aging
1 vote rating 4

what do you think of that »

Error of the week

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |

Which of this weeks ‘errors’ do you think should win my error of the week award,   and why?

  1. Transient notification of a ‘USB Device Not Recognised’?
  2. Network Diagnoistics ‘Windows tried a repair but a problem still exists’?
  3. Or the classic old favourite from IE8 ‘Internet Explorer has stopped working’?

Still a problemUSB Device MalfunctionWindows closed IE

rate wendys scribble

4 bits of fabulous banter »

laptop dancing

Thursday, June 11th, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

A phrase uttered by a radio presenter to describe the new use of an ex magic shop, a place for   ‘Laptop Dancing’ .  

Do I hear you ask:

Is this a place where sequin and spandex covered laptop computers  bounce around in close proximity with young upcoming professional people on underfloor-lit dancefloors to a funky disco beat?

Here’s a couple of young professionals practicing their laptop dancing :

One of their commenters sums up this new cultural phenomena  rather well using new-english:

wahey!!! this is gonna be huuuuge in the future!! Just get out ya fackin’ laptop beast out sum choonz, whack it on ya shoulder and jus fackin dance!!! awoooooooooogaaaaaa!!!!!!!”

rate wendys scribble

1 wonderful musing »

stopped working

Sunday, June 7th, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |

Outlook Stopped WorkingAt least I get diversity from my regular doses of reactionary software,   it’s like the early 1970’s all over again, retro-chic software on a 3 day week working to rule.   Your guess is as good as mine over what rule it will work to.

At least Windows is acting as an arbitrator, looking for a solution on my behalf,   this is on top of the 169 problems it recently investigated on my behalf.

rate wendys scribble

1 wonderful musing »

bad request

Saturday, June 6th, 2009 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Dad:   you can make elecronics stop working just by walking into a room
Wendy:   I thought I was being paranoid
Dad: No.   Not Paranoid. You have a talent for disrupting electronics
Wendy: thanks dad,  its good to know I’m not paranoid

Bad Request XULRunner stopped working connection failed

rate wendys scribble

4 bits of fabulous banter »

problem reports and solutions

Friday, June 5th, 2009 | tags: , , , , , , ,  |

169 problems!Windows Vista provides problem reports and solutions. That  is helpful for people who want to try and fix something now, cheaply.   We don’t have to  pay for a service specialist or spend hours fiddling in the depths of the control panel.  This  is quite nice of them.   Or is it?

All Neverland’s 169 reported problems are atribbuted to Windows rather than other applications.   Should I be alarmed by Windows?  Or, iIs this because other programs don’t use the Windows  problem reporting system or is it because Windows has an infinitely  higher problem rate?

On planet wendy there are no problem reportsbecause the program causing the problem would receive the report, fix it then make me a cup of tea and compliment me on my choice of frock.

rate wendys scribble

3 bits of fabulous banter »

crowd averse

Sunday, May 31st, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |

Quiet cobbled streetCanterbury has more than its fair share of  people roamng the streets on a sunny summers day.   I often shy away from areas that are clearly main attractions during their busy hours.   I’m drawn down the empty streets and alleys.    Generally empty streets are not lined with shops, museums or cathedrals.     Often they do provide other pleasant suprises.   This is one of the alleyways thay  pulled me from the busy streets of beautiful Canterbury.

empty riverside restaurantDown one such alleyway I found this fabulous rivebank restaurant,   disguised as a  stone shed, with few windows with flag-stone floors,   old beamed ceilings, a charming French waitress, an  excellent menu and no other customers.

Eric, Neverland with a picture of Matrix  and a Swedish speaking  Florence joined me for a delectable meal.

rate wendys scribble

1 wonderful musing »

not OK

Sunday, April 19th, 2009 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

Microsoft Visual C + + Runtime Library (MVCRL) kindly burst this  little message onto Neverland which left me

SCARED:    an  exclamation mark,   a red circle with white cross and   the word ‘error’.   This looks serious.   Something is broken.


  • application?   do I need to rub lanolin on my computer?
  • runtime?   do I need to run somewhere and time it?   what does this mean?   Why am I being told it?
  • Did it get stuck in the stack overflow?
  • Why tell me?

INSTRUCTED:   to contact IE7 and, or, MVCRL support teams for more information looks like I should  know more.

UNINFORMED: how do I contact them,   how do I find out how to contact them?

IE 7 runtime errorIf the Microsoft IE7 team’s program (application?)  is going to make unusual requests to the Microsoft VCRL team’s program (application?) it should do it directly without hassling me to learn technical jargon and find out how to contact them then PAY for the pleasure of talking to them because they can’t be bothered to talk to each other before shipping software that produces errors and causes me emotional distress.


rate wendys scribble

1 wonderful musing »

Neverland’s first virus

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 | tags: , , , , ,  |

In keeping with the winter season of Norovirus bugs, flus and colds, yesterday Neverland got her first virus. I’m still not sure what exactly happened and how I fixed it, this is our story.


  • IE7 kept opening tabs with facebook as the homepage – signed into my facebook account.
  • Killing the IE process in the task manager didnt help – IE just fired more and more browser windows until all the processing power was used.

Is that some sort of script? How did I get it? I’ve got the fancy new Windows Vista User Account Control. I washed my hands before and after handling Neverland, I even did the laundry, my life is just THAT exciting and risky.

What Wendy did after the virus experience

  • Opened the start menu and typed ’system restore’ into the start search.
  • Restored the system for yesterday, before the virus.
  • Waited while the restore happened.
  • Opened IE and removed facebook as a homepage tab.
  • Ran a scan with my defualt (free with Neverland purchase for 30 days) virus software (MacAfee).
  • Opened Windows defender, discovered that it is turned off by default on the machine from Sony. Tush. Turned it on and ran it – No problems showed up with the ‘quick scan’.

Good to know that the fabulous system restore took me back just one day and pre-illness. If only life was that simple! I still don’t know how I caught it in the first place…. …and now I’m supersticious about opening Facebook, I’m not planning on doing it until someone’s told me what probably happened and how to avoid it happening again…..

rate wendys scribble

what do you think of that »