Many people ended the year and decade at parties celebrated the New Year,
Others had to work.
A deployment of Marines with two Skyhawk helicopters spent New Year’s Eve en route to the embattled American Embassy in Baghdad to aid diplomats and staff holed up in a safe room as Iraqi dissidents stormed the Embassy shouting “death to Americans” and vowed to stay until Americans left the country.
I worked through the night on a malfunctioning upgrade of Windows Pro 7 to Pro 10 for a client in my side job as a technical consultant. I wasn’t alone. A search on Google found more than Seven million “hits” of posts by others facing many of the same problems. Two Windows “Advocates” from Microsoft spent more than seven hours on the phone and inline chats trying to fix the problems.
Their advice? Give up, back up the data (which is done automatically via Carbonite) and install Windows 10 on a clean drive.
Unfortunately, that also means reinstalling every program on an office network system — a time-consuming experience that is complicated by trying to download any updates to programs that have served the office for several decades and, at a time at the end of the year when the computers need to be working on many projects.
As of last night, I have more than 90 percent of the system working but I will spend today reinstalling missing Windows Apps one at a time, a long process.
This is why I use Macs for my work. My wife depends on the Chrome operating system for her laptop. Microsoft’s operating system went out of our windows a long time ago.
Oh, we still have a Windows system in the den for use for consulting work on clients who depend on that OS. It has a functioning Windows 10 OS, but with so many different brands of computers with so many different motherboards and setups, some computers function find with Microsoft but others do not.
Which is why I work with others to help them deal with their computer problems.
It’s an odd thing to do for a 72-year-old broken-down newspaperman but I got into personal computers in 1981 with the purchase of a Radio Shack TRS-80, then an Apple II, an Atari 800 and, reluctantly, the first IBM PC. I became the computer guru for the Congressmen I worked for and, as an early user of the first Macintosh, became the Mac Man for Capitol Hill in a feature in MacWorld magazine.
I helped the National Association of Realtors set up its first PC-based network for their Washington office while working there from 1987-1992 as vice president for political programs and later set up a web hosting company for several DC-based operations.
Since leaving Washington in 2004, where we survived the conspiracy theory that said all computers would shut down at the turn of the century, we left our home of 23 years and resettled in Floyd County. I became the web host for several local internet sites, including the blogs of Fred First and Colleen Dewhurst and companies like The Floyd Country Store, Crenshaw Lighting, Sustain Floyd and Oddfellas Cantina. I sold that web hosting business several years ago but continue to host the local bloggers, Sustain Floyd and Pine Tavern, among others.
And I help some business owners with their computers. The operating systems for PCs have evolved over the decades and I had offices running smoothly o Windows 7 Pro until Microsoft forced all users of that operating and network system to switch to Windows 10 no later than Jan. 20 of this year because they would abandon all support and updates for Version 7.
It has caused a nightmare for many users. If you use Google to search for “problems upgrading to Windows 10,” the search machine shows 307 million instances when I checked this morning.
So I will be spending New Year’s Day dealing with those problems.
Have a Happy New Year and let’s hope 2020 will be a better one than 2019.