I’m here with my second post. Now, I was going to do something sightseeing wise but when my mouse failed on Thursday afternoon, little did I know my subject matter would be handed to me.
I have an older computer and am known for killing them about every three years. This one recently hit the four year mark and the poor thing doesn’t know that its days are numbered. You may be wondering just how does one kill a computer. Frankly, I shouldn’t but I do. Generally what happens the darn little things just wear out. I’m the person its mother warned it about as I have many internet windows open as well as a few Word documents.
On any given day, I’ll have my four email accounts open, Blogspot, Facebook, Twitter, MarketMeSuite and links those emails have shown me. I usually crash the system at about 15 doucments and 50 internet windows. Yeah, you heard me...fifty...my husband hates me and computers because I totally tax their limits. But I’d been good recently, I’ve tried to keep things to about 10 documents and about 15 internet windows. I had to change to Chrome because Internet Explorer couldn’t hold it’s own at all.
I may be this way because I started as a computer type geek, playing all those early games that consisted of only words upon a screen and you made your own maps. I know what computer can and should do but I’m brutal to computers because I tax it to the max.
Since we’ve been in Vienna the only thing I’ve killed was the power supply. At least it didn’t explode like the last one. Lost my hearing for an hour with it and was very angry. Still, this machine has been having problems...things like not seeing the external drive I use for my documents...and not backing them up at all. Sigh. So when my mouse died, I really wasn’t surprised because I couldn’t ascertain just what was going on with the machine, I just knew there was something.
So on Thursday, the mouse got slower and slower, until I started beating it against the desk. I changed the batteries and beat it some more. When it gave up the ghost I whaled on it, I was so angry and frustrated. I waited a moment for that to dissipate then realized I had a wired mouse for what I call my ‘Little Pink Machine’ or netbook. It’s older and I don’t use it as much because it’s slow but when I go out to cafes and such, it’s just perfect. I grabbed that small mouse and called the DH who informed me that I could just go to the local electronics store and get another one.
The next day, I did just that and went in with high hopes. Most of the items we’ve purchased here have a Great Britain option, meaning I can read the language. Frankly, until I was there, I didn’t realize just how many keyboards there were in the world. The fanciest were for gamers and cost a hefty $200 while the cheapest was only $30 or so. I wanted wireless as I’ve discovered that’s the best.
I knew I was in trouble when I started looking at the boxes. Not one of them had anything in English. Most had Spanish, German and some other language I couldn’t figure out at all. I stood there in dismay and called the DH, whose best suggestion was to find one I liked and make sure it had all the keys I used. I had to toss the one I liked most back as it didn’t have any double quotes.
I finally decided upon the one I did because it had all the right keys and some interesting new ones as well. Things like letters with oomlas on them. You know, the double dots above them...yeah...used in German a lot. There were symbols for their currency as well as a degree circle and a bunch of weird stuff I didn’t understand. Big sigh. So I found the one that best suited me, I mean I could retrain my brain to know that the double quotes symbol was now above the 2...right?
I brought them home along with a small wireless mouse for the Pink Machine and a new microphone headset that I needed as well. For the first hour, I just sat there looking at the box since I wasn’t down or anything. The current mouse and keyboard system were working well. It didn’t matter that I was a little hampered by the wire. Finally, I decided it was now or never and I pulled the new mouse and keyboard out of the box. My first surprise was that the signal manipulator had changed a lot. Now it was just a little USB thing that plugged into the front of the computer instead of the old wired type. Score one! Next, neither required as many batteries as they used to as the mouse only needed one and the keyboard three. It used to be two and four. Score two!
Now I was on a roll. I sat the keyboard down and started playing with it. It didn’t look so bad then I actually started typing. The first thing I noticed was a major discrepancy between what was on the keys and what was on the screen. Apparently, the majority of my new keyboard is exactly like my old one no matter what the key says. I can only attribute that to the fact that the computer is English and not German. Score three...I think! As of this moment, the only thing that is different are the home keys, which include delete and page up/down. This keyboard has two keys here that are the beginning of a sentence and the end of a sentence exclusively. And I can’t find the ones for the beginning of a document or the end of the document. Chances are I just haven’t used the right combination.
So here I am, an American writer in Vienna, learning to use a German keyboard where nothing is as it appears. The DH says I’m going to have to make little key post-its and put them on each key until I get it right.
Next time, I promise my post will be on something more exciting than keyboards...but a writer has to write...and I seriously wondered if that was going to stop until I went back to school for keyboard basics...in German. LOL!