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Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Fat Lady Sings

Most of what I do involves small businesses, but I sometimes do work for individuals so the other day when a retired fellow I'd helped before called I went over to his house. He has an older Dell computer which he had some sort of trouble with. He had taken it to CompUSA and after a month they managed to wipe out his installation of XP Home and reinstall Win 98 SP2. He was unable to find the product code for his win XP update even though he had the cd. He was forced to go back to the Win 98 that came with the computer.

They told him they had been bought out and their regular techs had left. He wasn't aware CompUSA was going out of business.
(They are, they were sold out to a liquidation firm, not to some one who is going to run it. In a way I will miss them as they were often a ready source for hardware but on the other hand their help was lousy, and their techs usually incompetent.)

Back to the story. His machine had a usb keyboard and mouse. Win 98 will usually not recognize those until you install drivers but try to install drivers without a keyboard and mouse. A quick hookup of some usb to standard adapters (which I carry in my laptop case), got us started, drivers installed and Bob's your uncle.

Now go to windows update and run the critical updates. So far so good. Now he uses Hotmail for his email and accesses through the IE browser. We head over there and signin but when we get to the inbox it renders completely out of wack and is unreadable. Seeeeesh! what now?

We just want to get this done and let him read his emails before he heads out for the holidays. First I think Firefox but since Hotmail is an MS site I think again and decide on Opera.

Quick download and install. Signin to Hoptmail and we're off. Damn I'm good some days.
If you've never tried Opera let me tell you ist pretty nice. Fast, has tabbed browsing and my favorite that even Firefox doesn't have, fit to screen. Ever have a page that wanders way off to the right and you have to keep scrolling side to side? When I hit those I just fire up Opera and away I go.

Opera web browser. Recommended.

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