Tag Archives: skype

Kindness of maintenance.

A bit of kindness of maintenance on your computer really is a good thing.

In the last couple of weeks I’ve done three Windows 7, 32 bit, and one Windows 7, 64 bit, installs. Two of the machines with the 32 bit installs were about 4 or 5 years old – not the newest kids on the block, but all went pleasantly well.

I can’t get round the fact that over the years I have found Windows a decently stable operating system. Windows NT had its roots in IBM’s OS/2, a rock stable system, with each version of Windows since then being that bit more stable than the one before. People complain about Vista (and so do I), but that was (for me) more towards its overall speed and interaction with the user, not stability factors. My Vista-powered lap-top never once crashed or locked up on me. As well as knowing others with Mac lap-tops, I also have one and have found them no better (or worse) than my Windows machines. (Once upon a time I was a very keen advocate of Linux, but that has become such a fractured community it has lost any appeal to me.)

However I do make an effort to look after my machines. A bit of basic maintenance is carried out when I’m in the mood for it. A cull of all those crap programs that get installed happens, and a general emptying of TEMP directories and tidying up of files. Occasional back-ups and running of defrag. Updates are applied, both to the operating system and to programs.
So if I wanted something that is relatively simple to use and is just going to work in the format that you get it and you don’t want to use it for much more than that, then I’d probably be happy with a Mac. But what I’m after is a versatile, flexible system that can be used in a variety of different situations, and work almost any bit of hardware I can throw at it.

As much as I do like Macs, they just don’t do that for me. I’m quite happy to put in a little effort to my systems, they are complex bits of machinery, and like anything of this type, benefit from a bit of routine care. Maybe it’s a case of so many people in our throw-away society aren’t willing to make the effort. I guess it’s partly a matter of attitude.

Not just computers, but we all work better with a bit of love and attention. So why not give a bit of love and attention to someone yourself. A simple message through Skype or MSN, perhaps a comment to a video or picture. Do that bit of occasional ‘social maintenance’. To the receiver it could make all the difference between stumbling along not working very well, or finding their way in life.

A little bit of kindness can go a long way.

More on Gatherings and the social aspects of them.

I wonder if anyone actually reads these blogs?
A couple of week-ends ago and it was Glasgow down to Bury St. Edmunds for Tom’s musical Gathering. (Commented on that below.) This week-end just passed involved going down with a friend to London and the Thibils YouTube Gathering. A bit of a diversion occurred when on the train down (Friday afternoon) my phone rang and it was Tom Milsom wanting to know if I wanted to go to the MCM (movie comic media) Expo at the Excel centre. This was happening on Saturday morning, so go to this first then move on to the Gathering in the afternoon. Sounded good to me. If I’m going to spend the time and money travelling half way across the country, I might as well get my money’s worth of events.
So myself (and Brian) met up with Tom and Jacob on Saturday morning and headed off to the East End. Ummm…. Docklands Light Railway!!! Ummm….. Services not running, little information, unhelpful staff, a replacement bus service that involved waiting 45 minutes for a bus… what a load of crap! If London thinks it’s going to make a success of the Olympics an a few years time, it had better get it’s finger out of its arse and get things sorted.
The comic expo was great fun, so glad Tom alerted me to it. Then on to the Gathering. No apologies for saying what I have said before – Gatherings are great places for meeting people and forming friendships. No need to worry about never having been to one before, you very quickly muddle in with the rest of the crowd. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and met quite a few people who up till then I had only ever electronically talked to. It’s really nice to be able to put an actual 3-D face to these relatively remote contacts.
There’s also a slightly more serious side to it. I’m not your stereo-typical young, cute looking, probably musically talented, school / student type YouTuber, but middle-aged adult doing a 9 till 5 job who should have better things to do than to spend time on YouTube and watching BlogTV. But I don’t, so I do spend time watching videos, and occasionally uploading them myself, and I do spend time chatting to some of these ‘stereo-typical young, cute looking, probably musically talented, school / student type’ users. One thing that has amazed me is the way above average level of intelligence most of these people have. I have learnt more off them over the last year of being around YouTube than in any number of ‘real-life’ years being around (dull boring, though still intelligent) adults!
So it’s important to me that these people who I talk to or message can see and meet me, and see exactly who or what I am. They can talk to me, or talk to others who in turn know me, and can then make up their own minds.
Thinking of YouTube, or even Skype, this whole system of easy (not just across national border, but across continents) group social communication thing could have huge repercussions in about ten years time. This is when the current late teenage or those in their early 20s users, who are used to this sort of border-free and cross-cultural system, come into jobs and positions of influence and importance. Their ideas of both social and national boundaries will be very different to that of their parents. Will be interesting to see how things develop.
Anyway, roll on the next Gathering.
See you there 🙂