Monthly Archive: August 2015


Despite having been a font fanatic, having done support for Microsoft, and having been a big fan of the Lucida fonts, which turn out to have ties to Wingdings, I had no idea the full story of the Wingdings fonts. The one thing I could have told you, as a matter of logic, is why dingbat fonts arose, even though I was unfamiliar with the history of dingbats in traditional print.

Computer Adventure

I don’t always have much to blog about here (oh, does it show?) short of keeping an eye out for appropriate links and actually remembering to blog them. I really don’t do work on computers on the side any more, and that tends to be same old anyway. I recently experimented with Ghost but forgot to post about it. I have a graveyard of computer carcasses and parts to go through Real Soon Now, making my room look like I’m a hoarder (if the shoe fits…), but until I actually mess with those, no news or entertainment on that front. I have needed to replace my last good computer, which died I believe 4-5 years ago, since then, and have relied on first one, then another hand-me-down laptop.

However, I just bought a refurbished laptop to use specifically for business. There’s room for the business expense against revenue, my personal machine is getting gummed up with working files, and my personal machine provides distractions I will avoid on a new machine. I figure I will get around to building a fresh desktop machine Real Soon Now, ideally before the personal laptop can fail, and be back where I belong. The personal laptop can be spare, maybe used in part by kids as they need one for school. We’ll see. I really want that physical separation, though, so the business machine is clearly for business, which has become blogging and web site editing/updates. I’m calling it all “publishing.” But I digress.

A laptop gives me portability if I need it. I can take it wherever to work, especially if it’s just writing. It also was what I could afford offhand, at only $220 for something not as much newer as what I have now that I had thought, but with much better specs. I noticed a lot of the refurbs have tiny hard drives, like 60 GB. I didn’t want to have to replace the drive right out of the gate, so I found one with 750 GB. The machine originally had Vista, which is what my dead desktop had. It now had Windows 7 Professional 64 bit. Being 7 or higher, that gets me a free upgrade to 10 if I want it. That’s the plan, though I want to get it configured and broken in some first.

Making a short story long, I have a ton of e-mail accounts coming to Outlook Express. I’ve used it forever, with one brief break of sorts, and find it comfortable. Aha! I had forgotten that when I got Vista, there was no Outlook Express. There was Windows Mail. That was close enough, but frustrated me terribly by being unable to port mail from Outlook Express.

Then Microsoft eliminated that, which I also had known and forgotten. Web web web. No! Web mail is a pain to use. Convenient. Good for low volume, single account users. But a pain.

Turns out it didn’t stay gone. So I tried installing it from Microsoft, which resulted in a big package of other stuff installing. Net result? No mail client. In the Windows Mail folder the only thing is Windows Address Book.

I have dowloaded three free clients. I had heard of none of them before, and they apparently didn’t exist several years ago when last I ran into this. Heck, that was probably 8 years ago. I’ll test and try to report on them here.

Then there will be the matter of making the machine usable. I have no actual room on the desk yet for it, and things will have to be changed a lot for dual machines to work. I look forward to forcing myself to focus by that being for work and this being for personal/fun use. However, the new machine will need an external monitor, keyboard and mouse. It will need a USB hub even more than this one did, since it had but one USB port. This machine sits on the desk as a clamshell. It doesn’t matter that the keyboard has issues. It doesn’t matter that the touchpad can’t be used to do certain things. It doesn matter that the screen is uncomfortably small – scary, since it’s far bigger than the new one, though at least that bodes well for portability. I can use Photoshop with the mouse and not be frustrated. I can really see web site pictures. Well, I need that for the business machine, but I don’t want to give it up for the personal machine (the monitor is a hand-me-down my father no longer needed, or I might never have bought one). So I have to buy at least four more hardware items for the new machine.

This is a good place to grumble as I go. Plus, hey, this is part of the writing for which the new machine exists. And updating, since there are some seriously outdated installs and themes. Stay tuned.