AT LAST I think I can actually use some applications again now. I really took that “stay offline for 24 hours” thing to heart.
Do you have any idea how long it takes to back up all the personal/MP3 files on a large hard drive to a portable, switch out the drive, format it (raw format!), install WinXP and Office, discover that it thinks it’s drive G and has a few other problems, do another format (QuickFormat), install WinXP and Office again, jump through hoops to reinstall Eudora and several other essentials . . . and then figure out how to fix my screen back again? (My “theme” and resolution were known, but there were some other tweaks we had to do to get large fonts and non-blocky fonts and non-hideous colors back.) I’ll just bet you DO know how long it takes. Phooey!! But we’re back up, I think. iTunes has forgotten where a few files are and has to be re-taught or have that folder re-imported, which is a pain either way (and I can’t find any trace of two or three songs I bought a while ago either from iTunes or from eMusic, which is odd, but they’re not essential.)
WHY doesn’t iTunes have some way for the user to say, “I want to re-import this CD” (at a higher bitrate, or for whatever reason) “and I want you to recognize the tracks and delete the old copies you have of those tracks.” That should be easy! But it isn’t! It just goes out and makes another copy. You can see which is your new one by looking at the date it was imported, but you still have to manually delete the old ones. Software is supposed to be smarter than that. Also, when you have a bunch of files that have been moved (accidentally), it ought to tell you that you’ve moved an entire folder and give you the option to move it back before you start doing all that manual fixing. You lose any editing you’ve done in “Get Info” if you just delete the track, too. It’s complicated, but so’s life, I guess. Still! Software is supposed to be smarter than we are!
It turned out that my iTunes has that bug that makes it impossible to burn the data CDs. There’s a lot of talk about this on the ‘net and no solution so far. What happens is that you ask it to burn a data disc of all the stuff in your library, and it does the first disc OK, but then about a minute into the second it says, “Cancelling burn . . . this may take a minute or two.” Then it proceeds to leave the burner’s light on for over an hour. That’s when I started trying to eject manually and through the OS. The phone rang and took me away from the room for a good forty-five minutes, and when I got back, the burner was still spinning with that same message. I rebooted. That frisbee (which is what the CD was by that time) was too hot to touch, as if it were out of the microwave! I worried about having ruined the CD burner, but it seems to still work for just writing a music CD. If I put the blank disc in before opening iTunes and just burn audio CDs, it does work very slowly, but it works OK. Weird! For my backup, I ended up dragging the music folders to the external drive, which worked, but I’d still like to have CD backups. Too tired of it all to fool with that for the next few days, though.
Since I reinstalled WinXP from my original CD, it has been doing a lot of “Windows Updates.” It’s wild, because I used to get tons of updates all the time. It has only popped up the “Updating” deal about six times or so, though. Maybe it’s doing a bunch each time. It needs to get me back to wherever I was. (I won’t be upgrading to Vista. Yuck!)
On the other hand, I got rid of all that mess that I had downloaded, tried out a couple of times, and then never used again. Got a shiny new registry and a cool new drive. My eyes are adjusting to the new graphics driver (there was an upgrade online for my video card, and things just LOOK different . . . it wouldn’t bother people who don’t have any visual infirmities, but my eyes have to adjust to new screen stuff. This may not be so bad once I get used to it.) So . . . it’s cool.
Most of the news I missed while offline was crappy news. La la la, I can’t hear you! Let’s start over and say it didn’t happen! Pretend we’re floating down the Comal River in a free innertube. Ah, that’s better.