Saturday, August 13, 2011

Computer woes solved!

I cannot begin to total all the hours I have spent trying to get my ancient computer to operate efficiently, or at some times, even at all. My husband and I, each have at least 20 years experience with computers. We devoted countless hours and all we have learned over the past 20 years to try to solve my problems. It still wasn't enough. Last Saturday, thanks to an offer at Staples that we just couldn't refuse, we broke down and bought a new computer.

That was a week ago. I am now happy to say that I've finished downloading, transferring, and even tweaking some of my favorite old programs. I am writing this blog post on my new computer (and old software). I'm getting to know and understand Windows 7. I'm sure that in time, I will be as thrilled with it as I have all the previous versions I've used (all of them). 

It is pure joy to be able to turn the computer in the morning and watch it start, as it was intended. My old computer refused to do that. It would restart itself, intermittently, sometimes six or seven times, before it finally loaded my desktop.

This new computer, by Hewlett-Packard, has much more memory on board too, so I can listen to music, play a game, and download incoming mail, all at the same time.

I've decided that one of my favorite things is tweaking software. I might even be addicted to it, if that is possible. While function of a program is of course the most important, to me, that is followed only by how it displays. With a tendency toward art, color is very important to me. The right color can change my mood; brighten my day. It can also have the opposite effect, if it just isn't right. 

I tweaked my new Windows 7 to use a desktop theme based on my favorite photo--a sunflower that I shot myself and that I happen to love. Other colors are set to a pale lime green with partial transparency. Nice!

When I started my Microsoft Office 2003 software, I opened MS Word. The program displayed a hideous bright blue color that was painful to look at. It was oblivious to the pretty theme I had just created. I'm a writer. Trying to write when the ugly color on the screen stabs the eyes is not a good thing. When I ran this program on my old Windows XP-loaded computer, I was able to tweak all the colors of the various components. But, with Windows 7, the theme default colors don't translate into Office programs.

So, to have that bright blue from MS Office in the way; well, that would never do. I finally found a tweak online that I tried and it worked. It involved changing the setting for default colors in the Office 2003 settings back to a more pleasing gray that blends nicely with my other theme colors. 

By the way, I've tried to retrace my steps so I could give a shout out and hearty thank you to the brilliant person that revealed this illusive tip, but I can't find it again. 

If that person ever sees this post, my heartfelt thanks. 

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