Friday, 25 November 2011

I know, I know...

... Wait months for one blog post and then two come along at once.

Today at the office, the problem of me not being able to see my network drive was finally resolved by the IT systems manager. (you see I told you I was crap at computers).

He asked to have access to my computer for all of 10 minutes, and then disappeared back to his office. Five minutes later he returned, and asked me to shut down all my applications. Imagine my surprise when I closed down the last window expecting to see a serene image of the Chinese Kast mountains and found a full screen version of this staring back at me...

Got to love working in IT.

Why bother typing?

There are two things that I've had on my big long list of things to do, that I've finally got done.

The first being to set up my free view and TiVo box, and the second being to install Windows 7 on my computer and dictate into my machine using Dragon NaturallySpeaking software.

Setting up the free view box took next to no time and now the TV has a perfect picture. The TiVo box however, has never been much of a godsend. It is about to join the list of things that I have been wishing to sell on eBay which are now sitting in the kitchen and under the threat of being taken straight round to the charity shop.

Despite my fears, it didn't take long to plug the box in (show me a person who loves fiddling about with the wires behind the TV and I will report them to the authorities) however once the box was switched on and running through the guided setup I hit a minor snag.

The phone wouldn't dial.
Without the phone dialling I can't access any channels.
If I can't access any channels, I can't record every episode of "DIY SOS: The Big Build"
I'm screwed.

I fiddled with the Micro filter.
I fiddled with the cables.
I even fiddled with the remote.
I tested that the phone still worked.
And then I had to resort to Google.

The first thing I found on Google, were a few different phone numbers to try which offered a small ray of hope. The second thing I found on Google was the news that my box was now so old that it had been discontinued from service. Oh. Maybe not so encouraging.

I thought I would be heartbroken, but instead I'm slightly numb. Perhaps the shock hasn't yet set in. Or perhaps it has been so long since it worked that I've gone past the point of really caring.

I bought the box in 2005, and three months into using it my house was struck by lightning. And I still had 12 episodes of Roobarb and Custard Two left to watch. It is hard to recover from such a blow.

After finding a replacement box, a friend took both of them to perform the quick task of swapping out the hard drive. Fifteen months later after he had finished renovating his loft, he gave the box back to me. When I finally had the courage to tackle the wires, I discovered that the remote control had stopped working. When I finally located another remote control, it was time to leave my house and the TiVo had to go back in its box and into storage.

Some might say it just wasn't meant to be. Perhaps this is God's way of telling me that I watch way too much TV. Perhaps he doesn't approve of DIY SOS, big build or not.

The installation of Windows 7 onto my computer, however, has been slightly more successful. Probably, mainly due to the fact that it wasn't me that did it. And I work in IT. Shameful.

My Techie friend, Big Alv, came round last night and did the whole lot for me. And all for the price of a turkey casserole. Bargainwill stop

The other thing that he did was to help me install Dragon NaturallySpeaking. After testing out this software, I imagine that it's probably best not to train voice recognition software whilst suffering from a grumbling head cold with a croaky throat.

The other thing that I've discovered, if that even though I have a lot of things to say rattling around my head all the time, when it comes to actually dictating into the machine, the words just simply dry up and disappear.

This cannot be! How can I not be able to speak?

I think the issue lies in actually sitting and dictating rather than wandering round rambling away to myself as I normally do. Because that's when the best ideas come - when I'm off in another world doing something else.

However, apart from a few minor corrections, I've actually managed to dictate this entire blog post barely touching the keyboard. And that's with a croaky throat. Impressed, huh?

and just in time for winter too. If I really get the hang of this I can type up my blog post while sitting on my hands keeping my fingers nice and warm. Result.