WHEN it comes to computers, I try not to get too involved with what goes on under the bonnet.
But I do love to try out new stuff. Like Windows 8 which Microsoft last week offered on a free trial.
Windows 8 lets you do swipey stuff like an iPad. If you don't like it, you change back to your old system with a few clicks of the mouse.
I downloaded and got a smart dashboard with tiles to swipe. Or click in my case since I don't have a touch screen.
There were problems. I could not access my emails. I could not play music because the computer no longer had any sound. And there was no word processor.
Pretty useless since my computer is mainly used for writing and emailing while listening to music.
I tried to revert to my old Windows. Turns out I could only go back at the click of a mouse if I had taken the precaution of dual-loading the Windows 8. Which nobody told me about.
The Windows XP I paid Bill Gates for when I bought the computer was still lurking about the innards, so I thought I would phone Miscrosoft and get switched back on.
Microsoft wanted £46 up front to speak to or email a technical person. I opted for the cheaper option of going online for advice.
Sadly, the Microsoft page was in Chinese.
I phoned manufacturer Hewlett Packard. They initially denied my machine existed. Then said it had been discontinued in 2009 and all archive details, including details of the software I paid for, had been erased. HP obviously did not expect their hardware to last this long.
I unearthed a set of discs to return the computer to factory settings. I got halfway through the process when the computer said I had not put in the correct disc.
There was a pantomime with me saying oh yes, it is and the computer replying oh no, it isn't. I switched the thing off (which often works) and it will not come back on.
I don't fancy any more deals with Microsoft. There is free software called Linux which does the same job. I shall put my faith in an operating system created by the kid from the Peanuts cartoon strip.
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