Don’t Touch That Screen!

This is really a two parter …. because the day started out great. We actually went out and had fun. We don’t go out much anymore, so this was an occasion. Noteworthy because we were actually going out, but more so because we first went to dinner with friends, then to a showing on the big screen of a fully restored “Singing in the Rain.”  It’s the 60th anniversary of the movie and TCM is celebrating by letting us enjoy it too.

I’d never seen this on a movie screen before and it was great, like seeing it for the first time though I’ve seen it on television many times. I didn’t remember it as being so very funny, but it was.

And another great routine:

This final one is simply a beautiful pas de deux …not funny, but wonderful choreography:

Dinner was good. Fine company, great movie, and we got back home just before 10 in the evening, tired, but feeling pretty good.

If this final piece doesn’t make you feel good, nothing can …

As bad as the day before had been, this was that much better. Okay, no one called back as promised, but hey, did I expect them to? Nah. No way. I’ll worry about that some other time. This was a time to just relax and enjoy something we love with people who love the same things.. And earlier, I actually got out and took some nice pictures, revisiting the old fire truck around the corner and discovering a wonderful display of wildflowers in the field by old Number 2.

And the little farm stand just down the road had fresh veggies … cucumbers and squash and zucchini. No tomatoes yet, but soon. So I stopped and bought some. They work on the honor system, leaving a note with the prices, some bags in case you don’t have your own, and a coffee can into which you can stuff some money. So, I took a few pictures and got some produce. It’s so much less expensive the grocery store and so much fresher, too.

That was before lunch, and I downloaded the photos, converted them from RAW to TIFF, figured tomorrow I’ll do some editing and sorting. Then the husband and I went to go watch some TV and hang out with the dogs.

Now, bedtime, and I stopped by the office to put away my eyeglasses and a couple of other things, make sure the phone was back on the cradle and charging. That’s when I looked at my computer and I knew it had happened again.

And then, as if it were simply too good a day … I had been assaulted by an unknown — bug.

Reconfiguration by insectivore. A bug had been at my screen. There had to be 25 windows open and at least half a dozen applications including Photoshop and Corel, Audible Manager, multiple windows of the audible downloader — apparently with downloads in progress — and just about every folder on the desktop was open.

The sound controller and video controller panels were both open. My task bar was gone disappeared had become a semi transparent area that was taking up half the screen with the icons scattered all over the screen.

There were all kinds of things pinned to the taskbar, and error messages layered on one another. I just sat here and closed things, then closed MORE things. I have no idea how many settings have been changed. I guess I’ll find out when I try to use stuff tomorrow and I’m not a happy camper. Not happy at all.

I hate that this otherwise gorgeous monitor is a touchscreen and that worse, the monitor IS the computer. On any other computer, I could just turn off the monitor when I’m not in the room … but I can’t because if I turn off the entire computer, the phone won’t work, the printer won’t work. My computer is the Grand Central Station of our network..

How could something that seemed such a grand idea go so terribly, hideously wrong? This 23 inch full high-definition monitor would be a world-class monitor and I would love it to death …. if it wasn’t a touchscreen.

Is it possible that no one really tried to use a big upright touchscreen to do any normal task before marketing them?

Touchscreen was never meant to be upright. The position is all wrong for your hands. It puts a painful strain on your wrists. That’s bad, but the inaccuracy is worse. The tip of your finger is not sufficiently precise to do anything but the broadest strokes. Nor can you turn off the touch functionality or even adjust it to be less sensitive.

The house seems particularly buggy today. I think it’s because of the vegetables. Maybe there were some kind of little flying buggies on them, because now they are everywhere in the house. This has happened before. Whatever they are, they don’t live long and don’t seem to be more than an annoyance …they eventually just die off by themselves. In any case, this is a very bug-ridden area … living in the woods and all, and it being summertime as well. But of course, the last time we had them in the house, I didn’t have touchscreen computer. That’s a game changer.

To make it even worse, we have dogs and the doggy door and our dogs just love sitting at the doggy door with their heads out the door, bodies inside to enjoy the air conditioning, and every insect in the world just sees that open door and comes right in. Flying or crawling, the find their way into my office. And all hell breaks loose for me.

It doesn’t have to be a big insect. These tiny fruit fly thingies seem to be just as effective as anything bigger and they are significantly more difficult to get rid of. They’re harmless really. They don’t bite. They don’t set up shops and really live here. They die off, just annoy you for a while, then they’re gone. The big ants are worst because they make an awful mess when you finally swat them, but in terms of how effectively they can reconfigure my computer, size is not an issue. A gnat can be as devastating as a big black ant or a spider.

Spiders just love my monitor. I don’t know if it’s the static electricity it generates that attracts them or maybe it’s the bright light or the heat generated. Whatever, they do love it and once they get in, it is very hard to get them out again.

They will meander across every icon until not one single thing is untouched. I wouldn’t mind nearly so much if they didn’t reconfigure the settings for the desktop. the sound system, and the video. And all at the same time.

This time, they’ve just gone too far. I mean really, downloading audiobooks? Did they buy any new ones? Have they figured out how to use my credit cards? Maybe they ordered a new computer … anything is possible.

More than once I have mindlessly taken aim at an unwanted visitor and paid the price. Last time I tried to kill a spider, it took me weeks to figure out how to get things back the way they had been. Among the many scary things that were open and apparently being adjusted were all my printer settings and I don’t want to go there, not now.

So I ask you again: Have you ever had your system configured by a bug? It is very much like having a dog do your landscaping. Our front yard has been landscaped by several generations of canines and it looks like a bomb testing site.

Meet my new partner. He is in charge of configuring my system.

This is touchscreen technology at its finest. This is the wave of the future? Oh no, no. It’s too awful to contemplate.

Say no to touchscreen, unless it’s a table or a laptop that you can keep closed. Save yourself!

It’s seems to work okay for tablet, but I have a camera with touchscreen and the best I can say for it is that I can turn it off and not use it as a touchscreen. Were that I could do the same on this computer.

Despite current trendiness, fingers are not precise pointing devices. And don’t even think about it if you have long fingernails. Bad, evil things can happen to your monitor when sharp hard fingernails poke at it.

You cannot edit a document or a photograph with your fingers. Finger painting is generally confined to very young children for a reason. It is not by accident that trained artists use more refined tools. Beware, my friends, beware.

If you use it — even a little bit — for example, because your mouse just fell off the desk and you need to press “Okay” or “Next”, your high-definition monitor will be covered by oily fingerprints. It doesn’t take a lot of fingerprints to make the screen hard to see clearly. Skin oil has a way of spreading itself around. I’m not sure how, but you’ll just have to trust me when I say that a little finger schmutz goes a surprisingly long way. You do not have to have dirty fingers. Natural skin oil does a fine job of gunking up the screen.

Tomorrow I will see how much damage has really been done. I tried to close everything and not accept any changed, but who know what the bug did before I got there?

Meanwhile, I shall sleep … and dream of enterprising insects trying to destroying my virtual world.

Categories: Computers, Food, Movies, Photography, Software, Technology

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

8 replies

  1. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d most certainly donate to this superb blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and will talk about this blog with my Facebook group. Talk soon!


  2. So, that was Gene Kelly dancing across your computer? Dignity!!


  3. Okay, I don’t have to tell you that it was a mistake to get a big touch screen. Next time, you’ll get a normal screen. Maybe it’ll be worth your while to buy a normal screen soon… and get rid of this one. But meantime, get a fabric screen, of the type that they use in the tropics… sometimes to cover the bed of a baby or sensitive person, to keep out mosquitoes. If you can sew, make a cover for the screen. It can be loose. Actually, you could use a big plastic bag for this. But it shouldn’t be hard to protect the screen when you’re not using it. Wish you luck.


  4. I want to inform everyone that I did NOT add a “like” to my own post. The bug did it! I wasn’t even home! How humiliating!



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