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When Simple Tools Was Enough

Updated on March 5, 2011

Remember when all you needed to fix your car was a screwdriver, a wrench and maybe a hammer, I do. I remember driving home one day and my car started to drag and about to shut off. I went in the trunk and got my wrench and screw driver and removed the distributor cap and tweaked the points a little and off I went. Those were the days. You young people probably never heard of these things in a car. That's because we were driving dinosaurs in those days.

Actually this Hub is about computers. I bought my first computer for $1, 200 or something. It came with no monitor, no sound card, and no speakers. It had Windows 3.1 installed and about 4or 8k of memory and 80k hard drive. Like my car it was easy to fix. All I had to do was go into the configuration files and print them out on paper, or save a copy under another file name. When my computer started acting up I would swap file names or delete the defective file and type in and save the corrected file. Windows 3.1 also allowed you to boot up in DOS which allowed me to run programs and games in DOS. When I upgraded to Windows 95 I still could run my DOS applications. When I upgraded to Windows 98 it became a little more complicated, but there still was a way to get into DOS.

When Windows ME (millennium) came out I thought that was the best windows ever until it crashed a lot. I would search the internet looking for fixes and downloading updates like crazy. The Microsoft people had this sneaky way to make you upgrade. They would come out with an updated browser telling you how fast it would make your computing. But for those unsuspecting users these new browsers were the for-runners for the new operating system that was coming out. They would not tell you to upgrade, you just malfunctioned until you did.

Internet Explorer 5, 6,7 each was purported to be better than the previous. The browser wars began with the Netscape browser and Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer won hands down. AOL bought out Net Scape, now you don't hear from them anymore. I keep a Netscape Browser on my computer because I think it is a better looking browser. Since I don't have AOL I have little use for it.

Have you ever upgraded your computer and it came with the latest operating system, say from Windows 98 to Windows 7 and you old programs don't work any more? Nothing is wrong with your computer or the programs. Back in the 3.1 days it was called a 16 bit system, then when Windows 95 came out that operating system was a 32 bit system. Now Windows XP can run on 32 or 64 bits. What does all this bit stuff mean. A 16bit system is like a two lane highway. One lane in and one lane out. They call this Input out put or I&O. Bits of information travel in and out on a two lane highway in this computer. Windows 95 has a four lane highway, two lanes in and two lanes out so you can get more information on this highway. So it ran faster, uploaded and downloaded faster. That is if you were not like my wife and put so much stuff on it and crowd up the highways. Windows 7 has a 64 Bit system with four lanes in and four lanes out. When you buy software be sure to read the box because if it does not say it is compatible with Windows 7 it will not run. You might be lucky to get a little bubble to pop up telling you that your program does not run on a 64 bit system. If you want to download Windows 7 or you by one, there is a program on Microsoft Windows (on the internet) that will scan your computer to tell you which programs that are already on your computer are compatible with Windows 7.

Like an idiot I threw away some DOS software programs because I thought I could never use them again. Then I found out that I could have kept all my old operating systems on separate hard drives and instituted selective boot of any of those disk

Today I still repair and upgrade my own computer, all I need is the parts and a screw driver just like my car. For all you non techies out there I say to you. The best way to fix your computer is to buy another hard drive and copy your drive to it by using a Disc Wizard (free on the net) That will allow you to just take out the defective one and put in the copy. Keep the copy up to date with everything you put on the original drive that way you will have everything. Then you can wipe everything off the one you took out and make a copy of the one you put in.

Before I go I would like to warn you about malware and viruses. My wife down loaded a program that she thought was software for anti-virus but it was the virus that would not allow it to be taken out. It took control of her browser, would not let her use any type of virus scan to get it out. This kind of stuff is put out by these companies to get you to buy there software. In her case they wanted to get her to download Disc Doctor. Luckily I was able to use system restore to go back to a day when her computer did fine. Some of these malware viruses will not let you do anything, so get a complete back up of your disk drive on another disk drive not a CD. A system recovery disk will allow you to get your computer back running but it will not copy your programs back, so you need to copy your hard drive.

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