Thursday, March 15, 2007

Looking Down

Having not written a word for a few days, I’m writing a few somewhere between Italy and Sicily at 35,000 feet on the way back in from the Middle East this morning as everyone at home is waking up.

I’ve come to the conclusion that somewhere in this part of the world there’s a huge factory in the desert turning out tens of thousands of camels, carpets and fake handbags to be sold in every bazaar from Tunis to Aswan. Once upon a time, one could find something unique in the Souk but today one has to try much harder or go “off the beaten” track to find a souvenir or any real interest or value. Oman is good for Frankincense and Silver and Dubai is great for Gold and Russian gangsters but most other places, going shopping means having to run the gauntlet of stuffed camel traders, shouting “Luvly jubly mate –you from England?” as if this were some powerful magic spell, with the power to part the foolish tourist from his money. Del Boy Trotter has a great deal to answer for if that’s the best sales patter we can export to Arabia!!

By the way, a word of warning to anyone thinking of upgrading to Microsoft’s Office 2007. Don’t unless you have taken a deep breath and thought about it first. Now I happen to work with the company and had my copy free and because they’ve decided to change all the menus and features around that I took a decade to learn, I’m now going insane trying to find my way around the software. Where’s the “Edit” menu gone? Worse still, Outlook has eaten my contact file database and 90 minutes on the phone with Microsoft support in Bangalore still hasn’t resolved the problem, which sees my email crashing two or three times a day.

I’m not going to touch Windows Vista until I can afford a new and more powerful PC and even with the one I have, I regret the upgrade to Office 2007 because it’s much more resources intensive than its predecessor.

Over the Alps – which don’t seem to have that much snow this year - and time for a catnap before the English Channel makes an appearance. I’ll catch up with the local news and the abuse over "knuckle-draggers" a little later today


Anonymous said...

There are some very nicely made mother of pearl jewel boxes and backgammon sets available in the middle east. The word in the Souk is that they are made in Syria. You can find at least 3 definitely different qualities and prices in these items, ranging from somewhat crude to exquisite.
Check the laquer, the pattern complexity,the hinges and the locks, also the way the m.o.p. is cut and fixed.
As far as Vista is concerned I couldn't agree more with you. I had XP running perfectly on an Athlon 64 3000 with 2 gb of RAM. I changed to Vista and all my programs (at least those which actually worked on Vista) ran at about half speed and there was a noticable delay on every action.
So I went down to Fast Micros at Westbrook and bought a Pentium Dual Core CPU 6300 and mainboard and 4 gb of DDR2 RAM to put in my PC.
It now runs very well, and faster than before I went to Vista.

But as you say the dreadfully different Office 2007 is a whole new ballgame. I found that for speed I had to use old fashioned shortcut keyboard commands like control p for printing, control c and v for cutting and pasting, all the commands that were in really old Word still seem to work with Word 2007.
Anyway I have retired hurt and put Office 2003 back on.

Anonymous said...

You should ditch MS Office and go with (free), and ditch windows and go with Ubuntu (free). You will not look back and your laptop will be twice as fast.

Anonymous said...

All too technical for me, chaps!