Sunday, August 10, 2008

New frustrations - Computer genius wanted!

Thanks to the government's kindness (oxymoron perhaps?), I am now the owner of a brand new Laptop.

It's wonderful they gave me a grant due to my health issues. Half of it I've spent on this laptop, the other half will go to directly to health expenses (of which there are many). Once this computer stops emitting that new plastic smell, I'll be able to use it for all my educational and blogging needs. This makes me happy, especially since I cannot tolerate paper products any longer.

It also makes me frustrated. Yes, I realized that it would take about a fortnight to transfer all my settings and email addresses. I'm not going to use the auto-transfer of data, because, quite frankly my old computer filing system is a mess. I'm certain no-one in their right mind could find a file on the old PC, heck, even I could barely find where I put things. This is a chance to re-organize and get ready for class.

But that's not what makes me frustrated. On the surface, Vista is ultimately more customizable than prior window's systems. And yet, it refuses to believe me when I tell it to be quiet! I go into the main windows sound control and tell it to be silent, it says 'sure thing boss', then next time I open up windows (before the log in screen) it beeps or makes the 'I'm opening windows now' music. Of course, it doesn't do this when my speakers are on mute (thank goodness), but when the speakers are on mute, I cannot hear a dvd or a mp3 file. So I turn my speakers on and being the forgetful person that I am, forget to turn them off again when I shut down my PC.

I've found five different ways to tell it to be quiet, ops, just found a sixth which also doesn't work.

What I want is for the computer to make sound only when I want it to. I want it to make sound for music, dvds, online videos and the like. What I do not want it to do is make sound when it starts up, shuts down, gets grumpy, or receives emails. Or anything else along those lines. There is nothing more annoying for me than when a person with a laptop gets an instant message from a friend and everyone in the class can here it because, beep boop, beep - we all know you are slacking, you don't have to interrupt the lecture with your beeping.

I don't want to be the person with a noisy laptop. If I choose to slack off (doubtful, but it depends on the instructor) I don't want the world to know it. So how do I tell my computer to SHUT UP?

I'm not a novice at computers; not by any means. I even use to be a whiz at programing, though I never kept it up. You know, I miss DOS. It use to listen to me. It understood me. We had conversations, and it remembered what I told it. It did what I asked and never gave me any fuss. I miss those days. Sure there was a lot of typing, but keyboard short cuts are far faster than a mouse any day (especially a lap-top's tiny little finger mouse). Sigh. The good old days are gone and I need to learn this new system.

So, for the most part, the beeping and other sounds only happen when I'm not logged into windows. Is there anyway to get to windows without being inside my login shell (like an administrator account on XP - but Vista never gave me the option to set up) so that I can teach it to be quiet?

Everything else Vista is a learning curve to be certain and just about everything (adobe software exclued - but that never works for me) is purring like kittens (only quietly).


Josiane said...

Good news about the grant! I'm glad you could use it to get something that will improve your quality of life, and that it will also cover some of the expenses incurred in your quest for a better understanding of your health problem.
I'm sorry to read that your new computer is giving you trouble, though. I'm on Vista too, and luckily I didn't have trouble with it. I can't really remember how it is when you first set it up, but one thing I know is that I do have an administrator account, in addition to a standard account, so it can be done. If it didn't give you the option of setting one up, you can set up a new account and modify the account type afterwards in the configuration panel. I hope this helps at least a little bit. If you need more info (about this or anything else), just ask and I'll be happy to help. If I don't have an answer, my boyfriend (a former programmer) may have it.

Nat said...

I'm so happy to hear about the grant, and hooray for new computers. :)

You know, you can always install a different operating system, especially since you're already prepared for a bit of a learning curve. You could put XP back on...or try one of the friendlier Linux distros (you can even go back to text-based commands that way, woohoo!).

If not...did you try the sound mixer panel? You can adjust the sound settings by application. Here's how to turn off the startup sound, apparently:
Here's a bit on the administrator account:

I always turn the sound on my computer off when I'm in class (as in, turn off the speakers), just in case. I'm not going to be listening to music then so it doesn't matter that everything is off at once.