JUMPING OUT OF WINDOWS

appleSeveral years ago, one of our friends announced he’d had it with Windows. He went out and bought two Macbooks, one for himself, one for his wife. We’re slow but we’re starting to see his point. Feeling the same exasperation, we recently turned to a Macbook Air we’d had in the closet since 2012.The relief was instant. Websites loaded immediately. Joy didn’t have to do four yoga poses before pictures came in.

Normally, when our main Windows computer gets screwy, we set it back to its factory defaults. You can do that with the Recovery option in “Settings” or “Control Panel.” Once you do that, it  feels brand new again. Unfortunately, it is brand new again — all the programs you added are wiped out. You know, when you jump out of Windows, you gotta expect some bumps.

But this time, Windows 10 got in the way. All we got were error messages, stopping all security updates. Obviously, it was time to call Microsoft’s Answer Desk. This isn’t something we normally do, but there in our email was a Microsoft offer for a free PC tune-up, normally $99. It’s provided for anyone signs up for Office 365, a $7 a month program.  Answer Desk reinstalled Windows 10 for us — using a remote control program over the Internet. When finished, the security updates came in without errors, but the computer was still pokey.

The most common reason a computer slows down is too many programs. So we uninstalled “Flickr Uploader,” “Dropbox,” “YouTube Downloader,” and a duplicate photo remover. All of these small programs load themselves into your computer and stay there, to make it easier for you to access them immediately, which the maker knows for sure you always want to do. Why else would you have put them in? Actually, we hardly ever use them. Poof! Away with you all. The speed-up was instantaneous and impressive!

Bottom line: We’ll continue to use both Mac and Windows. Joy’s Window’s machine is an all-in-one (everything built into the tiny spaces in  the monitor case). It’s easy on the eyes and hard on your muscles when you try to move it. Bob’s laptop is attached to a big monitor and full-sized keyboard. The Macbook Air is the smaller, 11-inch model, and  although the back-lit keyboard is a dream to use,  the screen size causes eye strain. Sure, it will always be a little faster than our Windows computers, partly because it has a solid state drive, and partly because it will never have a lot of programs on board, but there is a learning curve:  We have to search Google for the Mac commands when we forget them.  Finally, there are many Windows programs near and dear to our hearts. For Joy, it’s her greeting card software and web editing program. But mainly, Windows is what we’re used to. Our use goes all the way back to version 1.0, which a salesman told Joy she needed it in order to fax. That sure was useful, because we’ve sent one fax in the last twenty years.

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