I’m sitting here now, writing from my new computer. Yes, my life is returning somewhat to normal now, though I do have a lot of catching up to do with things that got backed up due to my lack of a proper ‘puter.

I got the new machine last Friday and hooked it up over the weekend. I was concerned that there could be major compatibility issues between my software and the new Windows 7 operating system (my old computer having XP), so I took a philosophical deep breath when I tried to install the first program, Pentax’s ACDSee photo browser. The software loaded and installed without a problem.

Then I tried installing Photoshop Elements. More precisely, Photoshop Elements 2.0, which is a pretty old version of the program. That also installed without a problem. Next was the software for my scanner – also no problem. So, things were going well. Then I hit a snag.

I tried to load the drivers for my printer, an Epson Stylus Photo 820, but I got a message saying that the software was incompatible. Oh, well. I’d been planning to get a new printer anyway. Then I mentioned it to someone I know, and he suggested that I go to Microsoft’s Windows 7 page to look it up. According to that, no downloads were needed. So I thought, “What the heck” and tried to print something. It worked! So, I can hold off on getting a new printer if I want.

The only problem I can discern is that I don’t know how much ink I have, as this printer uses one color cartridge and the new printing page has the indicator for multiple color cartridges. I’m also trying to figure out how to get the computer to give me a page preview for each thing I want to print as my old machine did.

Finally, I did hit an impass. When I tried to install my Roxio program for burning and editing CDs and DVDs, etc., it refused to load. The software is just too old for Windows 7. So, I have to get something new. I was thinking of getting the new Roxio Creator 2010, but according to an online review from a major publication, the software automatically deletes the audio for video files that one wants to use to make DVDs or Blu-rays, for some strange reason. That is not what I want – though I wonder if I misunderstand the review and there’s a way to get around that. I wish there’s a way I can find out for sure short of buying the thing. (I’ve had problems synching the audio with the video on my earlier Roxio programs, but it’s hard to imagine that they’ve tried to solve the problem by simply doing away with the audio!)

Last night, I tried to scan some negatives with the new machine for the first time. You can see one of the resulting images at the top – a photograph of shadows on a foot bridge over a canal in Venice, made on my visit there last year.

Expect to see more.

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