Saturday, June 10, 2006

Computers, Friend Or Foe

Remember The Simple Life?
By: James A. Warholic

Behind The Web

Imagine all the time saved by the powerful programs and computers. Now imagine all the lost time when those same programs or computer hardware stops functioning.

Just when you go to do something that you positively need to get done, a roadblock goes up.

Well, I needed to burn a CD slide show for my wife using Picasa from Google. First off, Picasa is a cool program for fixing, editing, cropping, finding, cataloging, and fine tuning all your digital pictures and photos. The program offers a cool feature of exporting a slide show by automatically burning a CD or DVD photo slideshow onto a disk. The slideshow plays automatically or can be advanced manually. Plus Picasa is Free.

Everything was going great. My wife, a teacher, had taken 160 pictures of her students in class. We fine tuned the pictures and cropped some into close-up shots of various students. Once we had the order arranged then we were going to export it out to a photo slideshow CD. This is where the problem started.

The computer would not recognize the CD/DVD Read Write drive. It would only function as a Read drive and the Write section was not functioning. Tried various CD writing programs and they all responded the same way. It appeared as though the CD/DVD drive was the culprit. I remembered that we had an old computer with a read/write CD drive. Popped out the drive from the old computer and installed it into the newer computer. Sure enough, the operating system found the drive and everything worked just fine.

So, a half hour job became a two hour job; including all the troubleshooting that had taken place. While I have the experience with electronics and computer troubleshooting; most people do not. As our world has gotten more technical, and devices have included more electronics, and computers have more programs that share resources with one another, any small glitch can cause a major hiccup in our daily lives.

Maybe it was a more simple life before we had all this stuff in our life and times.

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