Thank You for Your Patience During Our Technical Unpleasantness (Updated)

System Disc Not Found

“System Disk Not Found.”

Two Baltimore and Ohio freight trains in a head-on crash, Laurel, Md., July 31, 1922. Via Shorpy.


What started out as an annoying but (seemingly) manageable technical problem with the ancient ENIAC in the L.A. Daily Mirror’s city room has turned into the computer equivalent of a heart-lung transplant. No data have been lost and we are backing up everything we have. But the ENIAC’s room full of vacuum tubes is going to have to make way for a current model. (Translation: The power supply died on my home-built computer and I’ve been forced to adopt the universally despised Windows 8).

Grayson_school_bully As anyone who has had the misfortune to deal with Windows 8 will tell you, it has a horrible user interface and is designed with utter contempt for the user. The entire attitude seems to be borrowed from Grayson, the School Bully in “Ripping Yarns”:  “Click here, you disgusting idiot, to get your MICROSOFT mail!” “Click here, you pitiful little moron, to write a MICROSOFT document!” “Click here, you small, wretched twerp, to view a photo.”  “Don’t talk to me about a START button, you minuscule, repulsive creature.” Think of it as Darth Clippy.

clippy  All of which is to explain that posting will be irregular in the coming days/weeks, as I grapple with the Windows 8 upgrade. I work a month ahead, so daily posts have been done to the middle of February, but getting the mystery photos up could be a challenge because they must be done daily.

Anyway, keep checking back. There will be lots to read (and listen to). But the mystery photos may be a challenge.

Update: Thanks for all the tips and advice. This is a history blog, not a Windows vs. Mac blog, so I won’t be posting the responses, but thanks for your input.

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About lmharnisch

I work at the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in Film, Hollywood, Transportation and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Thank You for Your Patience During Our Technical Unpleasantness (Updated)

  1. Cal and Lulu says:

    And why would an astute person like you not have a Mac?

    • lmharnisch says:

      I knew someone would ask the Mac question. My first experience with a personal computer was with a Mac back in the 1980s. In those days, it wasn’t possible to build an Apple clone (and it still isn’t as far as I know), but one could build a MS/DOS PC relatively cheaply. That has been true until the last year or so. It is no longer possible to build a PC from components as cheaply as buying a computer off the shelf. I have done the math. It’s impossible.

      I have visited the Genius Bar several times in the last few years, but I’ve never drunk the Kool-Aid. I think the Mac is mostly snob appeal. I’ve looked at years and years of data on the traffic to my websites and the Internet is owned by Windows PCs. Mac/Safari is usually in the single digits, ahead of the Linux/Ubuntu folks and a few outdated clunkers running dangerously old software.

  2. Eve says:

    Windows 8 is an evil plot by the young ‘uns to kill off all us oldsters by way of stress-induced strokes and heart attacks. I got one of the teenage techies at my office to install a work-around so I have a normal Windows 7 desktop with actual icons on it like nature intended.

  3. Earl Boebert says:

    Seriously. I think we should start a “get Larry a Mac” fund. Otherwise we’re in for endless grumpiness :-)

  4. kthursby says:

    Hang in there. Loved the train photo. Reminded me what my dad (career Santa Fe guy) would say whenever he saw a train accident or problem: “Must be Southern Pacific.”

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