Thursday, November 6, 2014

Learning how to use my new laptop computer

The Scientific Method

This morning I found a link HERE which explains how to fix the "two finger scroll not working" problem.  There's a different solution HERE.  The technician I talked with on Tuesday spent a lot of time looking at the solution described on the web page HERE.  Other possible solutions may be found HERE.

My experience has been as follows:

I bought my laptop a month ago, on October 1, 2014.  The instructions on how to use the touchpad included two finger scrolling, right-edge swipe to show the "charms," left-edge swipe to switch between apps, and other features.

I had a LOT of difficulty adjusting to the touchpad AND the fact that if the cursor landed on some link and remained there for more than a fraction of a second, the link would activate.  Or if the cursor was on a link when I completed a scroll motion, when I touched the touchpad again to complete the scroll it might be the same as activating the link that was currently under the cursor.  Within a few days I somehow clicked on a link or did something that filled my computer with malware.  So, I had to take it back to the store to have it cleaned out.  They restored all the software to its original state.  The two finger scroll was still working fine.  (I was also having MAJOR problems figuring out the best way to copy and paste.)

So, that was how I used my lap top from October 1 to November 2 when the touchpad suddenly stopped working altogether.  I couldn't even move the arrow around, because there was no arrow.

I took the laptop back to the store, and they seemingly fixed the problem.  However, when I got it home I found that, while I could move the arrow around, the two-finger scroll didn't work, nor did the left-swipe, etc.

The next day, November 3, I contacted the store's on-line site and they restored the two-finger scroll function in about 20 minutes.

But, on November 4, while visiting, I started getting "unresponsive plugin" and "unresponsive script" messages over and over, like it was in a loop.  And, I think the cursor arrow changed to a small hand for awhile.  When I managed to get out of that web site, the touchpad on my laptop was once again totally dead.  It didn't work at all.  (I think it's possible that the first time the touchpad went totally dead I'd been either on that same site or on 

So, I again contacted the store's on-line site.  This time, the technician spent two hours prowling around trying to find a solution.  He finally restored some functionality to the touchpad, but not two finger scrolling.  When it was clear he was just doing the same things over and over and over without any change in the results, I told him I was going to take the laptop back to the store technicians so that they could see what I was doing on the touchpad.  (The on-line technician had type into a communication box when he wanted to ask me to use the touchpad to see if some fix had worked or not.)

So, on November 5, I took the laptop back to the store.  And that's where the situation is at the moment.

But, I'm concerned that there may be no current workable solution to the problem. And, I'm thinking that the store technicians just can't say that it is a " currently unsolvable problem."

Plus, it had taken me a month to discover that I probably shouldn't be using the touchpad anyway, since the mouse is VASTLY easier to use.  I just need the touchpad for the rare occasions when I might take my laptop out of the office to some place where it isn't convenient to use a mouse. (That's why I bought a laptop and not another desktop computer.)

Some history:

I started working with computers in 1964 as a programmer.  Later I became a systems analyst and systems manager for major corporations.  I think I got my first home computer sometime in the 1980s.  I use my current home computer all the time, but I don't keep up to date on software changes.

On my old computer, I'm currently running Windows XP.  I use my old computer to maintain my web site, which I update on average once per day.  I use Netscape 7.2 (which I think is from 1998) as my email software AND as my web site composer.  I use Lotus-123 (1998 version) for my spreadsheets.  I use Word 2003 to write my books.

I'm having problems with emails.  It sometimes takes a half-dozen tries to send an email, and it may take five minutes or more to receive/download an email.  

So, I decided I needed to upgrade.  But, I can't switch to Windows 8.1 on my old computer without reloading all the application software, and I'm not sure how much of my old software will work on 8.1.

So, I bought a new laptop.  The plan was to switch everything over to the laptop, and then convert to Windows 8 or 8.1 on my old computer.  And one of the two computers could be used as a backup.

It took me nearly a month to realize that I shouldn't be using Firefox as my web browser on my laptop.  (I had been using Firefox for many years on my old computer, but the "current" version on my old computer with Windows XP is NOT the same as the current version of Firefox on Windows 8.1.)

I didn't think it would be a good idea to try to continue using Netscape 7.2 as my composer.  So, I tried finding a composer in Windows OFFICE 365.  But, they don't have one for Windows 8.1.  I did research and found out about Firebug.  I downloaded it, but I couldn't do anything with it.  It's a totally different kind of composer.  Talking with people on the Firebug forum, I was told that I should be using SeaMonkey.  I'd never heard of SeaMonkey, but when I downloaded it, it looked to be PERFECT for my needs.  Of course, someone else quickly said that a different program, Bluegriffon was better. Maybe so, but first I'll have to see if SeaMonkey does all I need it to do.   

I also use my computer to argue with conspiracy theorists on my blog HERE.

I haven't even tried to switch my two email accounts to the laptop.  My old computer still uses "pop servers."  (I have an archive of 50,000 emails that would probably need to be switched over, too.)

But, mostly I want to use my computer to write books.  I just need to get this computer changeover completed first.

If the two-finger scroll and other features on the touchpad can't be made to work, I need to find out how to get to the "charms" functions some other way, along with finding a different way to do all the other things that don't work.  There would only be a "serious" problem if the touchpad could not be used to visit web sites because I might visit one that triggers a total shutdown of my touchpad.