Thursday, January 30, 2003

I tried to find a link to put here, but couldn't locate anything suitable. So I'll do my own summary. I noticed some mention in a Reuter's story on AOL today that some telemarketing companies and a trade group filed suit to stop the FCC from setting up a Do Not Call registry. This figures. We've had one in New York for a while, and I can't say enough good things about it - I notice a huge decrease in the number of annoying phone calls I receive. What a pleasure! So I hope the FCC wins.

This reminded me of an article I read recently in The Independent, about a bill pending in the State Assembly that was sparked by the success of the Do Not Call registry. They are considering establishing Do Not Mail/Email Registries. I tried to find a link to that story also, but once again, came up short. Anyway, the article stated that paper junk mail leads to about 500,000 tons of solid waste annually! My paper recycling bins are collected every two weeks, and they are always overflowing. Sure, some part are newspapers, catalogues that I want to receive, computer printer paper, envelopes from monthly bills or personal mail, and food packaging boxboard, but the vast majority is irritating, unwanted junk mail, plain and simple. Credit card offers, solicitations from all sorts of companies, mail order company catalogues that I will never use, you name it. And I notice Spam is growing in leaps and bounds in my three email accounts - every time I open my mail, there they are: improve your credit, get a second mortgage, XXX-HOT HOT HOT Click here, buy virus checking utilities, the convoluted scheme to help out someone in Nigeria, verify your account by sending in your credit card number and password, and usually a few to howzer-wildcard that are gibberish. So here's hoping the Assembly creates that Registry, and saves us time, space, and some trees.

I ordered an enhanced keyboard for the Netvista. The Aptiva has one, but I forgot to upgrade when I ordered the new machine, and we didn't realize how much we'd miss it. It's important, when the phone rings for "business" to be able to hit the Mute button on the CD easily. The LAN is working out just great. It has really cut down on the hassle of upgrading. Transferring files to the network is a wonderful solution, plus the old faithful Aptiva is right downstairs if I need something. The stairs are giving me a workout - but that is actually another plus. Still, there are things to tweak here and there, which is a tiny pain. The Aptiva is recognizing my HP 1170C printer, now that it is on the network, as 800-something; it still works, but some paper is manual feed. Hit print, run upstairs to feed paper! The Netvista tells me there is no Internet mail server when I am in Lotus Notes. Hit "save mail as draft," run downstairs to send!

There was a time when I did a lot of computer support at work; I was never a big techie, but as an early adopter and enthusiast, I developed some skills, and so later adopters and those with fewer skills became dependent on me when the folks from the help desk were slow in responding, or when they had been dismissed with "it's a user problem" or "we don't support that software" as the official techie response. But that was mostly back in the days of DOS, Windows 3.1, maybe early Windows 95. Email was catching on. Networks were not so pedestrian. A benefit was that I liked the control of choosing the brand and installing options and configuring my own machine.

I am not inclined to spend my time that way any longer. I don't miss the days of crawling under dusty desks in my skirt to find the cable, or dragging monitors and laser printers around on my task chair. No more questions directed at me that have "hit F7" as the answer. Now the only thing in my chair is my rear end, and although work attire is most commonly sweat pants and a tee shirt, you won't see me on my hands and knees.

Now I just want it to work! I've been lucky - or made good choices - maybe because no approval from above was required, this was my nickel! But I haven't had a bit of trouble with my computers or printers, and I hope that continues. I can't remember the last time I had so much as a paper jam! That little tool pack I received at some computer marketing event or another waits to be called into service again. Maybe in a few years, when I'll need a small screwdriver to fix my eyeglasses? Not sure, because in spite of umpteen hours staring at a screen, and although the clock is ticking, I haven't reached the point where I need to wear eyeglasses yet.

I have started my research into POD. The demands of the semester mean that I can't spend quite as much time as I'd like, but I am learning something, I guess. There are so many vendors, and it is all a little confusing. The Writer magazine did an OK job of summarizing in the current issue. Anyway, because my query has been sent, as usual excitement interferes with my sleep, and so I gave in and burned the midnight oil. I reviewed my proposal once again, and wrote a nice little bit on One Egg Cake for the first chapter. :-)

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