Yesterday evening was long and hectic but productive. I'd promised I'd pop
round to Sarah's while she's away in order to do a few bits and pieces for her
while the coast was clear - specifically to try and attack the jungle that her
back garden had somewhat become, and to try and "rationalise" the computer's
setup a bit.
So I loaded up Mark's strimmer into the back of my car - yes, my car, much
nicer! - and drove round there. Having cleared the lawn of miscellaneous
discarded toys, bottles and so on, I set to work with the strimmer. It cut
about two - maybe three - blades of grass before it decided it would go into
economy power-saving mode and hardly spin, let alone cut. Oops.
Oh well, it was a good thing I'd brought all my disks and so on with me,
because I was going to have a lot more time to work on the computer than I'd
planned, and I got started with slowly sorting things out. Except that then
Mark replied to my earlier text message about the strimmer, giving me the
go-ahead to buy a new one, so I whizzed off to Homebase and pondered awhile
over their selection of such tools. Eventually I went for a Black & Decker one
with a 12m cable, which was just as well, because it only just reached to the
end of Sarah's lawn, and I had been seriously contemplating getting a 6m one!
I didn't strim for long though, because it was very noisy, and by then it was
getting a bit late, but I was able to attack the worst of the growth and may
well return to finish things off later in the week. I might bring the
hover-mower next time - assuming that works better than Mark's old strimmer -
since all the grass is fairly short now. Sarah's got a push-mower, but it
didn't seem to work when I tried it briefly...
Anyway, back to the PC I went, and spent another three hours generally playing
with the configuration, organising things more logically and hopefully
improving the performance more than a little. I'm still not entirely happy
with its speed, but it's almost certainly better than it was, having had a few
unnecessary background tasks - including some spyware - removed. I also
installed firewall and advert-blocking software, which should help prevent
against repeat performances in future, though I suspect a little education may
be in order too.
I'm sure in the process I'll have deleted something treasured by the girls, but
Sarah had asked me to use my discretion with anything potentially inappropriate
or unsuitable, and I think we are generally fairly like-minded in that regard
so I don't foresee any major problems. Nevertheless, I thought it would be a
good opportunity to install a few new freeware games - as I'd been promising
for a while, and I'd earlier popped a load of installers on a CD-R - and
hopefully avoid any potential tantrums.
It was pushing midnight by the time I finally got away, having cleared away my
empty beer bottles and so on - had to have some sustenance to keep going that
long! - and checking everything was locked and secured. A productive evening,
though, for sure!