Yesterday my PC decided to upgrade itself to Internet Explorer 8. Now, let’s be crystal clear about this. I didn’t upgrade anything. The PC upgraded itself. I had no say in the matter. I turned it on, went to prepare brekky, and when I came back, it was already done. At least the machine had the manners to tell me what it had done. There was a message on the screen saying that it had installed IE8 and had restarted itself, and the implication was that if I wasn’t happy, I could go whistle.
At first nothing seemed different. But then once I’d entered yesterday’s blog entry, the explorer window then announced that it couldn’t find the very page it was showing. And then it went to an error screen. Which was rubbish. The website existed. The P.C. could call it up. It just didn’t want to, and it wouldn’t. It simply couldn’t be bothered. Needless to say, that was not going to be of much use to me.
A restart didn’t cure the problem, nor did half a dozen more restarts. Seeing how this problem had only come about following the change to IE8, the obvious answer was to go back to IE7. I say “obvious” – some things are easy to say. But not so easy to do. “Flap your arms and fly like a bird”. “Strike this match on that bar of soap”. “Go back to IE7”. Any twit can say it – doing isn’t so simple. After an hour I concluded that it was impossible to go back to IE7. So it was suggested I did a system restore. If I put the P.C. back to how it was last night, that would be the answer to my problems. So I pressed the System Restore button.
Oh how I laughed. I am never going to press the System Restore button again. Ever. All it did was to utterly trash any internet exploring ability whatsoever. Up to this point I could surf the net to a limited extent. Now I couldn’t do anything at all. I resisted the urge to cry.
Over an hour later I eventually figured out how to undo the system restore. That seemed to solve my ability to look at my blog once I’d uploaded an entry. But I wasn’t taking any chances, and I’ve downloaded Safari web browser as an emergency backup just in case. I say “emergency backup” – at the moment IE8 doesn’t display my blog’s slide show or the hit counter at the bottom of the page, but Safari does. And Safari looks sexier. I might just change to it permanently. Once I can figure out how to make it the default browser. I’ve heard good reports about FireFox. I tried it out - it’s not as good as Safari.
I suppose one good thing about all this aggro was that I’ve found a better web browser. But there’s no denying that there were a very fraught few hours last night. And I lay the blame firmly at the feet of the I.T. community. Why does I.T. need constant updates and upgrades? Why does it have to be like that? Nothing else in the world is.
Take my car, for example. It’s a good car. I like it, I’ve got used to how it works, and where the controls are. One of my colleagues has a newer version of the same car. It’s slightly different to my car in several trivial ways, but at no stage has the manufacturer tried to impose those changes on me. I’ve bought a car, and the only time it goes to a garage is to keep it in the condition that it was in when I got it. It will stay like that for another three years. I intend to do my car’s next upgrade in May 2012. And I have the details of that all planned. I will get shot of the car entirely and get a new one. And then that hypothetical new car will stay as it is until it too is replaced.
Not so with the P.C., though. The whole thing is intended to be constantly upgraded and updated. And whenever such an “improvement” occurs, there is then a period of a week trying to repair the damage that the “improvement” has done. I’m never going to “upgrade” again….