Sometimes you’ve got to admit the professional stuff is just better. For instance, my regular computer, which runs Windows XP, is down. So I’ve been using my laptop. The program I have set up on that is Ubuntu, because I can’t afford to buy a separate Windows install for it. Also Ubuntu works pretty good, but… today I finally got around to attaching my HP printer/scanner/copier all-in-one thing to it. Then I tested the scanner using the program that’s on this system, something called Xsane image scanner. Well it fired up fine and scanned with no trouble but this is what resulted:
That’s a scan of a standard 4″x6″ photo. It scanned exactly as a 452×290 pixel image. That’s the full sized file you’re seeing. The scanning program that Windows uses (that came with the scanner) scans something like 1500 by whatever pixels — anyway, it makes a nice big size. I don’t get what this Xsane program is doing, why it scans so small. I suppose I could look around on the internet to see what is the deal, but this is what I don’t have to do with programs I had to pay money for. I’m no programmer, and I’ve become even less interested in fooling around with computer settings as I’ve gotten older. Computer nerds live for this stuff, but I have other things I want to do.
So the need to get my computer fixed or buy a new one has become a little more urgent. (Also this laptop has a problem with the cursor randomly jumping around when I’m typing, which means I find myself half the time typing in an entirely different paragraph from where I was. I have no idea — I think it’s some problem with older Dells.) Whatever I end up with, it will run Windows. I need software that works without me having to fiddle endlessly with it. And don’t say “buy a Mac.” I will never be able to afford anything Apple makes, and I don’t care about “elegance” or whatever it is Mac users are always going on and on about. The things I do I can do fine with the Windows programs I’ve used for years. It’s not 1995 — Windows works fine now. Besides, if I got a Mac I’d be associating myself with people who have this attitude, and I don’t want to. I mean really — “trackpad,” “touchpad,” who gives a shit? And yes, I know all those shortcuts and I use them. And I used to grouse and groan and moan (not out loud but inside my head) at people who didn’t use the computer as swiftly and competently as I did. But you know what? I’ve since learned that stressing out about something so trivial as “she doesn’t know how to tab in forms! Argh!” adds absolutely nothing to my life. And I’ll bet there are lots of people like that who bought one of those cute iBooks who never will fill out a form without laboriously manipulating the cursor via “the touchpad thingie” and clicking in each field. Buying an Apple computer doesn’t instantly convey any special computer savvy to one. Also, all those visible windows piled up all over the place I find confusing; I want the application I am using to take up the entire desktop. I know how to find the other ones I have open. Anyway, Mac users act like their computers are so advanced that you can just run them telepathically but I’ve used Macs, and they work just like any other computer. They aren’t anything special.
So I don’t need my computer to be pretty and to give me street cred, but I do need it to work without me having to get a degree in advanced programming.