Monthly Archives: December 2014

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, everybody!
Them Days will close at noon on New Year’s Eve (today) and then stay closed for tomorrow (New Year’s Day) as well. We will reopen as usual on Friday, January 2. (And then we’ll be off for the weekend!)
Be safe!
Aimee

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Non-Stop December!

Between the computer issues (all fully resolved, thankfully!) the magazine mailout, working on new projects, and the Christmas rush, it has been one BUSY December. I feel like I’ve neglected this blog! I haven’t even shown all the decorations that Tabea and Daphne put up one day when I was out, and I haven’t even said who Tabea IS, just yet. I will! But for now, let’s get to Christmas decorations:

Our tree, decorated with handmade things (mostly)

Our tree, decorated with handmade things (mostly)

Our retail space

Our retail space

Retail space

Retail space again

Aimee

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2014 in review (Statistically speaking, at least, just for the blog)

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,700 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Just update this, they said. It’ll be easy, they said.

Why yes, we are taking care of some things, aren't we? Windows 8.1 is very perceptive.

Why yes, we are taking care of some things, aren’t we? Windows 8.1 is very perceptive. This was Daphne’s computer last week.

This, my friends, is my new reality at Them Days. Editor, you say? Why no, I am an IT person now!

(The rest of this post is illustrated not with my own photos, but with scenes from Office Space, a movie you must watch if you have ever worked in an office, particularly for a large corporation or government.)

It all started when Daphne’s Simply Accounting program updated itself automatically. Turns out, it’s not compatible with Windows XP (why yes, we are living in the computing Dark Ages–we are called Them Days, after all), and the very act of either installing it or trying to open it rendered not only the 2015 version unusable, it also caused the old version to stop working.

So the only solution was to be brought into the 21st century, kicking and screaming.

uhy

Through the lovely folks at TechSoup Canada, we were able to obtain licenses for Windows 8.1 at a cost that was affordable for an organization like Them Days, and we set about backing up the computer and installing the new Windows. It went great, until we realized (too late) that backing up all your files doesn’t actually back up all your files–buh bye emails.

We did Daphne’s first, because it was most important that she get her accounting system back up and running, especially before the new issue of the magazine gets back to us (it’s been at the printers for almost three weeks now). My computers would wait.  Daphne’s computer wasn’t working that great, anyway, so we hoped that the upgrade would get rid of whatever it was that was the problem before (yes, we defragged. yes, we got rid of unnecessary things. yes, there was plenty of empty space–40 gigs worth. yes, we ran virus scans and malware detectors).

So that was last week.

This week, I wasn’t in any particular hurry to install the new Windows. I’d have to re-install many more programs on my computer than the Office Suite and Sage 50, and there were SO MANY EMAILS to think about not losing. But I knew it would have to be done soon.

Well, my home laptop ran an Adobe Flash updater in the morning, so I wasn’t surprised when my work computer ran it as well. So I ran it, installed the update.

Fast forward to the early afternoon, when there were a ton of people in here and it was hopping! (For some reason, it can be quiet here for days, and then all of a sudden, there’s a rush of people all wanting to tell a story, look up a photo, or renew subscriptions.) One of the customers was looking for a particular photo, and I couldn’t find it. I told him to come in my office and he could review the photos if he wanted, as it was possible that the photo wasn’t labelled and he had a better chance of recognizing his relative than I did. He came in, and I set about closing all the programs I had open (I always have a ton of windows open at once) and the computer was suddenly VERRRRYY slow, unusual for my desktop. Adobe Acrobat, in particular, was freezing up and wouldn’t close. Hmm.

2014officespaceproblem

Anyway, he looked through the pictures and left, and I went back on my computer. It kept freezing and programs would end…it just wasn’t going well. So I restarted it.

The restart process was SLOW. And things kept going wrong. So I kept restarting. This was the lovely error that would pop up every time Windows restarted.

svchost.exe

The instruction at “0x77d0b653” referenced memory at “0x77d0b653.” The required data was not placed into memory because of an I/O error status of “0xc000009c.”

monday1

Doing a bit of research on another computer (well, my phone because Tabea was deeply embroiled in a search for some archival photos for Snowblind and Seal Finger–more on that later) I learned that it was likely caused by an update or installation issue with registry files. I’m guessing that just like the new update of Daphne’s accounting program, the Flash update wasn’t compatible with XP. I did find instructions on how to fix svchost.exe problems, but I figured it was just time to bite the bullet and update Windows. But first–those emails!

Restarting and restarting and restarting wasn’t helping any, so I decided to start it up and let it load overnight when I was gone home. It was really THAT slow. It wasn’t a good day. I definitely had a case of the Mondays.

caseofthemondays

I wasn’t sure what I would come back to this morning, but things had loaded and it seemed to be doing okay. Mind you, it was still mighty slow–click on a menu and it would react in about a minute, no word of an exaggeration, but it was working.

So I set about backing up all the emails in two email identities, spent hours at it, only to find out that you can’t import them into Outlook 2013. No kidding. Microsoft doesn’t support its own file types. So currently, I am now exporting the files to Outlook, and then from Outlook, I’ll export again, to save it for when I do a clean install and get the new Windows. It’s a LONG process, and I want to backup all the files again before I delete anything. It was backed up recently, but better safe than sorry, right?

deathtofaxcopier

So if you need me, I’ll be sitting in front of my computer, waiting for it to do something, getting some reading done or other needed tasks that don’t need a computer.

Aimee

P.S. Daphne is currently muttering about her stapler, so I’m pretty sure that we are in a scene from Office Space right now.

I’m just thankful nobody has asked for TPS reports yet.

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Very sweet surprise!

20141209---card

I don’t usually get a whole lot of feedback from readers or those we interview, but when I came back from leave this week, I was greeted by a small white envelope on my desk. Inside was a Christmas card with a very nice thank you note from the ladies I worked with on the Our Lady Queen of Peace story in the September issue. (They even included a gift card to Subway–thank you!) I was so happy to hear that they appreciated the work my summer students and I put into that story, because we wanted to do justice to the story of the church’s beginnings in Happy Valley and all the hard work that the parishioners had put into building their church.

One of the women we worked with on the story was Anita Battcock, who passed away recently. 😦 I am glad I got to meet her, hear her story, and have her see it in the pages of Them Days before she passed. Anita was a pillar of the Our Lady Queen of Church parish, and I know she is greatly missed.

I have a small collection of thank you cards I’ve collected over the past six-and-a-half years on my bulletin board in my office, and you can bet this is going up there too…but I’m going to keep it on my desk for a few days yet! It puts a smile on my face. It’s always nice to know when your work is appreciated!

Aimee

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Giving Tuesday

I’m currently on leave, but I was watching the news this morning and learned about the Giving Tuesday movement, and I thought I should promote it! Please think of Them Days if you’re planning to participate! Give to us directly, or support Them Days through buying Them Days gifts for your loved ones this Christmas season–it all helps.

Aimee

PS if you donate through givingtuesday.ca and pay through interac online, your donation will be matched up to $25!

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