Monday, May 6, 2013

Life and other things

Never order a new computer when you're set for a book release.

That is today's lesson gleaned from my experience. My desktop computer has been failing for at least a year, weakened by the malware attack which apparently damaged hardware. Not worth repairing, so my dear hubby said we could use some of our tax refund to replace it.

So I did, but the first one was a lemon. It happens. Not usually on the very first boot up, as happened to me, but I actually prefer lemons to make themselves known right away rather than after the warranty expires, lol. Back in the box it went.

The second replacement seems fine, if still a bit slow (I'm attributing this to McAfee, which I let the salesman talk me into). He was very nice, though - I insisted on Windows 7 so I wouldn't have to replace every last bit of software I own, and Dell accommodated me. He likewise gave me a tip to look online for drivers to update my old printer's software.

While I'm excited about the new computer, I'm also scrambling to catch up. The past few weeks have been crazy busy with the release of Cursed, which launched Decadent's new Tease line (yay!). But you never know how many files you accumulate - and in how many places - until you try to transfer them all. I'm still hunting down things I need.

I'm also excited that I splurged on Photoshop Elements 11, but now am finding that I need to relearn it. The last version I had was 3, and they've made lots of little changes.

Windows made lots of changes to its MovieMaker program too - I didn't realize, or I wouldn't have used my credit card points to buy Sony's Movie Sound Studio HD. My trailers are so blah compared to some of the wonderful book videos out there. But no matter which program I use, I'll have to learn (or, in MovieMaker's case, relearn) it.

Meanwhile, I had two story edits to finish this weekend - on my historical, Betting It All, and on Charmed, the second book in The Vitruvian Man series.

All that back and forth made me feel like I was accomplishing little. I did finish both story edits and sent those back to the editor. And I did get the PC in workable shape. Oh, and I managed to check off one more thing on my Author To Do list - a professional photo. I am camera shy normally, so believe me, this was a feat!

It's good to stop and take stock now and then. Too many times, I feel like I'm spinning my wheels and getting nowhere, but it's better to step back and take the longer view.

Any Photoshop or book video tips to share? :)

The other lesson for today is: Half a rainbow is better than none. Don't you agree?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm sorry you had so many issues! Yeah, McAfee can take a long time to load. I know Photoshop very well - best tip is just to play around with it as much as possible. It's far more powerful than most people realize.

Cate Masters said...

I didn't mean to whine, Alex! All that administrative stuff just drives me crazy. Glad to have it behind me. :)

Maria Zannini said...

When it rains, it pours.

I hate McAfee. Hate it. I will never use it again for as long as I live. It locked up my computer in the midst of an important deadline and they didn't even have the decency to own up to it--even when the technician proved it was their software that gummed up the works.

Re: Photoshop
I don't use Elements. I prefer the Suite version with InDesign and Illustrator along with Photoshop.

It's about time I upgraded though. CS6 has some great updates that are useful for photo manipulation.

Hope the new computer behaves. You have enough on your plate.

Cate Masters said...

So envious! I'd love to have Creative Suite. But then I'd probably never get any writing done, lol
Yes, I am no fan of McAfee either, but then I wasn't impressed with AVG either so I didn't argue with the sales guy - much.