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22.9 computers again

I need to remember not to use computers for my work, it has been my new year’s resolution two years in a row, and I always break it, with predictably bad results. Or at least, if I do have to do something computer based, I need to make sure it is early enough in the project that there is plenty of time to fix all the problems or, if necessary, to redo it all properly (by which I mean by hand, with a decent ruler and set of pens).
All I had to do was draw three pictures on three different programs and print them all on a single page. The drawings themselves did not cause too much trouble, though som parts took rather a long time, little complex details, especially trying to get the curves just right, but eventually I had them all done, then I had less than 24 hours until the work was due in, plenty of time to print it out, right?
The plan was, where I had done two pictures here and one at the university, I emailed my two to myself, so I could open them at the university and copy all three into another program to arrange them all and print. I got to the comouter room, the first computer I tried just refused to let me log in for no reason, so I moved to another, and this did not work. It seems the university thinks it a good idea to put different programs on each computer, with no indication of what is on each, so often I find myself trying to do something only to discover I need to move to another computer to find the right program. This time, though, the program was there, it just did not work. This particular one, there is some problem, on occasion it pops up with a message that a serial number has been found and needs to be entered, or some such, but whatever you do is wrong and it closes. Sometimes this happens after half an hour or so working, on this occasion it happened half way through loading over and over, until I gave up and moved to computer three.
There, I managed to extract the three images and put them into photoshop, which was surprisingly difficult, the program seemingly designed to be just a little annoying and overly complicated at every point, and there was no way of measuring the separate images to ensure that they were all to the same scale, but I did my best, it looked quite reasonably OK, if not quite perfect, as is usual with computer work, then I saved it and went to print.
And that is where the real fun begins. It seems photoshop doesn’t print any more, I go to print, nothing happens, and when I go back to try again, the option has been greyed out. So, I turn everything off and go to another computer, back in the main computer room. The same thing happens there, I visit the technicians, they have no idea what is wrong, but the file has not appeared in any print queue. Then they send someone over that has no idea what they are doing, I watch them trying a few things, move over to computer five, which is really old and slow, and everything takes so long to load, with the exact same result. Saving as a different format did not work, all the export options were suddenly unavailable, and copying the image into another photoshop file just broke the whole computer.
So, back to looking for another computer, the technicians having given up I decide the best thing would be to redo the whole thing again, but someone has been going around all the computers stealing the mice, even the ones padlocked to the computers. I find two that still have mice, one doesn’t work, the other doesn’t have the right program. By the time I had finally given up here, of course it was getting late, the shop I had needed to visit was closed, so I cannot get on with that part of my work either. That means, work due in early tomorrow, and nothing to show for the three weeks effort.
At least the other page worked, I did all that by hand, I had wanted to draw it, scan it into the computer and edit it there, but the scanned images were useless, they tell us to work on A1 paper all the time, but then only ever provide A4 scanners, so I had to scan lots of separate images, folding my paper up to fit it in, then piece them together afterwards, where they were not all quite the same colours, or even all quite the same sizes. Then, with that done, there was nothing I could do with the file, the background was slightly off white and so many different shades it would have taken hours to change the colours, to fit it to a different background image, even to rub out the little mistakes and replace them with the background colour. Certainly I could not actually colour in the picture itself. then, how would I go about fitting other images to it, they would all be so much brighter being taken from a computer, and how would I have the one I wanted such that it faded from one side to the other?
So, I gave up on that and worked on it all by hand, with a set of colouring pencils, and within an hour it all looked rather nice, less time, in fact, than it had taken me to get the scanner to work in the first place. Such a shame the other part is a computer drawing exercise.

I think, tomorrow I will have to be up and in the university really early, I can have another go at recreating that same set of images, I think I will try a different program, see if I can find any others that allow pictures to be imported from elsewhere, and I might try photoshop again, perhaps if I reduced the resolution of the pictures a bit, so that it does not take up so much space or take so long to load? Got to be worth a try, at least.

Meanwhile, yes, my laptop is broken now, only a couple of months after I got it. Every time I plug it in, it just switches off, so I have to run it on the battery and recharge it only between uses. Fun.

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