Wednesday, 31 January 2007

I really didn't want Vista - honest!

After months of waiting, planning and research I finally bought a new home computer. Our old one (nearly 8 years old!) had served us sort of well but sometime in October last year it decided that it WAS NOT going to dial out to the internet. Yes, dial out, as in dial-up. Anyway, it developed cyber-agoraphobia and didn’t want anything to do with the outside world, no matter how much the cables, telephone and even modem coaxed it. No idea what is wrong and considering the thing is ancient, well it just had to go.

After all, it only had 4.2 GB in the hard drive!!

So we spent a few months doing the research, choosing features that would make our lives easier and finding a nice compromise between function and price. So we finally found it and then waited for the end of the financial year of the company we bought from, hoping for last minute discounts and offers.

The upside to all this is that, somehow, I will be getting a PC with Vista on it. I must admit it wasn’t by choice, and thankfully it also comes with Windows XP (as we bought on the cusp between Vista being launched and the old systems being still offered) and I actually thought that was enough. I mean, my PC came with Win98 and I’ve recently had to upgrade to Win2000 so that I could use my MP3 player (which, incidentally, has more storage space than the PC!!!)

So I thought WinXP was ample, besides, why would I want Vista? It’s new, it’s bound to be full of flaws and I’ll spend months downloading patches and service updates. No thanks, just give me XP and I’ll be happy. But friends in-the-know convinced me to get the Vista upgrade – after all, it was free – so I am about to receive a PC at the cutting edge of operating systems.

This got me thinking: why was I so adamant to stick to old XP? I consider myself quite techy and generally keep up with the latest gadgets and news. I have nothing against new stuff and in fact quite like it. But somehow, this doesn’t translate to actually wanting to OWN any of this technology. I’m not at all an early adopter but like to wait for others to spend all the money in buying flashy technology while I happily buy all the older stuff for cheaper. Or never buy it!

A great example: I do love all those electronic diaries around but when it comes to me, I still use a paper one with a pencil! I tried a gadget once but eventually gave it up to carry on using my paper diary.

I am the same when it comes to scrap gadgets – I like to stay informed of what’s what but then, when it comes time to purchase, I’m not even interested. Like the Cricut that everyone’s talking about and waiting with bated breath to buy: I can appreciate that it looks like fun but I’m not even slightly interested in one. I am happy cutting out with scissors. Same goes for the Cropadile – I appreciate that it is really cool but I already have a hammer so I’ll stick with that.

I wonde what will happen after a few days of using Vista? Will I want to re-install XP? Will I fall in love with all the new features in Vista? Will I love it so much that I will become a Vista evangelist and tell everyone to upgrade? Will I end up selling it on Ebay because it drove me nuts?

I shall keep you informed!

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

C'mon scrappers - let's be honest

We’ve all made them, right? We all wish to lose the weight, eat better, sort our finances, scrap all our backlog, give more generously, that sort of thing. Another resolution is the wish to be a better person – to eliminate all those nasty habits that don’t help us become the best we can be.

I was thinking about this when I was reading one of the popular scrapping forums out there and it struck me how many women were proud of deceiving their husbands. Ladies up and down the land were shopping to their heart’s content and then lying about how much they spent, lying about the amount of stash they’d purchased or even hiding purchases from their husbands so that he doesn’t know.

I’m sure that it isn’t just scrappers that do this but lots of women shop til they drop and then lie about it to their husband/partner/significant other. In some cases I know that they hold separate accounts so perhaps it really doesn’t matter as each has their own money... but I do know of cases where the woman doesn’t work and happily will spend and spend the family’s money. Even worse, some women are proud of being able to do this and let their husbands live not knowing the true state of the finances, which can be not so healthy.

I just don’t get it, obviously. There are so many aspects of this that bother me, first of all the fact that I just couldn’t lie to my husband about anything. He and I are partners in this marriage and if things are to work, we must be totally sincere with each other about everything, even how much my new dress cost. If I can’t tell him this then something else is wrong.

Also, if one must lie about the expense then it probably means that the purchase is an extravagance – and could be placing the partnership on the brink of financial peril. Priorities have to be kept somewhere! I couldn’t look my family in the eye if I know that I’ve had to buy cheaper food just so that I could afford some new, unnecessary bit of stash (as I’ve heard others do).

It isn’t difficult to find someone discussing this very topic on all the scrapping boards, often women telling each other with great glee how they can deceive their husbands/boyfriends about how much they’ve just spent. It seems sad that this deception is taken as something to be proud of and a mark of just how clever you are. I have never been comfortable with this aspect of scrapbooking discussions and hope that it doesn’t become an even more common part of this otherwise enjoyable medium.

So ladies, join me in the resolution to spend only as much as you can afford and to never lie to your partner about just how much you’ve spent. It is a small step but can help to make us all better people.

What do you think?

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