My Life In Tech: Just When I Thought I’d Seen Everything

[notice]I’m bringing some of the posts from an old blog over to this one.  I’ll kill off the old blog when I’ve got the good stuff over here.  This was originally posted July 11, 2010.[/notice]

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of work  for people who just got a new PC with Windows 7 on it and want me to get their files from their old PC to the new one.

This is easiest when the customer buys a whole new system, including a monitor.  I can get started on setting up the new system while I transfer files from the old PC to an external hard drive.

A Sokoban Game

Like Lucy in the candy factory, but slower

When they just replace the tower, I have to get the file transfer process going first because I’m going to need that monitor on the new system.  It’s a little bit like that old DOS game Sokoban, but I’ve gotten pretty efficient at moving through the first 22 levels of the process.

Last week I set up a new Windows 7 laptop for a lady who wanted me to get her files from her Windows 98 machine.  Well, the external hard drive I carry wasn’t going to be an option because it happens to be formatted NTFS.  Because why on earth would I need a FAT hard drive?

And it turns out I didn’t, because this PC had no USB ports.  It must have been upgraded from Windows 95 at some point.  So no external hard drive, and forget about even tracking down drivers for my FAT USB keys.

No problem, right?  I’ll just burn some CDs.  Nope, no CD burner.

Now it gets interesting.  I can remove the hard drive, put it in an enclosure and transfer the files that way, but I hate that option.  It always turns out that the case hasn’t been opened in 10 years and the hard drive is underneath rails or otherwise difficult to remove.  So what I’ve got left is a working NIC and a Telus modem/router combination.

It’s been so long since I worked on a Windows 98 PC that I honestly don’t think I could even bluff my way through networking this PC and the Win7 laptop.  But.  I found the last version of Filezilla that works with Windows 98 (Version 2.2.22) and installed that.  Then I FTPed her stuff to my domain’s FTP space.  When I set up the laptop, I installed the current Filezilla client and FTPed everything down.  That went a lot faster.

After that is was the routine tasks of setting up email, importing her old mail and contacts and putting documents and pictures where they belong.  The really hard part of the afternoon was trying to get PowerPoint Viewer to work, but that’s for another post.

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