Tuesday, 29 December 2009

A bit of xmas admin support

It started off simple enough: "Can you install Photoshop Elements please?" - A friend got Photoshop Elements for xmas, since it was plugged as an easy, effective way to manage and share photos. (Toshiba laptop, running Vista)

Installing it was easy enough, but when coming to share photos via email it got a bit scary because, he uses Yahoo mail, not a fat email client. When I started looking at it I though okay, I just need to set up Outlook with the mail server settings. Going into the help menu in Yahoo mail gave some pretty clear instructions on how to set Outlook up - but it didn't work. It kept asking for the username and password, which never worked. Searching around the web showed people talking about POP access to Yahoo mail, some suggesting it was a paid feature. But the Yahoo documentation didn't make any mention of needing a paid account.

After wasting too much time on this, I just set up gmail - I knew I could easily access POP and SMTP here. So after creating a gmail account I set the reply to email in Outlook to be the Yahoo account and told gmail to forward any mail to Yahoo. Thus the gmail involvement would be pretty much invisible. I've sent a test email to the gmail account and I'm still waiting for it to arrive at yahoo...

So now I can share photos via email okay. Great. Not particularly easy for the novice user, and how come I can't just tell PSE to use a web mail provider? AND, it looks like PSE maintains its OWN list of contacts. Not related to the Yahoo or Outlook contact lists. Jeeezz.

Next, to upgrade AVG virus checker. I was stunned to find AVG Free wouldn't let me switch the Firefox search box provider to Google. Apparently it switches your default to yahoo, and denies you when you try to change it. I think its all configurable, but thats a crazy thing to deny you by default. Crazy.

So, I download the 1MB installer. Which then proceeds to download who knows how many MBs - but it takes a LONG time over a mobile internet connection (Three). Then the install starts, and promptly stops telling me to uninstall Microsoft Live OneCare - which I do, which means a reboot, and then when I restart the installer, it downloads everything again. This time, I did not install the link checker hoping to avoid the "cripple my computer" feature.

The last thing to do - disable the touch pad when the usb mouse is plugged in - was easy (via the control panel mouse settings).

3 Hours later I'm done. But we've got a long way to go baby! This was way too hard. I hope I'm totally wrong - Perhaps there are easier ways, but they weren't obvious and I don't have another 8 hours to figure it out. If I was a billionaire, I know what I'd be doing - sorting this sh*t out!