Musings & Thoughts for Tuesday, April 12, 2022, or: My First Day Using My New IdeaCentre, and Other Pressing Matters

My new Lenovo IdeaCentre
My new Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3 “all-in-one” PC. My “wallpaper” is a screenshot from “Cold Waters.’ (Photo by the author)

Yesterday was my first full day of using my new Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3 “all-in-one” computer. I started using it early on Sunday night after the Caregiver took its predecessor out of my room and helped me set it up on my desk. I installed antivirus software and linked my Amazon Music. Amazon Prime Video, and Steam accounts, and – of course – used a wireless keyboard for the first time to get used to its “finger feel.” I also tried a couple of my Steam games – Cold Waters and Ultimate General: Civil War – but since it was getting late, I didn’t do more than that on Sunday night.

This is the first screenshot I saved on this computer. I did not like the desktop “wallpaper” so I substituted it with a screenshot from Cold Waters. I also uninstalled McAffee so I could install Norton Antivirus. Note that by 7:22 PM on Sunday I had already synced the new IdeaCentre with my Microsoft account, which is why there are so many inactive “globe” desktop icons on the screen.

After I had my usual breakfast – a cup of café con leche and soda crackers – I stuck to my daily morning routine of checking my emails, lurking on Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit, and reading a few random news articles. Then I went about the more serious business of writing yesterday’s blog post, which took me a bit longer than usual because this is a new computer and I’m still getting used to Windows 11 – my previous PC ran on Windows 10 – and the wireless mouse/keyboard.  

Since I have used wireless mice since I bought my first laptop – the one that died around this time last year – in 2009. I didn’t have a hard time using the mouse that came with my IdeaCentre. I also have less trouble with my wireless keyboard than I do with those on my two Lenovo laptops; since there’s no touchpad behind the SPACE bar, I don’t find my cursor unexpectedly moving from one part of a document to another because the heel of my hand rubs the touchpad the wrong way. I still hit the CAPS LOCK key way too often, but since the IdeaCentre doesn’t beep at me every time I hit either the NUMBERS LOCK (NmLk) or CAPS LOCK key, I feel less urges to throw my computer out of my bedroom window.

(C) 2022 Dead Reckoning/U.S. Naval Institute Press

After I published my blog post, I took a one-hour personal time break (something that I rarely do, much to my detriment) during which I showered, got dressed, had a bowl of cereal, and read part of a graphic novel, The Lions of Leningrad, that I will be reviewing soon. I could have – should have – taken a bit more personal time, but I often feel guilty whenever I am “too idle” and don’t do anything too useful, so I returned to my desk and finished the task of setting up my IdeaCentre.

The most important item on my to-do list was to download and install my screenwriting software. I have used Movie Magic Screenwriter 6 from Write Bros. for many years – probably since 2008 or 2009, I don’t remember exactly – and I had to buy a downloadable copy with licenses for several devices last year because my Lenovo IdeaPad doesn’t have a disc drive for the Screenwriter 6 CD-ROM that I brought to Lithia from Miami six years ago. (I’m also sure that I had maxed out the license on that disc, since I used it to install the software on three computers, including the Lenovo C560 that now sits in the garage awaiting its dissection and disposal.)

I thought that activating Screenwriter 6 would be an easy task, but it turned out to be more complicated than I imagined. In the 11 or so months since I purchased the version of the program that I have in my IdeaPad, Write Bros. updated the way that licenses and serial numbers work. I, of course, did not know, so I made several attempts to install the software on this PC – and failed miserably.

After my third or fourth attempt to activate my license after downloading Screenwriter, I contacted Write Bros. technical support, explaining the problem. Here’s what a rep wrote in response to my query:

My desktop as of April 12, 2022. Note that “Start Screenwriter” is the first shortcut on the fourth horizontal row, or the fourth on the first vertical row, depending on how you look at the screenshot.

Hi Alex,
 
Thank you for contacting tech support.  We have implemented a new license management system for Windows Screenwriter 6 that completely replaces the current version.  With it comes a new serial number and installation instructions — see below.  You should no longer have any activation problems like the ones you have just experienced.
 
The version of the Screenwriter application is the same, though we’ve labeled it Screenwriter 6 (2022).  The only difference is the activation management system, though you’ll need to re-download and install the software.  Hopefully, it will be much smoother and faster than the previous version. 
 
Please let us know if you have any difficulties.

The tech support agent, Chris, then gave me a new serial number – which, for obvious reasons, I will demur from reproducing.

A screenshot from my previous computer shows a page from my original draft of Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss.

Thankfully, once I followed the instructions in that email, downloaded the software, and activated the license, the installation of Screenwriter 6 (2022) went well. There’s a new Start Screenwriter shortcut on my Desktop, and I saw that all my files from previous versions and/or computers were saved and ported to this new computer.

After I finished that bit of business, I made sure all my Steam games were accessible on this computer. If you use Steam to purchase computer games, you know that your game library is kept in your account in the “cloud,” so even when your computer dies, your games are still accessible if you buy another computer – assuming, of course, that you don’t buy a machine that’s incompatible with the computer you used when you opened your Steam account and bought games for.

Yep. I tried Cold Waters out. It runs a bit faster on this PC, and the graphics look a tiny bit better. Image Credit: (C) 2017 Killerfish Games

So, I spent at least 30 minutes downloading the games and allowing Steam to create desktop shortcuts. Now, except for one game’s shortcut, my new IdeaCentre’s Desktop screen’s list of shortcuts looks much like the one on my previous all-in-one. There are fewer shortcuts because I have not installed a few creative writing programs that I bought when I still lived in Miami, but other than that….

I didn’t sleep well last night. I don’t know why, but I stayed up until 2 AM and I woke up shortly before 8 AM. As a result, I’m tired, sore – especially around my neck and shoulders – and a bit out of sorts. I suppose that yesterday’s contretemps with Screenwriter, coupled with the stress of having had to spend over $700 to buy a replacement for a computer, factored in this unwelcome and exhausting bout of insomnia.

Since I can’t simply “up and leave” to go somewhere out of the Tampa Bay area for a while – I can’t afford it, and I’m still leery of traveling in these days of the COVID-19 pandemic – I think I’ll take a mental health break and try to relax today. I’m tired, a bit moody, and uninspired. I’ll probably read a bit more of The Lions of Leningrad after I take my shower and change into clean clothes. And if it is not raining later this afternoon, I might even go out for a walk.

So, on that note, I will close this post. Until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.  

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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