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Posted: February 26, 2013 9:16 p.m.

Travis: Hovering in Windows 8

I’m still struggling with my new computer. But I am getting there.


I told my daughter that I had downloaded two solitaire games but couldn’t find them on the computer. She said they are icons. Not wanting to appear too computer illiterate, I nodded.


I went home and went to the old home screen which Windows 8 has and looked for icons. Nothing. I went back to the store to download the same programs again, and the store told me I already had them. Good grief, the store is smarter than I am. I finally found the solitaire games I downloaded. They are brightly colored icons way to the right on my Windows 8 screen.


And, by the way, the Windows 8 screen will not remain still. Things keep moving up and down telling me the temperature in Paris or London, showing me pictures of Prague and the Great Wall of China, offering me a direct line to Amazon and other game sites and, in general, dazzling me with what looks like a bunch of bright, blinking neon signs.


I am trying to learn to hover. In Windows 8, you cannot do many things with shortcuts on the keyboard. You take your mouse and hover in various parts of the screen, and certain menus will appear. The lower left hand corner takes you to the main menu. The upper right hand corner gets you to tools (I think). The upper left hand corner takes you to previous screens.


But I never could figure out how to end a program. Most of them do not have that friendly X in the upper right hand corner. In fact I didn’t know I needed to end a program.


I would just hover to get to the Windows 8 menu and forget it.


Then the computer wizard came over and looked at the computer and said I was leaving lots of programs running. He showed me how to hover to bring up previous pages and right click to get the menu to close. Now I can close programs. One small step.


I finally decided I needed to set up the new printer. Actually, my bank said my bank statement was ready, and I needed a working printer to print it.


I bravely unpacked it and followed the directions to connect cords and unfold parts and insert ink cartridges.
I got all that done with no problem. So I got the CD and inserted it into the computer expecting the same deal as when I inserted the anti-virus program — a box that said tap here. (I was prepared this time to click.)


The box appeared; I clicked and began to follow directions. Then, boom, another problem surfaces. My printer was not compatible with Windows 8. I fumed for a minute that the salesman in the computer store did not realize this when he sold me both the computer and the printer.


I considered going to another store and buying another printer so I could print my bank statement, but then thought better of it because it would take so much time to return the one I just bought.


I called the computer wizard again. He said no problem. We could find the instructions for Windows 8 and the printer on-line. (I’m thinking what is that “we” business.) He came over and downloaded the instructions, but suddenly the computer was busy downloading updates and needing to restart and apparently did not have time to mess with the printer. He said let the computer do its thing and then click this specific icon found on the old desktop (not the Windows 8 one). Luckily, I know how to get there now.


I went to a friend’s and printed my bank statement.


The next day, the computer was still working on that update. I took the computer to the wizard who shut it down and restarted it. It immediately finished its work. I took it home and followed the instructions for the printer and even printed a test page. I haven’t tried anything else yet. But the test page came out fine.


I still would like to download a few more games from the store and I haven’t tackled downloading Word. A minimal version came with the computer, but it doesn’t have the capability to check spelling.
But progress is progress. I’ll get there.

Paula Travis is a retired teacher from the Newton County School System. She can be reached at ptravis@covnews.com.

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