Adventures with a Windows Computer After Being Away for 10 Years
After working at home for more than 10 years with a variety of Mac computers, I now have an office job that requires me to use a Windows computer for the first time in more than a decade. These are my adventures.
The last Windows computer I owned was in 2004, and I believe it was running Windows 95 which, despite its larger number, was invented before the kind of Windows I have today. I haven’t touched a Windows computer in so long, I have no idea what version this computer is running.
I Google which windows do I have?
Well, it might look like that, but it doesn’t. And I see there are Windows 7, 8, and 10 versions, but I don’t see a 9. Am I missing something?
When I follow all the complicated instructions, this is what I get:
Oh, oops. My fault! I right-clicked on the word Computer that appeared in the Start menu instead of searching for the word Computer and then right-clicking that. So stupid of me.
I pay more attention and start over. At long last, I find out that I’m using Windows 7.
Whew! Onwards and upwards.
Eyeballs, Eyeballs, Burning Bright
Today is a rainy, overcast day and my monitor is too bright.
How to turn down the brightness? Time for some more Googling.
Well shoot, that’s not very helpful as I now know I’m running Windows 7, and this information is for Windows 10. And I sure hope I don’t have to find and update some drivers because it sounds complicated and I forgot what a driver even is.
Nonetheless, I follow the instructions and I get to what looks like the correct screen to adjust the brightness.
I find a number of screens like this that offer me lots of different things to adjust — but never the brightness.
I finally give in and type “Display” in the search box of the “Start” menu. I see “Change Display Color” but it requires me to put in the admin password which I don’t have. And the colors are fine anyway. I just want to turn down the brightness.
Is there anything I can do to stop my eyes watering?
I continue to Google, finding this from howtogeek.com:
A much nicer answer but I’m using a desktop computer, and there are no icons on my keyboard for adjusting the brightness. I press a few function keys anyway but to no avail.
A full half hour of my life has now been irretrievably lost. For the first time in years, the internet has failed me. I give up. I feel useless and pathetic and stupid.
I interrupt a coworker and ask him how to change the brightness.
There are buttons on my monitor, as in physical buttons to press. I didn’t see them because they’re hidden under the bottom right hand corner with very faint gray writing on black.
One button says “Auto” and has a triangle pointing downwards. What is that? The second button has the letter “I” inside a white square and a triangle pointing upwards. Mysterious! The third button is a gear symbol with a triangle pointing left, and the last has a symbol I can’t comprehend and the word “OK”. I feel like an archeologist deciphering Maya hieroglyphics.
I press each of the buttons. I get quite a scare when the “I/up triangle” button changes the screen ratio after a briefly terrifying switch to all black. The “auto” button shows a slider bar when I press it and a number that rapidly counts up to 100, but I don’t know what just changed. But hey, now my monitor is “auto” something. Progress!
Finally, I learn that the “gear/left triangle” button actually adjusts the brightness. After a few missteps, I get it. Champagne and caviar all around!
Now I can get back to work. Which is good because next I’ve got to figure out how to schedule a meeting on my Outlook calendar for 3:10 pm.
Wish me luck!