Firstly, I'm back on-line (at least temporarily) even if with a very limited and somewhat unstable connection.
Secondly, I'm very pleased to be able to report, that after a very long silence I have recently received correspondence from LadyCibelle herself. All our (somewhat older) mutual friends out there will know doubt be aware of LadyC's long-standing health problems and I'm sure that they are as relieved as I am that she's finally got in touch.
Lastly, my main computer (a much loved, and greatly modified Packard Bell) kicked the proverbial bucket, last week. There comes a time (especially now that support for XP has come to an end) when I had to admit defeat and replace at least one of my machines. In consequence I'm now doing battle with a brand new computer running Windows 8.1.
My other machines will stay running XP for the time being, but eventually (if not replaced) they will go over to Linux. Whatever I'm going through the usual routine of discovering what peripherals and programs will or will not run on Microsoft's "FYJ" rip-off operating system.
What is it with Microsoft's programmers; have they never heard of the word continuity? A simple illustration (that's magnified many times throughout every new operating system Microsoft release). But for instance, why does "Printer and Faxes" in XP's control panel need to be changed to "Devices and Printers" in Windows 8? And/or "Add or Remove Programs" have to be changed to "Programs and Features".
To my mind these are unnecessary changes that do little but lengthen the time it takes new users to familiarise themselves with a different operating system. And where I come from Time is money! Is it any surprise that more and more organisations around the world are moving their computers across to versions of Linux.
I know I said that I'd still be writing while I was off-line. However I actually achieved very little on that score. I'm afraid the frustration of just one session doing verbal battle with BT's Asian help desk, is enough to put anyone off constructive thinking for several days. And I've been on the phone to the buggers virtually every other day for a good couple of months now.
I thank everyone who sent me emails about my plight. However they all arrived together and I regret that I don't think I'll be able to reply to them individually.