Friday, March 10, 2017

A Request

Joseph Herrin (03-10-2017)

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I have a request to ask of a reader. Because my prisoner newsletters have been down for a few weeks as I wait for the money to come in to purchase a new computer, I would like to send out letters to let the prisoners know why they have not been receiving them. I have all of the prisoners addresses in my Excel spreadsheet, but I do not know how to get them out. The Excel spreadsheet I have is just for printing Parables Bookshelf Newsletters.

If you are familiar with Excel spreadsheets and could devise a way to do the job I would like to hear from you. The spreadsheet has the addresses of the prisoners and a check box called Suspend. If nothing is in the Suspend field then that person would get a letter notifying them of the temporary suspension of the newsletter.

I would like to print the address on an envelope.

My mind is still not very good for things like this, so I am asking for someone that could do it pretty much on their own. I will be glad to answer any questions, however. I have all of the envelopes and the printer here.

The letter will not be attached to the address, but it will say something along the lines of:

Dear Sir,

As a reader of the Parables Bookshelf Newsletter you have noticed its absence in the past weeks. This is due to my computer no longer being able to print it. This necessitates the replacement of my computer with a new up-to-date system. As I am waiting on the funds to come in for the computer you will have a delay. I hope to have your Newsletters printing again as soon as possible.


Joseph Herrin

That is all that I am going to mail out to each person. If you are able to help me out with this matter I would appreciate it.

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Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063


Skip said...

Brother Herrin: I wish I had the know-how to help you with your current dilemma. I do not. However, I went back to read your 2/16/17 news-letter about 'a new computer'. This much I do know, the problem was most likely NOT caused by your 2-3 year old hardware, but by something in the software that you added at some point. The problem actually sounds like a 'printer driver' problem and is probably not hardware related. Just guessing from the screenshot of your Excel Spreadsheet, you are running a LOT of applications simultaneously while trying to accomplish your printing task (Opera, Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc.). That is a lot of system resources in use all at once, and is probably not necessary. Have you looked to see if there is a newer printer driver version available for whatever printer you have? I have seen major problems such as what you are experiencing, resolved with a simple driver update before.

Skip said...

Brother Herrin - You might want to ignore the part of my last attempted post concerning systems resources as all of the icons I saw at the bottom of your image might not be programs in actual use, but one of the features that Windows 7 uses to make the shortcuts available. I am still using Windows XP on all of my computers and I forget about a lot of the 'newer features' that might be available. The printer driver suggestion is still valid.

Joseph Herrin said...

Thank you Skip,

I am actually using Windows 8.1. You are right that not all of the programs are running down at the bottom. I have checked for a new print driver and there is none available. Overall my computer is slow. It is slower than the laptop it replaced. In years past I was a computer technician, and even taught computer repair at the college level. Because of this I know how sound your advice is. I spent several days unloading recently uploaded files on my computer, as I figured that was what caused it to stop printing. Nothing worked to correct it.

With the person telling me that he was able to print it on his system, and the delays I was having on my own, I decided that I needed to upgrade to a newer one. When I purchased my system it was over two years old. It was cheaper to purchase one like that, but I have learned that it is not to good of an investment.


Skip said...

I did not know the extent of your technical experience. I apologize if my suggestions were redundant, Joseph. The printer driver idea, however often involves going back to a previous version to eliminate any problems. I always archive the downloads for the printers in the event a re-install is needed. But I also have seen those data bottlenecks on computers before, three times to be precise. Once, it really was a hardware issue - a memory module was faulty. The other two times I ran into the system slowdown as you described, logging into the BIOS settings and tweaking some of the settings was required. This was back when I first started using the old Drive Image system backup program by PowerQuest. I never had that backup program fail. But on 2 desktops, the data transfer in DOS during the backups was maxxed at around 150 mbps - way too slow. That explained why Windows was so slow in processing data. The hardware was sufficient, plenty of memory was installed - the data just wouldn't move.

The tweaking started by choosing the 'RESTORE DEFAULT SETTINGS' options in the BIOS. That provided some improvement. Then, one setting at a time, I continued making the changes I wanted until the data transfer rate in DOS was over 2 gbps - where it should have been. Windows started working fine after that and I am sending this message to you from one of the very computers I described. I bought this PC in 2007 and it is still going strong. If this is more redundancy, then sorry. Even the best of techs can often overlook simple fixes!

P.S. You do not need to post this on the blog - I just wanted to share a few more ideas.

Joseph Herrin said...

Dear Skip,

I have a Dell computer, and I have read about them that they are a real slowpoke when it comes to computing. I used to run Dell a lot years ago (before 1999) and they were much quicker, so I bought this one. I have a couple of SSD drives and no standard drives on my system. I have 32 GB of RAM. I even put in a new video card. I thought this system would be much faster, but I have not been able to get the speed up.

Boot-up is time consuming. I had an ASUS ROG laptop before this and you cannot do much to laptops to upgrade them. I thought the new system would be at least as fast as my laptop which had a slightly slower Core I7 processor. But from the start it has been a kludge. Everything I do only has a minimal impact, and the system is still slow about booting up. The Solid State Drives are far to slow for what they ought to be. It is still slower than my laptop.

I wanted to upgrade my laptop, however, as it was a 17" monitor. I now have two 24 inch monitors hooked up, and they are one part of the system that is not a disappointment. Everything takes time to load. It is almost as if I have a standard hard drive. It is nowhere near the response time that I got from my previous system.

Joseph Herrin