I hope Google's driverless cars will be more stable than their browser. Chrome has crashed repeatedly over the past few days. Once it crashed and I'd killed it using the task manager it refused to relaunch until I'd restarted my laptop, which in turn meant I kept having to close any spreadsheets I had open plus log back into my email account once I'd rebooted, which was a double bore since BT asks you for your email address and password, and then sends you to a screen with desultory bits of news that you don't want and that they want you to make your homepage, and make you input your details all over again. I could not blame the browser problem on any particular website since it seemed to crash irrespective of what I was doing at the time, and as my laptop is less than eighteen months old and is otherwise behaving perfectly normally I don't think it's my computer. I blame Google.
This afternoon the Systems Administrator uninstalled and reinstalled Chrome, while managing to save all my bookmarks. I'm relieved about the bookmarks. Some of them would be quick to recreate but some I would struggle to remember if they weren't there on the list: obscure plant nurseries, online sources of plant and garden related information, useful clothes and shoe shops, open gardens noted down from magazine articles that we might visit if we were ever on holiday in the area, information about art and churches, the websites of off-the-beaten track museums. Apart from my spreadsheets and documents my favourites what makes my laptop mine, otherwise I might as well just be using a terminal in the local library.
Wrinkles remain to be ironed out the next time the SA is on the case. My laptop no longer thinks I am entitled to read The Times, when the SA added my address to his subscription a couple of months ago. It went against the grain to pay money to Murdoch (though the SA has never felt similarly squeamish about Sky Sports) but the SA felt the need of an alternative viewpoint to balance the world views of the Guardian and the BBC.
When I came to write tonight's blog post the machine demanded that I log in to Blogger, and wanted my Google password. I was stumped. Google to me still means the search engine, even though I know they do lots of other things (including hosting this blog). You don't have a password for Googling. I hoped a prompt question might come up to tell me which password I was supposed to be remembering, but it didn't, and I had to click the box to say I had forgotten it. Google sent me a six digit code that let me choose another one, and then I was straight into the blog, so maybe they wanted the password I created when I set the blog up. I could remember that, and now I've had to change it.
Anyway, I'm in now, and I was going to tell you that I trimmed the box hedge around the hybrid tea roses and started pruning them, and was going to plant the tulips that should have been planted in November, only I never got that far and ended up picking up soggy cherry and birch leaves off the bottom lawn instead.