Monday, July 20, 2009

New Computer

My wife's computer, a Mac G4 that is eight years old, still running System 9.x, has finally gotten to the point where it doesn't want to talk to web pages. Rather like trying to call somebody on a cell phone by using a tin can on your end. I've gotten the best browser still available for such an antique, and it's no-go. Freezes, crashes, doesn't have the software to light common apps.

Say what you want about Macs, but this sucker is still running the original hard drive and working fine as long as you aren't into connectivity.

Well ... as fine as a steam- and hamster-powered device can run.

So we went out and found a new computer, and this round, a Macbook Pro laptop, since we can now get and use a wireless router and she can take it anywhere in the house and log onto the net. Plus out into the hinterlands and wi-fi and the like.

I won't belabor the long-standing argument of Mac versus PC; you are on one side of that divide or the other, and that's your business. If you want to follow the Anti-Christ, take your sunblock and go right ahead ...

We got into Macs back when Dianne bought a small-press newspaper operation, and it was run off a Mac Toaster, because that was the only machine that used Pagemaker at the time. We started out with System 5.x or so, and stayed with it.

At one time, I had a Mac clone, which ran the same software but with much cheaper hardware. Mac killed that experiment pretty fast, though. And it was a(nother) mistake to do so.

The wonderful thing about Apple is, every time they get fifty yards in front of the competition, which they've done, oh, I dunno, three hundred times, they stop, pull a gun, and shoot themselves in the foot. It's like Thelma and Louise -- they keep making the wrong choices.

If Apple had zigged instead of zagged, there wouldn't be any Windows, and Mac it would be the default OS for most of the non-geeks out there.

Wasn't for the iPod and iPhone, they wouldn't be ahead of anybody in anything now, and the competition is just idling along, waiting for Apple to reach for its hogleg. Where is the Apple iReader, for pity's sake? I know people who would stand in line at midnight to buy one. Not gonna do it, Jobs says. (Of course, that might be misleading. With Jobs, you never can tell.)

Um. Anyway, we are committed to the hardware and software, and my wife is pleased with her new machine.

A couple years back, my sister-in-law, a writer who works out of her house, thought she might switch from Mac platform to PC. My son asked her why. Well, she said, because there are so many more Wintel and Windows service people than there are for Mac.

Uh huh, my son said, and what does that tell you?

Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, the Wienermobile ran smack into somebody's house, knocking it off the foundations.

How'd you like to call that one in: "Police? Yeah, a giant wiener just smashed into my house. No, it isn't wearing a condom, funny man ..."

11 comments:

Steve said...

I've always been Mac-curious but just to shy to take the plunge. Maybe one day I'll come out of the PC closet.
I have, however, taken a ride in the Weiner-mobile. My Dad began working for Public supermarkets when Publix was 1 store and George Jenkins was the only manager. He (my Dad) eventually became a meat dept. manager. They were having an Oscar Mayer promotion at his store complete with Weiner-mobile so my dad took my brother and me out to the store before school just so we could ride around the parking lot in it. And it was driven by a midget. In a chef's outfit. You can't make that crap up.

Michael Bourgon said...

Steve, go buy a copy of OS X (10.3, I believe, is the most recent it can take) and load that on your Mac. Believe it or not, it's still usable. Provided you have enough RAM,(available cheap online, especially if used) it'll workas well as 9, if not better. And you can install on the same drive and keep all your old apps/settings/etc.

Steve Perry said...

I had OS 10.X on my wife's computer, but it didn't have the muscle to run it, save glacially. I could get more memory, though the thing's speed isn't going to get faster, and an eight-year-old HD is already running on prayer, so when that goes -- and it will -- I'd have to get that.

More memory, new drive, and it will be slower than Christmas and marginal at best? Like a Volvo with 200,000 miles on it -- yeah, it still runs, but it is going to be nickel and dime-ing you to death from here on out ...

It's time to move along. We can wipe the drives and give it to the grandkids to destroy ...

Jay said...

happy with my macs and still have an unused rainbow apple sticker from my IIC...

Jonathan said...

I lurve Macs, but my wallet doesn't. I bought my son a macbook pro but he runs XP on it using Bootcamp...bah. I myself use pc's cause they're so cheap and being an IT guy, I can mess with stuff. As an experiment on the old mac download ubuntu and see how a Linux distro runs?

Dan Gambiera said...

Yeah, well, Operating Systems are like sex - better when they're free.

Fun videos courtesy of Gizmo

Steve Perry said...

Um, I'm not sure that "free" is always the best price. Sometimes, you get what you pay for ...

Viro said...

Well, if'n you want, you can make a hackintosh. The Dell Mini 9 is a reliable platform for hackintoshes.

http://gizmodo.com/5156903/how-to-hackintosh-a-dell-mini-9-into-the-ultimate-os-x-netbook

Are you using an Airport base station? I have had problems with my wireless connection dropping with Belkin and Netgear routers. I haven't heard of anyone having problems with Airport base stations.

Oh, do you use Scrivener?

Steve Perry said...

At the moment, I'm still plugged into the cable modem. If the Comcast guy gets here where he is supposed to, I should have a wireless connection in a couple of hours. Dunno what their router brand is; plus the modem will have to be replaced to make the phone work. We'll see.

Scrivener. No, I'm pretty much a manual transmission guy; I started with typewriters and am comfortable with the blank page, so I haven't gotten into the creative-help software. (I have a little program, Typewriter Keyboard, that makes the sound of a manual typewriter when I hit the keys. I like the audible feedback.)

I use the Mac default WP for books, started with ClarisWorks, then AppleWorks, and now Pages. I've had MS Word on and off, but that has too many bells and whistles for what I need, which is to turn out a double-spaced page that looks as if it was typed in Courier. Pages lets me export in .RTF or Word for other folks, and it has a simple interface.

We had Pagemaker for layout when my wife had her newspaper. And I have Final Draft for scripts, since that form is easier to do with a program designed for it. There are others that do it fine, including some shareware and templates for Word, but I like FD.

As a barebones word-processor that will open anything a Mac can, get a copy of Tex-Edit Plus shareware. Pretty much Mac's own Text-edit will do it these days, but the Tex (no "t,") Edit will open files that nothing else I've got will.

Steve Perry said...

So, the Comcast guy has come and -- finally -- gone, and everything is working. The alarm company, years ago, did some esoteric wiring to get it to work -- at one time we had three landlines in the house, for my wife's business -- but it's all sorted out. I have new phone service, alarm is working, the internet is secure and my wife can use her laptop anywhere in the house. The cable TV offers fewer premium channels, but I don't expect I'll miss them.

Everything looks pretty much the same, save that the boxes behind my computer are different, and there's a newer one in the TV cabinet.

And the beat goes on ...

Dan Gambiera said...

"Free as in 'speech', not free as in 'beer'"