Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Something there is that doesn't love a Mac.

This will sound like betrayal. It isn't. Really. I love my Mac. I have loved all four of my Macs. My first was an SE circa 1990. Before that, a Magnavox word processor, and before that, a Smith-Corona electric that got me through one round of grad school and most of law school. Always, for schoolwork I wrote out first drafts in longhand. Around 1990, with a new Mac SE (powered by the Talking Moose), and with a Ph.D. seminar deadline of weekly book reviews, I took the plunge: straight to the keyboard! It seemed too easy. It seemed like cheating.

My first laptop, a chunky gray PowerBook work processing machine, c. 1994, still with floppy drive, still not internet-capable, made writing a dissertation simple and fun. Switching from moose to dog, the "Retrieve It!" function enabled searching on any word or phrase in any file (something I didn't have again reliably until Spotlight). When you have a jillion ideas jumbling in your head and you know you've written them down somewhere but you don't for the life of you know where, there is nothing like a help like that. I still pull this computer out to consult old files.

Then, c. 1998, a sleek black PowerBook with internet USB card and ethernet, both floppy and CD-ready. A decent transitional computer. It worked fine, but it seemed out of date almost as soon as I got it. It served. No moose or dog, but there was a voice reader that did crazy things with texts.

In 2002, from black to white! an iBook G3, small and powerful, built-in wireless, extra memory, how wonderful. Then, trouble. Fall 2004, taking notes at a conference, the screen disintegrates: broken logic board. Fixed quickly and for free though out of warranty. Mac's error. A minor inconvenience. Fine again till early 2006, when after slowness had set in (too many applications open? but why should I not be able to use Word and Firefox and Preview and iTunes and QuickTime at the same time?), the dreaded question mark. A trip to the Mac store: disk utilities fixed it. But it wasn't, really. It got slower and slower till the truth was unavoidable: the hard drive was going. Back to the Mac store. Where it has been for a week and a day and five hours. If it weren't for a generous child and his iBook G4, I'd be completely out of luck.

Life goes on without my blog, without my listserv council updates. No thoughts on Apple Chill and why we had to kill it, no report on the interesting "Housing First" conference in RTP I went to last week (but do note the Orange County homelessness forum tomorrow night at Stanback Middle School), no update on our inclusionary zoning task force, etc. etc. (Paul, meanwhile, is in Granada, with a working PowerBook G5.)

I see from my chronology that I'm on about a 4-year replacement schedule. But I wasn't ready to get a new computer. Not yet. I love my Mac. Really.

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