Friday, July 25, 2008


Today is my wife's birthday. This week I was pondering making her a card or buying her a gift. For the latter I wondered about some digital photo gadget to carry photos in her purse. I thought it would be bulky and clumsy. I wound up doing neither for her. I bought a store card that expressed our relationship perfectly.

However, today in preparation for her first high-school reunion meeting, I started putting photos on my iPod touch. Migod! That's it! Hundreds of photos! Organized in folders! Show a trip! Show a grandchild! Show a particular event!

She says we can share my iPod. But will we?

The rest of us have been left behind

I sent the following email to the store where I bought my MacBook Pro. I picked the computer up two weeks ago today and sent this email on July 14.

Well, I have the MacBook Pro up and running, almost. This has been the worst installation and migration since I worked on mainframes.

First, migration assistant crashed leaving many applications and other files unmoved. I forget if I repeated it, but not much moved.

Second, I couldn’t get the MacBook Pro to access my DSL modem. This was my first call to Apple Care. After talking to two people for almost an hour, including wait times, I discovered that I had set it to allow access only the PowerBook G4!

Third, the installation of Leopard on the PowerBook crashed. Nothing would boot at all. Second call to Apple Care but immediate response!! After much discussion the agent suggested holding the option key (I think) while booting. Leopard is now on the PowerBook also.

Fourth, the installation of the Time Capsule did not go according to instructions. Third call to Apple Care and again immediate response. This agent was also the most patient of all. I’m glad I have a couple of Ethernet cables handy. All the new stuff has a minimum number of cables.

The Time Capsule is up and running on the MacBook Pro now. I’ll do the PowerBook another day. The first backup took about five hours; I started it just before going to bed and it was over half done when I got up two or three hours later. The Time Capsule is one hot machine. I put it on a wooden cutting board so the desk surface doesn’t get damaged. No char marks on the cutting board.

Fifth, when I synched my iPod to the MacBook Pro, iTunes deleted all my purchased music from the iPod because I was not authorized to play them on the MacBook Pro. Even after I authorized it, iTunes would not download the purchased music to the iPod. I sent email to iTunes support and got a pretty quick response. Unfortunately this agent deauthorized all my computers (I wanted only one deauthorized, a G3) and said I could download the particular lost music again without payment. I haven’t gotten back to her yet.

Sixth, I did use a Firewire cable to move all the files that Migration Assistant didn’t move. That went fairly fast, maybe a couple hours or less. Probably over 40GB of stuff. Thank goodness Apple provided the FireWire cable with the PowerBook G4. Of course, this copying doesn’t make many of the adjustments that Migration Assistant would have made.

Seventh, Excel 2008 doesn’t recognize Visual Basic macros, and I had a bunch. Now I have to spend time learning AppleScript, something I’ve made several attempts at learning. Online manuals are not as easy to use as paper manuals.

Eighth, ExpensePlus on my Palm Zire doesn’t like Excel 2008. Even when I follow the instructions for Leopard on the WalletWare site, HotSync still won’t upload my expense sheets from the Palm.

Ninth, because Migration Assistant crashed, I’ve had to reregister much of my third party software and not always successfully. This is a good argument for keeping old email. I have found some of the registration codes in three- and four-year email.

Tenth, I had a deadline for my Reader Weekly column. With all this frustration, I did not put together a column as coherent as I would have liked.

Eleventh, a piece of good news. For some reason the receipt for the PowerBook G4 is out on my desk. Everything on it was more expensive then except AppleCare which was the same price. The total was $3,355.10 and I got more stuff and more powerful stuff for $3,144.40.

Twelfth, all the other little glitches I forgot.

Maybe my problem is that I know too much about computers, and so I blithely charge ahead without reading the instructions carefully. But that would only explain some of the above problems (iTunes, web access, ...)

Thanks for your eyeballs and your friendly service. See you in three or four years when technolust overcomes me again:)
I have worked through most of the problems, but there are still many little problems to go.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Vote! Even if you don't like the choices

I was just reading "Conservatives Ready to Battle McCain on Convention Platform", Washington Post, July 7, 2007. It made me think of all those Republicans who say they will sit out this election because they don't like McCain's policies. And also of those Democrats who are disappointed that Hillary Clinton did not win the nomination.

I think it is more likely that the Republican no-shows will help Obama win than the Democrat no-shows will help McCain.

To both groups of no-shows, I say vote anyway. You still have a third choice, even without the Libertarian Bob Barr. You can leave the presidential ballot blank. You at least get counted for showing up. If you stay home, you are not counted. One could even say a stay-at-home doesn't even count in the election.

Remember, Reagan's "landslide" was with less than 30% of the eligible voters. What would his "mandate" have been if the 40-plus percent who stayed home had actually cast a ballot?

At a minimum, let's hope reporters give more weight to no-shows.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Whose independence from whom?

Do these statements apply to times, people, and places other than for which they were written?

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution...:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

They are from the Declaration of Independence, 1776.