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tech | The view from down here

Tag: tech

What a difference a few inches makes

Reviving a friends blog for his musings while overseas has jogged my memory that I too have a blog, sorely neglected.

Some of you will no doubt be pleased to know that I have still been writing. In fact more than before. See this from an entry on “day One” written when I bought an iPad mini. It is the case of “what a difference a few inches makes”

“This might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. I might be getting closer to that dream “writer” image of myself that I’ve coveted for years. Images of me sitting perfectly poised and serene with a laptop in a quiet dimly lit cafe, intently people watching one minute and steadfastly focused on the great Australian essay the next flood my dream self. Of course I could never fix on whether I wanted to live in an austere environment, as a hermit or as a collector of “inspiration” in the form of stuff.

But the romantic image of sitting in a coffee shop remained”

And 3 weeks in now I can attest to that. I am indeed writing more. Both longer pieces that I can leave and come back to, or more incidental notes from reading/listening to audiobooks that I’m doing more of too. I’ve written a well meaning but angry email to Amnesty International while lying in bed. I play “Hey Day” (think FarmVille but better and less annoying) while drinking wine waiting for transport, I read “designing 2050″ over a piccolo latte.

Yes I could do all of those things on the iPad and I did do more than I ever did with the laptop. But the simple fact is I didn’t do it unless it was required. I would look up my calendar when I needed to, only getting out iBooks when I knew I was going to sit there a while, like an hour or so and when I had enough desk or table to look vaguely together and typing felt strangely stressful. Even though the iPad is small and is useful and was a good size and compromise, the iPad mini feels very automatic and very one handed friendly. Like its size was built for me

Before this turns into a “Brought to you by…” post let me tell you that I’m loving the fact I can just do mini things in my mini pad and carry a smaller bag into which the iPad’s smaller frame can fit without planning the bag pack.

I’m centralising my writing too. Although I do carry pen and pad which also still fit with ease in said bag, I don’t feel bereft. I’m writing more because it does feel worth it to get the mini out for “one line” which invariably turns to three. I’m writing emails though I’m still behind on my social catch ups. I’m processing my head better which I’ve had to do more of lately, and hopefully doing s o with less of a burden.

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Such a strange but beautiful thing

It was a strange juxtaposition. Reading Jane Austen on a shiny new iPad over the cold and miserable weekend that marked the last gasps of autumn (Fall for my American friends) here in Sydney.

While one friend waits patiently for his delayed delivery from the Apple compound; directly from the horses mouse, another went to a local department store and shazzam.

Very pretty but I don’t want one. Yet.

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the long wait is over

My circumstantially imposed technology retreat is finally over.

BoB — my new modem with VOIP arrived yesterday after being sent to the wrong box number and then being unable to be delivered to a box at all.

I set him up last night as visitors were here when he arrived. It took a bit of fiddling as these thing often do as we already had a wireless modem in the Time Capsule for backing up which wants to be the only router, but that can’t then work with the VOIP phone line. Anyway, on and on it went, till the wee smalls and ultimately we have a network within a network.

Lots has passed through my life and mind in the interim. As I settle back into this the 21st Century, I will upload.

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tweet tweet

i used twitter yesterday much like I think it was intended, or at least a very handy way of using it to broadcast a problem PB was having with Vodafone (the Australian phone company) and his iPhone. It wasn’t solved through the tweeting but the up to the minute information was shared and further broadcasted. It is strange but I feel a strange coming of age feeling -using the web for up to the minute goodness in Australia.

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the curse of the early adopters

Ok, so there has been a rather prolonged semi-silence from this blog

There are probably a few reasons for that. However the main one is technology.

I’m very into technology as I’ve declared here before; Particularly Mac tech. So when Snow Leopard – the new operating system- came out I was bound to upgrade before too long. However I certainly wasn’t in the queue this time. In fact almost by instinct I was going to leave it a couple of weeks or even months. I must be getting old; I was quite happy with Leopard and although I’ve never had any major issues with the upgrading process it can be scary and a little tedious.

A friend reimbursed me for a copy of Leopard by giving me a copy of Snow Leopard last weekend when it first came out.

snow leopard

snow leopard

With box in hand I was all set to forge ahead and see what miracles Apple had produced. In hindsight, it was not a good week to be experimenting. As well as my usual workload I was also really keen to print off and post more than sixty hard copy hand designed invitations to a soirée I am holding. I don’t use my printer much so I had an older (but by no means old) HP Desk-jet which I got cheaply from OfficeWorks 18 months back. It was doing ok and after early conniptions about printing colour via WiFi the desk-jet and I had an understanding and 20 invites had been printed and delivered.

The Snow Leopard upgrade did not seem to go quite to plan. It seemed to stop a few times and need to be restarted via a “hard restart”. Yes alarm bells did start ringing but it was too late to go back. So I plunged forward.

The install worked and looked lovely. I do love the speed and the application exposé. I haven’t dug much deeper. However my dear deskjet didn’t work and for once in its life it needed to. I wanted “old fashioned” invites with enough time for equally old fashioned RSVP’s. So after several attempts I googled and discovered that it should in fact work, I tried installing then promptly uninstalling various drivers and unsuccessfully winding the operating system back and forth.

Time Machine backups worked to restore although I ended  up with half backups all over the place owing to my permissions and some bad sectors on my hard drive.

After about 12 hours work over 3 or 4 days the easiest solution was to buy a new printer. I didn’t really feel the desk-jet I had was old but it seems to still not be compatible.

Most tech journalists often advise waiting a month before upgrading to allow the developers to “iron out” bugs. I’m sad to say that perhaps they were right this time.

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The hard rock bottom of my drive

I am writing this post on the iPhone app for WordPress. It is 1 am on Monday morning and I have had a bad tech week!

I am sitting here watching a fairly clever graphical representation of my hard drive bring scanned and (hopefully repaired) by Disk Genius 2. A set of cats hair like they use to locate the target in a gun I gather are seeking out bad blocks. The graphic spins around on a focused area and zooms in every thousand blocks or so to reveal a computer like screen up close and personal with 1 s and 0s scurrying through and after 5 or so seconds that feel like forever a reassuring little tick appears. Phew! Then off we go again.

Let’s hope this works. Otherwise I’m going to have to get better at the iPhone keyboard

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