I wrote about my computer shopping travails last September, here and here. I concluded at the time that there was an urgent need to continue dithering. Finally, Steve Pellechia, owner of Techwise Computers in Waukesha, let me bring the store's demo 27" iMac home so I could try out the glossy glass screen for myself in my own environs. A five-minute trial convinced me it was less an issue than I thought it would be, so I wimped out on getting the Mac Pro and NEC monitor that I really wanted and bought a new quad-core 27" iMac instead. (I bought from Steve, since he helped me out with the demo loan.)
Experienced and intelligent computer users must be grateful for Migration Assistant, which essentially turns your new computer into your old one with minimal hassle. For a guy like me, however, what it means is that every bit of clutter, error, and all the piecemeal and illogical (dis)organization of my old computers is faithfully recreated on my new one. I find that dispiriting. I've likened it in the past to moving house and being forced to move every single thing from the old house into the new one, down to and including the trash. And even the dust. You use a move as an opportunity to clean up, clear out, and reorganize. Not so when you get a new Apple.
In my "Applications" folder, for example, there are many applications—along with another folder called "Applications," in which are more applications. Why? I have no idea. Does it have to be like that? No idea. There are many applications I don't recognize. I have no idea what they do. Is it safe to throw them away? No clue.
Ctein is a computer expert. I am not. It's too bad he's out there gazing over the Pacific Ocean. I wish I could sit him down and let him help me organize my computer. At the very least, I'll bet his running commentary regarding my ineptitude would be very entertaining.
Does anyone know of a book or a site that tells how to most efficiently organize one's files on a Mac? I should have looked at the Apple default before I ran Migration Assistant, although it doesn't really want to give you the opportunity to do that, prompting you at turn-on to migrate your old data immediately.
The new computer is up and running quickly and efficiently, at least. The only thing I couldn't get working is the new AirPort Extreme; that looks like it will have to wait till Monday when I can get Apple Technical Support on the phone. My current Rube Goldberg rat's nest of modems, routers, and ethernet cables reminds me of the story of "Leaky" Lee, the 95-year-old town plumber in Woodstock, Illinois, who died a while back. It was rumored that when Leaky passed, the owner of one old building downtown had to rip out the entire building's plumbing system and replace it from scratch, because no one could figure out how the crazy old system worked. Only Leaky knew.
In my case, no one knows. It works. Don't touch it.
The new computer seems sleek and huge and fast compared to the old one—just like the old one seemed when I got it. Of all the Macs I've had since 1984, only two have not imparted this sense of gleaming speedy modernistic up-to-the-moment improvement—a Mac "Classic" I had for only two years, and a shoddy Mac desktop my then-boss provided for me during the nadir of the Sculley years. All the rest have imparted a wondrous new-toy new-tech aura, each in its turn.
The new screen seems quite nice, but very bright. I have the brightness slider turned down to about 1/3rd and the screen still makes me squint. Strangely, the one thing that looks horrible on the new computer is my own site—TOP. On my old displays, the main text background was a subtle beige, and the sidebar color was a muted brownish yellow. On the as-yet-uncalibrated iMac11,3 screen, the text appears on a sickly yellow background that has a greenish cast, and the sidebar color is a lurid, bright, grotesque yellow. It looks horrible. (And yet the photographs on the site look fine.) If there are people out there who have been seeing the site like this for years, all I can do is apologize!
One thing's for sure, I'm not going to keep looking at the site in these colors.
I found an old ColorVision Spyder in my drawer—it might be three or four years old—and when darkness falls I'll plug it in and see if its software is still lurking on the computer somewhere. It should be. It might even work, if the various updates over the years haven't "broken" it. We'll see.
If not, I'll have to buy or borrow up-to-date calibration equipment.
And if that doesn't help, well, TypePad has a design service—it might be time to spring for a top-to-bottom redesign of the look 'n' feel of TOP.
Seriously, is there a manual that covers housekeeping on a Mac? I need that, and I'm not just trying to be funny.
This is the exact computer I got, I'm pretty sure, except mine has a 2 TB hard drive, and I plan to boost the RAM to 16 GB with memory from Other World Computing (which, by coincidence, is based in Woodstock, where Leaky Lee plied his trade for 70+ years). (And did you know B&H sells more Apples than Apple does? True.)
P.S. I hear there is a football game being televised today, which partly explains why I feel so free to maunder on about my computer: no one is reading this. This is traditionally our next-to-worst traffic day of the year, second only to Christmas. Hmm, maybe the new color scheme of the site should be green and gold....
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Original contents copyright 2011 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.