Surrendering to the Inevitable Upgrade

By , March 4, 2013

These last few days, when I get the urge to explore new territory, I head inside. I recently acquired a “new” computer, and have been exploring its new features.

I did this very reluctantly; I already have a very nice computer, of which I am very fond.

When we committed to chucking “real” life and heading for the sticks, our strategy included starting my freelance Web development business, which has ultimately morphed into Yeldagalga Publications, LLC. In the last days of salaried employment, I acquired a Macbook Pro, a massive laptop designed to handle all the Web and graphic design software I collected to ply my trade. I bought it new, which made it one of the larger cash layouts of our move.

That was almost 8 years ago now. In computer years, that laptop has been extinct and embedded in sedimentary rock for eons. Still, it worked, so I saw no need, and certainly harbored no desire to upgrade it beyond updating the software when I could.

Unfortunately, that couldn’t last. We are a disposable society, a truth that is nowhere more evident in our consumption of electronics.  While I’d escaped from the madness of Microsoft, in which a new and worse version of Windows seems to pop up two or three times a day, I eventually got caught up in Apple’s progress. Their operating systems have advanced to the point that it cannot be loaded onto my computer. That didn’t bother me much, especially since Apple seems to be emulating Microsoft by coming out with “improvements” that make their software less user friendly or reliable. However, my software stopped upgrading, and finally, some stopped working on line all together.

It bothers me that I had to buy a whole new computer just to upgrade the operating system. But, I wasn’t quite licked yet. I chose an older computer model (as the newest, most expensive “improvement” lacks standard features, like a disc drive) with an older-than-latest operating system, which is generally regarded as far superior to the current version. And, I bought it used. Not only that, but I bought used RAM with which to beef it up. This “new” arrangement seems like it’ll work fine for a while.

So, instead of focusing on the chores of early spring on the homestead, I’m working to configure the new computer as closely as possible to the old one, updating the software, and learning to use the new versions of almost every program. The major challenge will be learning to use the trackpad. That will require changing muscle memory from the old computer’s pad—it won’t be easy.

The old computer will remain on site to be used when possible; I won’t be going cold turkey if I don’t want to. If I get into a jam, I can always step back to it in almost all instances.

Luckily, I’ll be a hermit this week. Michelle’s living in town with friends to chaperone young people and avoid an inconvenient tide schedule. She won’t be around to try to get more out of me than distracted grunts in a variety of annoying pitches as I concentrate on the computer. I just hope the cat doesn’t starve . . . .

One Response to “Surrendering to the Inevitable Upgrade”

  1. Linn Hartman says:

    Oh Yes computers – Have several laptops laying around that have slowed down to a craw for what ever reason – paying to have the gremlins cleaned out never seems to work for very long – I programmed my first mainframe computer in 1962 – When I got out of the navy the man said “how would you like to be a computer programmer” – didn’t even know what a computer was-I wanted to get my FCC license and work on shrimp boats in the gulf – didn’t know anything about that either – For 40 years with a few side trips along the way I work in the mainframe computer business – pretty darn good at it if I do say so – It allowed me to travel, get into some things and places I would not have access to otherwise and retire without eating dog food -unfortunately really never made the transition to the PC – guess I am just a dinosaur. – No matter what they come up with they will never beat dropping a handful of colered punch cards in a mechanical sorter and watch them drop in the various pockets sorted. – I have seen CEO’s of major corporations just go gaga watching it happen – have fun with your new toy.

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