Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Mac makes me feel old

I am still liking the new Mac, but clearly it is made for young people. It's starting to annoy me that every time I open an application, the first thing I have to do is figure out how to INCREASE THE TYPE SIZE so my farsighted eyes can work without strain. Why is Apple so fond of tiny, tiny type?

In some applications this setting is easy to find and to change by default. Other applications bury it in obscure places, or offer no discernable way to change the default (I'm looking at you, Firefox). I have to adjust the text size Every. Single. Time., a constant reminder of the aged and decrepit state of my eyesight. My business partner Zena is a Mac gal, and I never understood why her Word and Excel documents would come to me with the Zoom set at 150% or 200%. That setting showed about 6 words' worth of text on my old PC screen, but turns out it's the bare minimum setting on the Mac.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Now broadcasting from the Apple Nation

Yes, we here at Miscellaneous Shellfish have finally made the switch from PC to Mac! An adorable little MacBook Pro which boots up in about 30 seconds instead of the 30 MINUTES required by our two-year-old PC. Literally, I would get up in the morning, turn the computer on, and head into the shower. Then I'd start up Outlook, and go make breakfast. If I forgot to turn it on before the shower, I would lose a full 30 minutes of billable time. Unbelievable.

The technology switcharoo partially explains the gap in blogging, what with the need to migrate data. Said migration was easier than I expected, although Intuit makes it really, really inexplicably unpleasant to migrate between the PC and Mac versions of its own Quicken software. I can't in any way blame Microsoft for that. And I rushed to install that Leopard OS upgrade before reading the fine print and learning that lots of things don't actually work with it yet. Like, my print drivers. And Adobe Acrobat. But, we are still well pleased with our purchase. (A special shout-out to the Miscellaneous Parents for the early Christmas generosity!)

In other news: I am relieved to know that the federal government will no longer demand that hand over records of its customers' used book purchases. Because my FBI file doesn't really need to include the fact that I've purchased The Genaology of the First Metis Nation, and sold Satre's Nausea in the original French. Clearly, I am a deeply subversive individual meriting further warrantless surveillance.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Back from the north, again

We had a fabulous trip to Winnipeg, with four generations of the family assembled. My cousin who's three years older than I just became a grandmother - a GRANDMOTHER - and my dad received an honor from his alma mater. My sister and I stayed at the grand old hotel downtown, and spent a couple of days at the spectacular Manitoba/Hudson's Bay Company archives. The nice archivist helped us find photos and maps and post diaries and all sorts of goodies. We even found a detailed survey map from 1870 showing the exact plots of land where our ancestors lived. We visited the old fort. We had many hearty laughs with our fun and witty relatives.

I might - might - have suggested, in a moment of tipsy and sentimental enthusiasm, that I could return for the Festival du Voyageur in February. February. In Winnipeg. The main attractions include sled-dog races on the frozen river and a jigging contest. Oh, and there's a 5-K run. And some kind of "Survivor" contest where teams compete to live for a few days in the fort and in teepees. Average temperatures in Winnipeg on these dates? A low of -5F high of +5F.

Sadly, I won't be attending the Festival this year, as I just accepted a consulting gig that involves a trip to southern California at that time. Another year, maybe.