Monday, April 20, 2009

Into the Maw of Computer Systems


I'm waving at you from the bottom of a technological hole.

I didn't dig it myself, really, I just allowed it to evolve beneath my feet.

Into a Gaping Void...........a Black Hole,God's Shredder Machine.

After contending for several months with a growing problem of the old Mac G4's developing senility. it occurred to me that I had better move right along with the new technology and become more portable. I reasoned that a MacBook would be the solution. I could take it back and forth between Arizona and Washington much easier than moving 'the monster' each time.

My G4 had began to have memory problems. It's not like the old Macs that you could get into the guts of the thing and throw out programs you would never use and manually allot more memory to programs by opening them up and changing the settings. Besides, I liked my old system 9 and 10.3 programs like Pagemaker.

Yup the old G4 runs two separate operating systems. The new systems are 10.4 and up. In order to bring the G4 up to current software would be a hefty outlay of bucks and still I would lose access to the programs I run on the old systems. 

 I began to have difficulties running programs and web stuff. I was having memory problems switching from one window to another. And it wasn't my internet hook-up either. My computer began crashing. After my old printer died, I couldn't run anything off--I would have to make it an email attachment and ask my husband to print it. It was a war of attrition.

And it's amazing the things you will accommodate. They just creep into your life. And you bend a bit. Then a bit more. And finally you're reduced to looking at a little spinning ball. Waiting. 

I could've hooked a RUG with the time I spent waiting.

It became even more attractive to move to a new computer after I spent about a half hour with the techie rep picking his brain about the new MacBook. We talked about transferring data between the G4 and a laptop. It seemed so simple; just get a fire wire, plug it into the two computers, open the Migration Assistant and let 'er rip.

I should have known.

I forgot the #1 Rule:

Everything dealing with computers takes at least twice as long to do as you think it will.

After spending all of yesterday trying to figure out why the firewire wouldn't work--the new system disk wouldn't load into the old computer (it kept spitting it out), and trying to back up the G4 data into an external disc drive (IT is only is compatible with the new system 10.4 and higher) and reading pages and pages of other people's similar problems on tech support sites, I've decided the best thing to do is forget about trying to direct transfer. That's just not going to work. Even if I did pull it off, the what's on the G4 still has to be run by old programs. It would just be like taking a big bag of old stuff and dumping it into the new laptop---it's still old stuff.  What was I thinking?

I usually like this kind of thing. The challenge between (wo)man and machine; the pitting of my mushy brain-wits against hard steel and silicon. Yeah, I can beat that pile of wires and chips. With one flipper tied behind my back..............Wait a minute. I'm beginning to lose it.

I've been using the G4 since oh, somewhere around 6 or 7 years now. What made me think it would work?  Cram TWO antiquated systems into that beautiful little laptop? Phhhhhbbbbt.

I'll just have to unhook my G4's life support system (modem cable), turn it into a dumb terminal, so to speak, maybe find an old refurbished printer that's compatible and run off all the written stuff into hard copies or revamp the material. So, okay, lesson learned. If you want to keep anything, make a hard copy at the time.

(Scarlet O'Hara mode ON)
I'll just have to forget my past. Turn my face to the West, pick up my skirts and trudge down that old plowed furrow toward a New Day. (Place hand on forehead) I'll just have to think about read/write discs and Leopard from now on. "Ta-morrow is anothah day!"

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