Monday, August 09, 2004

iMac blog.

Had a scary interlude on my computer at the office, an iMac of early 2000 vintage, when a pdf refused to print, and thus froze all of the machine; upon restarting, it thought that the evil pdf was still in the printing queue, and froze up again. Eventually, I unplugged the printer, and shut the power off for the computer. That cleared up the printer queue, but then every Word document and pdf stored in every file seemed to be rendered useless -- “X document cannot be opened, since the program that created it cannot be found." All of them. Too bad, sucker.

Fortunately, restarting cleared that up. I have some backups, but I’d be reluctant to use any computer that bollixed my documents so badly, even one that’s been giving tolerable service for four years (except for that regrettable hard drive failure in mid-2002).

One of the places we visited last week was the Apple store on Michigan Avenue, a busy little shrine to Mac Operating System and its paraphernalia. I wasn’t much in the mood to marvel at the technology, since I was minding Ann, and my feet hurt. But it is full of marvels of various sorts. It’s also a marvel of a different sort that pretty much everything in that store will be -- to use an ill-fitting bookstore term -- remaindered by the time Ann is able to notice or care or be interested. Or maybe even less than remaindered: as completely junked as the Apple Lisa.

To me, that only raises the question -- why be on the cutting edge of consumer technology, especially computers? I remember well a moment in 1987 when I was gung-ho to buy a computer. The enthusiasm faded, fortunately, and I got by using the system at my office, and a typewriter at home (a nice one, too, with some editing functions; it still works). I think I saved myself a few thousand useful dollars, money that helped fund my expedition to Japan in 1990. So Apple will have to wait before I replace my iMacs.


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