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Author Topic:   The Joy of a New Computer: the Joy of having a recent backup image.
jimh posted 01-08-2015 03:44 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
My laptop computer has been my main computer for several years. Its six-year-old hard drive failed this week. Yesterday I went to the Apple store and bought a new desktop computer. I had a backup from the laptop that was only two-days-old. It took about five hours to initialize the new desktop and restore all the data from the back up.
jimh posted 01-08-2015 03:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The reason the above post is so short is related to the new computer. Its operating system has changed a bit, and some of the applications both look different and act differently. I didn't intend to hit "POST" when I did, but something happened, and the browser sent the article to the server.

That is typical of what's been happening all day. I have been trying to turn off the new features in the operating system and revert its look and behavior to the old system. It is the same feeling with classic Boston Whaler boats. I am so accustomed to how they look and feel that perhaps I am not ready for a new boat. But, in time, I am sure I will get used to the new features of the operating system. I could probably get used to the new features of a 2015 Boston Whaler, too.

I did retain my old keyboard and old mouse. The new models didn't feel right.

In 1985, when I bought my first home computer (a Mac 128), the computer was such a new tool and so intriguing that the computer itself, and all its related hardware and software, were something I was interested in--perhaps more interested in than I was with actually using the computer as a tool to accomplish some task. The computer was the task. Now 30-years later, I mostly want the computer to stay out the way and let me work on things I want to, like writing, researching, image manipulation, website maintenance. and so on. The notion that I will have to spend time on the computer itself, tweaking its settings, updating its applications, adjusting the hardware, is no longer something fun in itself.

I just spent two hours looking for a cable for a peripheral device. The device has USB and Firewire interfaces. The new computer has only USB. Firewire has gone away. Of course, I can only find the device's Firewire cable. I have almost torn apart the computer room looking for it. Argh! The joy of the new computer.

It is faster, smaller, quieter, uses less lower, and has more storage, more RAM, and was very affordable. But it will take a few months before I probably get everything working correctly with it.

Hoosier posted 01-08-2015 05:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
You feel like you're climbing El Capitan in Yosemite, eh?

(Sorry, I just couldn't pass that one up)...

jimh posted 01-08-2015 10:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
One bright spot in all the rebuilding and other problems: Polar View NS from Polar Navy works fine. I had to use another of my five licensed installations, but what a great consideration to have that luxury.
AllanR posted 01-11-2015 10:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for AllanR  Send Email to AllanR     
Dear Jim;

I feel your pain.

My Mac Mini is 4 years old now and the hard drive is getting up close to capacity. I do back it up, but not often enough.

I hate upgrading to a new computer. Hardly any of the old software will work. Some of the old files may not be readable. etc. It is difficult and expensive. The old printer or scanner may not work either.

This so called "progress" is not progress to me.

I hope that you come through it ok.

pete r posted 01-12-2015 06:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for pete r  Send Email to pete r     
Hi Jim, You have done well to operate a computer several years old. I am amazed at your productivity you have given to this site, let alone other imput you may have had elsewhere.

You odviously look after your computer and have gotten the best out it. I can only imagine, and admire the way you have persisted with your old computer and I can see it would be similar to the energy you commit to your boat.

I find that a new wiz bang computer is exciting and fast but I still think back to how slow they were 20 years ago.
Those old computers did most things I wanted them for, CAD, word processing, simple spreadsheets etc.
All that was expected of you then was to have patient when the mice inside the machine went a bit slow.

Funny, now days it's not the mice that are slowing down.....

Phil T posted 01-12-2015 10:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for Phil T  Send Email to Phil T     
One has that experience when one holds on to something for more than a few years.

It applies to:

cell (smart) phones

I just gave up my Toyota 4Runner after 14 wonderful years. The new to me vehicle has many of the same features but to enable them is very different.

The takeaway from this thread is.....make a full backup of your files. Even a USB stick will do.

pete r posted 01-12-2015 08:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for pete r  Send Email to pete r     
USB....Hmmm! you must remember where you last put it for safe keeping and when things stuff up.
I often locate it in a secret draw with several other USB's and wonder which has got the latest data.....
jimh posted 01-12-2015 09:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
As for holding on to older things, I should reveal that my mobile telephone is a Motorola RAZR, the original model. My daily driver car for getting to work is a 1995. I just refurbished some loudspeakers--the woofer surrounds--that I bought back in the 1980's.
pete r posted 01-13-2015 07:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for pete r  Send Email to pete r     
Hey Jim,
My next best phone outside of my Iphone 5 was my Motorola RAZR. That phone was really cool. It felt good to use and easy to slide in and out of your pocket (especially when driving). I ended up regretfully handing it onto my son who then seem to have battery issues, mainly because the young spend so much longer time with their calls.

I find with my fading eye sight the Iphones text can be easily adjusted so I can still sort of read it without scrambling for my glasses.

Currently I am wondering which Iphone 6 I should upgrade to.
I have been told I should go with the larger model because the marine navigation maps are a treat.
Realistically, the larger phone bothers me when I think back to how comfortable the Razr fitted your pocket and at times you almost forgot it was there.

jimh posted 01-15-2015 11:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Moved sidebar topic to new thread in SMALL BOAT ELECTRICAL. Replied privately to two other sidebar topics introduced.
jimh posted 02-26-2015 12:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Let me update this little off-topic blog about my new computer.

A few years ago I bought a nice external hard drive in a ruggedized case to use as a portable hard drive. The drive had two interfaces: one for USB and one for Firewire, an Apple-only interface in practical application. The Apple computer I bought a few weeks ago does not have any Firewire ports. Apple abandoned them in favor of a new port called Thunderbolt. That meant my external hard drive would need to connect using a USB cable instead of Firewire.

On the box the hard drive came in--yes, I saved the box--it mentions there being two cables included, one for Firewire and one for USB. The drive has had the Firewire cable connected to it. I figured I would find the USB cable in the box, but no cable. I then began a search of my stash of odd computer cables, looking for the missing cable. I tore out a whole closet of cables. I found cables that went with computer peripherals I bought 20 years ago, but I could not find the missing hard drive USB interface cable. (The hard drive uses a very odd USB connector at its end, and you need a special cable.)

The mess of cables laying around got so large that I decided I must organize them. I went to Lowe's and bough $30 of plastic boxes, and spent hours sorting and organizing the cables. I did not have enough boxes to house them all, so I went back to Lowe's and bought $25 more boxes. Finally, I had over a dozen boxes of various sizes, and all my cables sorted into them. But I could not find the missing specialized USB cable.

A few weeks later I was at Circuit City, and, as it happened there was an Apple rep there checking on the Apple computer displays. I talked to him about the missing cable. He told me his recollection was that if I had bought the external drive at the Apple Store--which I did--it probably only came with the Firewire cable. Oh, that was interesting news. I had spent $55 and two days looking for a cable that I probably never had.

I was at Circuit City to buy an external DVD/CD-ROM R/W drive for my new computer. Apple no longer includes optical removable drives in their computers because they think you will get everything you need from their on-line offerings like the iTunes store. The funny part of the search was that in the process of looking for the missing cable we had come across an old Circuit City gift card that got stuck in a drawer. It had $75 of credit on it, and that would pay for the optical drive.

I needed the optical drive because my installation of Adobe Creative Suite 4 had stopped working. The software had figured out it was no longer running on the same CPU it was originally installed on, which was correct. I had moved the software to the new computer along with the rest of my files in the backup and restore process. I had all the original media for the CS4 install, but no way to install it.

Just a few days ago I got around to reinstalling Adobe CS4 using the new optical drive. The good news: it works again. I was worried it was going to complain about the completely new OS on the Mac-Mini, but it went along with it just fine. I am back in business with all my Adobe applications.

The external optical drive will also be helpful if I ever get my old laptop working again. Its optical drive went bad a few months ago, trying to mount some non-standard media that was too thick for the slot-loading drive.

For a while I was dismayed by the appearance of the new MacOS 10.10, but after a month or two I am now accustomed to it. Its simplicity of adornments has grown to be normal for me, It works well. Some of the applications work better.

I also had to re-install PolarView NS, using another of my five install license, as that software, too, detected it was not running on the same CPU as it was originally installed on. Fortunately, the BSB-4 charts from Canada seemed to be happy to keep working, as they, too, seem to be licensed to a particular device.

I had a bit of a problem with the back-up now. My back-up volume is only 1-Terabyte and that is the size of the drive in the new computer. As the drive fills up, I will run out of space for the historical back up data. Oh, well, time for a larger back-up drive, I guess. Computers are such a moving target.

The oldest part of my system is now the keyboard. I am used to typing on this keyboard, which has large, typewriter-style keys. The new keyboards are too small and the keys too short for my touch. This old keyboard is still working, but I will probably have to tear it down, again, and vacuum out all the debris. Some of the keys are getting a bit sticky and intermittent.

I still have not found the drive USB cable. I think I will have to give up and buy one. A further problem with the loss of Firewire is found in several other peripherals I have that are Firewire. One of them is a nice NTSC video to digital convertor. You can get Firewire to Thunderport adaptors, but the Thunderport can only supply 9-watts of power to the peripheral, while the Firewire could supply 45-watts. Some higher-power peripherals won't work with it.

Hoosier posted 02-26-2015 06:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
Hey, where did you find a Circuit City?...

Circuit City Stores, Inc. (former NYSE ticker symbol CC) was an American multinational consumer electronics corporation. It was founded in 1949 and pioneered the electronics superstore format in the 1970s.[1] Circuit City liquidated its final American retail store in 2009, following a bankruptcy filing and subsequent failure to find a buyer.

At the time of liquidation, Circuit City was the second largest U.S. electronics retailer, after Best Buy. There were 567 Circuit City Superstores nationwide, ranging in size from 15,000 to 45,000 square feet (1,400 to 4,200 m2), when the company announced total liquidation.

Jefecinco posted 02-26-2015 07:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
I've been thinking of how to relate a recent computer issue to Boston Whaler boats to post the information here. I think I can now safely do so without causing any offense.

About three weeks ago I discovered a feature of my Firefox (mozilla) browser. It was the opportunity to "refresh" the browser. Mine had been a little sluggish and had the rare bug or so and this seemed like a good thing to do. The instructions recommended certain actions prior to refreshing in order to be able to recover bookmarks, etc.

OK, enough detail. I did the refresh and despite doing what I believed to be the prudent prior steps I lost my bookmarks and my passwords saved to LastPass.

If you are going to refresh your Firefox be very careful and deliberate in the process.

Disclaimer: I am not a computer person and don't qualify for Smart Phone ownership lacking the basic prequisite. For those smarter than me the refresh feature will no doubt work seamlessly.


jimh posted 02-26-2015 07:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Maybe it was Best Buy--all those stores look the same to me.
Hoosier posted 02-26-2015 08:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
Jim, like me, you're starting to show your age, you remember things the way they used to be... ;-)

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