Technology Overload

Slowly I advance in my move from a Microsoft Windows environment to an Apple OSX environment. I will discuss some of my thoughts and experiences to this point. I also a camera technology problem, I will discuss at the end of this post.

First, let me talk about the PC hardware.

As I said before, I got tired of operating in a mixed environment. My main PC was a high-end Gateway running Microsoft Windows 7. I liked the PC and it was only the mixed operating environment that bothered me. My backup PC was a Apple MacMini, which I use as a media device for my TV. The backup program I used for Windows was not compatible for the Mini and I had to do multiple backups. Also, keeping my contact list and calendar in sync between my Windows PC and my iPad and MacMini was a little flaky and didn’t always work.

The PC, I replaced my Gateway Windows 7 PC with, is an Apple 27” iMac running a 3.4 Intel quad processor. I upgraded the standard 4 GB memory to 12 GB myself for about $50. It would have cost me $400 if I had added 8 GB through Apple. Needless to say, this PC is a real screamer. I also ordered 8 GB of memory for my Mini for $50. I have a hunch that will solve the main performance problems on the Mini.

I have avoided Apple in the past, as a main PC, because of what I thought was a dramatic difference in cost between an Apple system and an equivalent Microsoft Windows system. I believe now, when you consider equivalent quality of build, that the difference has narrowed to the point that it is negligible.

I have never been a big fan of an all-in-one unit, but now that I have one, I like it. My desktop is cleaner, better organized and has fewer cables. The 27 inch screen is fantastic and on several applications I can have two pages open at once.

I really like the bluetooth keyboard, magic mouse and trackpad. Having no cords is great and bluetooth allows the devices to be used a longer distance from the PC. This is very nice when I use them on the MacMini hooked to the large screen TV.

The iMac boots faster than my Gateway system did. However I have begun using the sleep mode, if I am not going to have the unit powered down for several days. When I am ready to power on the iMac, I hit a key on the keyboard and the system is ready instantly. I do have to disconnect and reconnect the MagicJack to have it active using the sleep mode, because it does not automatically reconnect following sleep mode.

All in all, the Apple iMac is solidly built, very elegant, super fast and extremely reliable.

Software has taken the majority of my time.

OSX Lion has been reliable and fast, but I have had to learn to do some things differently. The ‘save as’ function took me a while to figure out. Finding the folder that I wanted to store a document into, is done differently. “Help” gave me the instructions I needed and that lesson has been learned.

Sometimes people send me videos in the Microsoft video format (WMV). I have found out that the Apple QuickTime player doesn’t support the Microsoft format. Imagine that. To have it play this type of file requires purchasing a plugin for QuickTime, and to this point, I have refused to do that. If you are wanting to send me a video in that format, don’t bother. I will just delete the email.

I did purchase Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 to manipulate photos and Photoshop Premier for videos editing. I feel relative comfortable with Photoshop Elements now, but Photoshop Premier is going to take more time. I realized this yesterday when I was getting ready to make a post that was going to include a video. I may try iMovie and see if it can do what I want more simply. I am sure for photos and videos, I have what I need and probably more than I need. I just have to learn how to use what I have.

I also purchased Apple’s Pages for my iMac and my iPad.. I am using Pages for all word processing, replacing LibreOffice’s Word application. The reason I did this was so I could share document between my iPad and my iMac via Apple’s iCloud. This is really slick. It does require that you have Lion as your OS version on the iMac. To share a document, you just go to www.icloud.com/#pages and identify the document you want to share. After doing that, I can open Pages on my iPad and magically the document appears in the available files. I am now writing this post on the iPad and when I save it, I will post to the Internet on the iMac.

I will continue to use LibreOffice for all other “Office” type applications such as spreadsheets. Pages cost me $20 to download and is a pretty incredible product.

Now for a little potential humor related to my Casio GPS camera that I reported that I bought earlier this year. I bought this camera because my other camera is just too large to carry with me every day. I love this Casio camera. I thought it was a good buy at the price I paid and I just noticed that Amazon has it now at an even better price of $189.88.

After buying the camera, I was literally never leaving the house without it. On one fateful day, I was out and realized that I had a tremendous urgency to go to the bathroom. I quickly drove home and ran to the bathroom. I dropped my pants and almost immediately felt relief and was happy that I had success in getting to the bathroom on time. Sometimes the older we get, this can be a real problem.

I was happy until I stood up and saw something floating in the toilet bowl that I had not expected to see, my camera case. I felt “flushed”.

In my rush I had somehow allowed the case to fall in. The first word that came out of my mouth was floating beside my camera case. I grabbed the case hoping that moisture had not reached the inside of the case. Upon opening the case, I found that the camera was wet, not very wet, but still wet. I dried it off, removed the battery and SD card and put the camera in the sun to dry.

After a couple hours I looked at the camera, saw no evidence of moisture, and decided it was worth turning on to see if it functioned. I inserted the battery and pressed the on/off button. The camera fired up. I breathed a sigh of relief. However, I was celebrating a little too soon. I decided to see if the GPS still functioned and I went to the menu and turned on the GPS. The camera locked up.

I turned it off and back on and the camera appeared to be ok once more. This time I noticed that the zoom was not working. I turned off GPS in the menu. The zoom now worked as it should.With this new information, I knew that the GPS problem and the zoom problem were somehow related. I decided to wait a few days and see if the camera healed itself. It didn’t.

This week I sent the camera to Panama City to get a repair estimate. To this point, I am being told that it will be repaired under warranty. If it does get repaired at no cost, I will be a very happy camper. Needless to say, I will be much more cautious with the camera even during emergency runs to the bathroom. It just goes to show you that the old adage of “haste makes waste” still has relevance.

7 thoughts on “Technology Overload

  1. Thanks for the techno update, Don Ray. If I can’t get the coffee out of my laptop that I just spewed all over it, I may decide to go shopping. :-)

    Did you share the information on how the camera got dunked with the repair center? That is some all encompassing warranty you have there! haha

    Just be thankful that you weren’t on the farm, retrieving the camera there might not be worth the price of a new one.

    jim and nena
    fort worth, tx

  2. I gave the repair center instructions to be able to see the malfunctions. To be honest, I am not convinced that the events described had anything to do with the problem as I had not been using the GPS for a while.

  3. Hi Don, Try the free Flip4Mac to watch wmv on a Mac. It also has a paid version (that adds more features) but I have been using the free version for 2-3 years and it works very well.

    I have had good luck with Olympus waterproof digital cameras in Panama.
    http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-Stylus-Digital-Camera-Green/dp/B0031RGEUE/ref=sr_1_7?s=photo&ie=UTF8&qid=1323616626&sr=1-7

    and Sanyo waterproof Digital video cameras.
    http://www.amazon.com/Sanyo-VCP-CA9-High-Definition-Waterproof-Camcorder/dp/B003M11CCO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1323616835&sr=8-1

  4. Hi Ray,

    Well, made it to David three days ago, only to find my Dell computer screen has died. The computer is working well, but the screen is really a mess. Would you happen to know if Oteima repairs or at least orders screens from Dell. Or do you know of any other computer repair place in David. Not all handle Dell.

    Thank you for your help. I would love to meet with you and share a coffee and pick your brain.

    Kathy

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