Category: computer

What I’ve learned…

In the interview for my current job, they asked me how I defined success. I said that I know everything can’t always be perfect, but I consider it a success if I’m able to learn something from it.

I was pretty impressed by my answer. So, it would seem, were they.

But I keep thinking about that concept, especially this month. In my new job, I learn something new nearly every day. And, I’ll admit, quite a few of them are by learning from mistakes.

I want to get back in to my writing. This time last year, I was writing my book for NaNoWriMo. Now I spend my spare time watching Extreme Couponing or the Food Network. My excuse is that I spend the majority of my work day writing - emails, reports, proposals, etc. But it’s not really an excuse.

So I’m going to get back in to posting here by talking about what I’ve learned this month.

I learned that you should always backup your computer. Yup, I learned that the hard way when my hard drive failed while installing Snow Leopard and I then spent two weeks trying to figure out if I was ever going to be able to see hundreds of pictures again. 300 dollars later, I have them. And a new hard drive. And an appointment with Time Machine every Sunday morning.

I learned that when you budget your money too tightly, something inevitably happens that you have to spend a huge amount of money on but can’t afford. See above.

I learned that New York City isn’t so bad afterall. And that the best part of a trip can be eating good food with a person you love.

I learned that when your museum director says jump, you write a million e-mails about your plan and then jump. Even if you think it’s a bad idea, because they’re your boss.

I learned that when you really need it, someone will help you out if you just tell them your problem.

I learned that you have to get over being shy, quick, when you’re at a conference where the sole purpose is networking and getting to know as many people as possible.

And I learned that food tastes better when someone delivers it to your room and you get to eat it in bed.

I don’t know how much I’ll follow through with my renewed posting here, but I’ll give it a shot.

All around me are familiar faces

My brand new Macbook Pro arrived on Tuesday. Since then I have been spending most of my time setting it up just as I want it, tranferring things over.

For the first time in years, I was able to put the majority of my photos on my computer. The harddrive on my Compaq was very small, so I kept everything on my external. But the Macbook has a lot more space. And so, on Tuesday night I imported all of my photos from the last four years into iPhoto.

There are so many of these that I haven’t looked at in ages. There are even some high school pictures thrown in.

I’ve used iPhoto on and off since it’s creation - I’ve always worked with macs, at the newspaper and at both of my photo store jobs. It struck me as a fairly useless program designed mostly to annoy me.

Not anymore. Not only can I organize all of my albums by location (on a map!) but iPhoto now has this great feature called “Faces.” It’s like Facebook, but for your computer. So you “tag” people’s faces in photos and then you can search all of the photos of a person by name.

I was flipping through pictures, tediously tagging away when suddenly boxes started appearing on their own. Convinient! And then about five pictures into the album:

“Is this Kristen?”

A square right around Kristen’s face.


Apparently iPhoto can identify people! And it really liked Kristen. It now gets her in almost every picture.

And now I bring you something I found in the depths of my external hard drive, back from when I had purple hair and didn’t sleep much…


Notice the fingerless gloves. I think they make me very emo.

The laptop dilemma

About three and a half years ago, I bought myself a laptop for school. I spent months painstakingly picking out the perfect computer. And I have loved it, since the first moment I saw it. My laptop is my baby. It has been to countless boring classes, amusing me with Bejewelled and Text Twist. It has been to Toronto, Pittsburgh, Ireland, my cottage, various work places and small cafés for writing or studying. I have sat at it night after night, writing essays, studying for exams, talking to Fae, watching movies and writing. I have surfed billions of websites, written thousands upon thousands of words. And let me tell you, this laptop kicks ass. It has this amazing ability to beat any other laptop I’ve seen at picking up a wireless signal. In boring Media Law classes, when no one else could get a signal, I was wasting time on Facebook. Even a classmate with the exact same computer, purchased at nearly the same time, was internetless. But not baby, he never let me down.

I guess three and a half years is pretty old for a laptop nowadays. In the last year I have upgraded my memory, bought a new 12 cell battery, replaced my charger cord because it somehow got severed and melted everywhere, and completely reformatted my computer. But after all of that, my computer now works great. For a pretty basic laptop with only 1GB of memory, I have most of the CS4 suite on here, as well as a bunch of movies and photos and a shit load of music. Everything on my computer is exactly as I like it right now, and it runs very well.

There’s just a slight problem.


Note the slight slant to the screen…. Let’s zoom in.


What it’s supposed to look like:


The hinge had been on it’s way to breaking for several months, and then when I was in Pittsburgh, something feel out and the hinge broke completely. This is such a silly thing to be wrong with my computer. A silly thing which will cost me at least $100 to fix.

I’ve always intended to get a Mac as my next computer. I just thought that my next computer would be in another year or so. Other than this hinge, the computer is great. I wanted it to live out the year, survive England and then I would let my baby peacefully retire. It bugs me that the only problem I have with it is a stupid hinge. But it is a problem, which will probably only get worse as the other hinge  (the one with the wire that hooks the screen up to the computer) takes on double the weight and inevitably breaks too.

My mom, looking at my computer, offered to help me buy a new one. So now I’m trying to decide, do I get a new computer now or get this one fixed and see if I can make it last a little longer? The problem is, I’ve been telling myself that for a year, while I was replacing the battery, the memory and the power cord.

Plus, the Macbooks are oh-so-pretty….