Tuesday, May 24, 2016


I was disadvantaged for a couple of days and then called away which explains the absence of blogging over the last few days. My 6 year old Macbook Pro keyboard suddenly bit the dust on the 19th and I didn't make it to the Apple Store for another 2 days, where they told me the keyboard was kaput. I was sorry to hear that.

I asked the genius at the bar what could he offer me as a replacement and explained that I had already begun looking at replacing and upgrading the old laptop but Apple didn't have anything better than what I bought six years ago. To explain, I was looking to buy a new macbook and figured after 6 years of development and refinement the new beast would have some of the spiffy kind of features and that Moore's Law would have kicked in at least something on the retail end of Apple, but alas, no.

My macbook had 4gb of RAM and a 250gb hard drive when I bought it at MCRD in mid-2010. What Apple sells today as a macbook pro has 4gb of RAM and 250gb hard drive. It has a spiffy new display in the same dimensions and it costs as much it did 6 years ago. I have a little trouble with that because it makes absolutely no sense at all.

I doubled the RAM in my machine for $16 by buying it from Amazon and installing it myself. That was quite easy and took me about 30 minutes. If I scale up my expectations and think about adding memory from the factory, the price starts to take off. That doesn't make any sense at all. Memory just isn't that expensive and installing a 32gb stick vice a 4gb stick just means nothing to production cost. Obviously, it taxes the operating systems and heat controls provided by Apple.

The salesman wanted to show me the splendid new sharp Retsina displays and I asked him to look directly into my eyes. We had a little stare down until I blinked and asked him if he noticed all the crud on my spectacles and said it was of little import to me how clear the display was as my view of the world was somewhat distorted from the start. It didn't phase the genius. He generously suggested that a macbook air would meet my requirements. I said that I noticed a distinct lack of an optical drive and he said that nobody used optical drives anymore. I accepted that was a valid point about everybody, but me.

Anyway, he restored my thoroughly unusable machine to working in a kind of Sea Sparrow fashion and I went home and rooted around for any old usb keyboards we have lying around the house, found one that suited me and now have a functional machine that will last another few months or years. The genius was probably spot on when he told me that my machine had a good life and a good run since most laptops die after just 3 years and anyway, Apple was discontinuing all support for macbook pros of my generation this June.

I didn't point out that my Dell Inspiron E1505 was still on my desk and worked as well as it did on the day I bought it ten years ago. It runs Windows XPpro and I use it for old games and for the historic stuff that runs on it. The only thing I've done to it is buy it a new battery from Amazon, $15, and a new power cord since the old one had become frayed and started arcing and sparking in the dark.

After I got home, I got a call from the manor telling me that the house had sold and they needed to have all the stuff out by mid-June. I'm going places and doing things every week until mid-June except this last weekend so I rallied around the aged 'rents and we drove about 8 hours to crash in the house without cable or any wifi at all in the neighborhood. You'd think Arlington would have lots of wifi but it was just like visiting Pyongyang and looking for a Ford dealership. I was too tired to go wardriving so we kipped without any outside electrons and then moved stuff out of the old house to the new house and then loaded up the truck with all the stuff deemed essential to my continuing existence and that of my sister and then drove 8 hours back. I went for a comfy chair and hassock and the missing bolt to a rifle and came home with a truckload of stuff.

After that kind of a week I took some time off and did some new things but I'm back.


OldAFSarge said...

We were starting to talk...

On the gripping hand, computers are wonderful aren't they? Those who sell them? Not so much.

Re: ...like visiting Pyongyang and looking for a Ford dealership.

Kinda how I feel when visiting me Mum in the wilds of New Hampshire.

HMS Defiant said...

We drive through Maine from Burlington to the coast after we leave the boat at the dock in Burlington. Every single time I go, I think of the men from Maine and Joshua Chamberlain. He was a good man. I think he would be outraged that Maine is always in the 'skip zone'. There is no wifi east of Lancaster on the border.
That's positively fox molder territory.
It was eye opening to learn that so is Arlington, VA.
That says a lot.

And no, it wasn't that the signals were there but denied, there were zero signals at all.