Thursday, May 04, 2006

New tricks

I have a new computer! A new old computer, actually, but certainly newer than my old one. I got lucky, and it was given to me. Yes, it was FREE! We have some wonderful friends who thought of me when they heard someone was getting rid of their old computer, and were going to ... throw it out? Or at least were prepared to give it away providing we paid the delivery fee, which, naturally, we did.

My new computer is a flat screen desk lamp type iMac, like this one. It's LOVELY, except that it came with a Japanese keyboard and some of the keys are in the wrong place. The letters are in the right place, but if you notice that I am not using quote marks much, that is why. They have been moved, and I am avoiding using them so I can type at my usual speed.

Today I am meeting some friends for lunch, in Shinsaibashi, so perhaps I will find time to pop into the Apple Store and get an English keyboard.

I have not got OS9 up and bootable yet (and do not know why, although I can use Classic) and have not figured out how to import my bookmarks. I am gradually organizing OSX, but I imagine it will take a while. I have to say that I MUCH prefer OS9. I do not care that OSX is prettier and is supposed to be more wonderful and never crash and all the rest of it. It just does not feel as friendly. It feels as though all the important stuff is hidden from me. I liked being able to customize how things looked, and knowing what to do when something did not work the way I wanted it to. I liked being able to uninstall things easily and completely, and how troubleshooting was so easy. I liked it that I did not have to worry about security, because viruses for OS9 were so rare. OSX is not as secure, and I do not know what is going on, so that if I did get a virus I probably would just think it was some weird OSX thing. I very rarely had crashes with OS9, and in all the years I was using it on my little laptop it never gave me any major trouble. I do not want to learn a new system.

I hate it that the book I bought that is supposed to teach me how to use OSX is six centimetres thick. I would prefer to just use my try-this-and-see-what-happens method, as I did with OS9. I am being careful with this method, though. On the laptop, when I first installed OSX on a separate partition (where it ran like a slug), I tried something to see what would happen and it responded with a hard crash from which OSX refused to reboot. I had to reinstall everything. It was terrifying, although nothing was lost in the end. (I later had a nerdy Mac person tell me solemnly that it was impossible to install OSX on a partition. Perhaps the computer had just noticed.)

I guess all this just means I do not like learning new tricks. I have turned into the proverbial old ... bitch. However, I am an old bitch with a wagging tail, and my tongue is hanging out. This is all terribly exciting, and I am not really complaining. (How can I complain? This machine is beautiful!) But I am missing my bookmarks and my email, and missing the familiarity of a system I have been using for so many years.

I was using a very old version of Eudora, which I loved. Not being able to name filters was a drawback, but one I could live with. Any recommendations for a replacement? I do not like the feel of Mail very much, but should I persist? I heard (vaguely) not so good things about the later incarnations of Eudora.

If you do not hear from me for a while, it will be because I am figuring out how to use my lovely new computer and have probably crashed it or lost all my files or something. Also, once today's socializing is out of the way, I will be spending the rest of my days off trying to set up my work system, and creating files for all my new classes.

And, despite all the tiresomeness of having to learn new tricks, I am LOVING the beautiful clear screen, and loving being able to play CDs and DVDs (in my old computer the CD/DVD drive had stopped working), and loving being able to adjust the position of the screen with a touch of my finger. I am only four years out of date, now, and I am feeling so MODERN.


Radioactive Jam said...

I use and like Thunderbird for email; they have a Mac OS X version I think. You can check here.

New computers - even old ones - are exciting. I'm sure you'll have fun fixing it until it's broken; I know I would. Wait, did I just say a computer was 'exciting'? *sigh*

Badaunt said...

Thank you! I will have a look, before I set up too much in Mail.

Actually I'm sort of getting used to Mail, but the thing I'm finding the most annoying is the lack of keyboard shortcuts. Eudora had shortcuts for EVERYTHING, and I hardly ever had to touch the mouse. As an example: if you have, say, 10 unread messages in one mailbox (which happens often when you are on mailing lists), you click on the first one to open it, and that's the only clicking you need to do. You use the spacebar to scroll down as you read, and when you get to the end of the message hitting the spacebar closes that message and opens the next unread one, and so on down the ten.

OK, so I'm lazy. And maybe Mail has keyboard shortcuts I haven't found yet...

I'll check out Thunderbird now.