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Entries in apple computer (16)

Wednesday
Aug102011

Mad Macs—Kelli

Ten years ago today I got my first computer. It still sits in the other room that is known as Kelli's office. She uses it to this day, or maybe I should say, she tries to. When I got my second G4 in 2004, I set her free on the first one. She used that for a year and a half before she got a G3 iBook laptop that was her main axe up till early last year. The letters were worn off some keys. She was killing the second battery. Finally, it died and was clearly nothing to repair. I set her up with the first G4 again. Last summer, just week after I got my current iMac, the second G4 crapped out at once. We were left with the oldest and the newest models. Damn. I collected my hard drives (that would work in either G4) and left the newer one to sit for months before deciding to can it for good.

The old G4 was something I could have gotten rid of some years ago were it not for it being equipped with a Zip drive. That feature made it possible to complete a multi-step transfer project Kelli once set out to do, with the goal to get her ancient word processor files onto a floppy that could be put into a beater old PC that in turn would cough up a Zip disk that the G4 could read and finally work with in more contemporary file formats and editors.

We had that elaborate rig put together for a week or two in 2006 when she had time away from school, internships, and all the other professional prep she's done since then. She got about half of it done and we still have all those machines (but cut back a monitor or two since) sitting around somewhere. I usually rib her some, but over the years, it has seemed absurd to be lugging all the extra stuff around when all we really need today is a laptop and an iMac.

Months ago, the old G4 DVD drive stopped accepting disks, which also meant that I would not be using the Techtool diagnostic disk to defrag it, or to do other maintenance. I started on with the ultimatim that the G4 had to be retired. Time for new shit. New shit. The income was not right at the time, but now we're on the verge of getting that taken care of and we've been looking at some pretty nice Macbook Pros that would be insanely good compared to the hand me down and used stuff she's always used. Her time has come to have something that can perform for her.

I guess I got my money's worth from it. It was something like $2400 when I bought it as the best of the line at the time (867 Mhz), and $600 more for the nice LaCie CRT monitor I got originally. But now it's a boat anchor. The OS was maxed out with Panther, 10.3.9, which I think was the update from sometime in 2006! The browsers have decayed so much that Gmail shut her out essentially.  YouTube videos could barely play. Only Safari v1.x and Camino 2 would work anymore, and barely so as the web technology marched on past. Facebook was half broken, not allowing comments. Other eseential programs work of course, like Microsoft Office, but compared to the iMac, they are agonizingly slow. Kelli has to part time it over on this iMac for printing, disk burning, social media chatter, and dealing with Gmail now that they cut things off at the more modern browsers that can handle HTML5 and such.

The ultimatim was narrowed down to August 10. I kept dropping the hints. August 10 is just a couple months away. A couple weeks away. A week away. Tomorrow. Today. Ten years is long enough! Part of it is good natured ribbing, but really, the longer this goes on, the less I can do anything to protect her data. Good thing I do have it backed up to a hard drive, but we're on the twine, chewing gum, and duct tape program here! Tonight we did take a look and priced the Macbook Pro, a refurb like my second G4 and this iMac, and she's on the verge of this. Her new discipline is to get out of consumer debt and so this purchase is a huge thing to do out of income alone. But now she's finally working as a professional and the long deferred expenses are at least able to be looked at. (After this, the car will demand a solution considering how much she drives.) 

I still don't think a new machine will help get the old word processor job done though...

I might have to address the role of the computer in these ten years in another entry.

Tuesday
Mar152011

Ordination!

After nearly six years of application and enrollment, classes, internship, residency, and general waiting and hoping, the universe finally lined up behind Kelli and she now has a date for her ordination to finally become Reverend Kelli Parrish Lucas. This is huge.

She just got the confirmation this morning. In fact it was rather good news to awaken to. We knew that the ordination was given the green light last Thursday, but today got us a date to look forward to. So put it on your calendars: May 1st at 3 pm at the Community Congregational Church of Pacific Beach. That is the church where we both were born into, raised in to greater or lesser effect, had our teen years and later on were married in.

I'm quite proud of her. Proud enough that of late, I've been working on her website, Women Who Speak In Church, a collaboration effort that will eventually involve her and friends of hers—all women clergy members. It will be a place for them and the community they know, but also to help raise awareness of their angle on the profession, and to give them all a place to soapbox on their particular topics of interest.

Also, if anyone wants to be a total hero, we could use the funds to get her a new laptop computer, priced at $1200. The ancient thing she's using now is my first G4 from 2001. Ten years old is beyond "dinosaur." Being on a minimal schedule and my being out of work, we are a bit hamstrung in our ability to get beyond that. She needs new tools to carry on in her field, with the various conferences she organizes, committees and conference calls, and contributing content to her site. There are too many things that this ancient boat anchor G4 CAN'T do that limit the flexibility her ministry demands. Any help is appreciated.

Congrats to my lovely Kelligirl. It takes a lot of perseverance.

Wednesday
Aug252010

The Intersection

Devoted readers of this journal probably know that I really am not a big fan of technology, and that my general attitude toward it is that I like it enough if I can wrangle something creative out of it. Some will recall the old story about when I was a kid and managed to take my first bike apart as much as I could, only to be like a deer in the headlights when instructed to put it back together. That was perhaps the first instance showing my lack of aptitude for coping with material things and technology. That has been borne out many times since.

But this summer I got my newest computer—my third since about this time in 2001—and have plunged into new programs and even new roles as I embrace podcasting for Jubilee Economics Ministries, and have done an extensive site rebuild with them, bringing them into the social media age. All that, considering that up till earlier this year I knew quite little about those options. It has indeed been a change of attitude, particularly since I rode my old computer into the ground it seems, with it not powering on at all now, a scant week or two after I got this new iMac. I had really ambivalent feelings about computers and the digital life. But a funny thing happened this year when JEM needed to find a way to spread their word farther than they were able, I happened to be in the office and had at least some suggestions.

It does help having a new machine with programs that output contemporary files and media. I do like this thing, particularly since at least my old computer had the good sense to just die when its replacement came, helping make a decision for me. Kelli has taken the first machine I got in 2001 as a replacement for her own iBook that died in the spring of this year. She is bracing for a new Macbook or something. Along with this new machine I needed to get a new audio interface, and therefore more preamps that I don't particularly need, but it does make a nice lean recording environment. I got Logic Pro and Peak Pro. I am quite familiar with Peak from years of sermon editing, but Logic is a new kettle of fish that I hope to have some discipline to learn.

JEM is just one use for this stuff. Now that I understand podcasting and am quite well equipped to do so, I have been pitching ideas to people about shows that might be ready for the format. I proposed a 'cast for Kelli and her fellow female ministry buddies. It would be a potentially hilarious and yet very intense look at ministry from the perspective of women in pulpits and in chaplain positions. It would be called (rather irreverently so for the conservatives who like to cite one lame line in 1st Corinthians) "Women Who Speak In Church." There are a pool of potential participants from Kelli's circles.

Another would be a lesson type program with Dr. Phil Calabrese, who has much to teach about the contents and meaning of the Urantia Book. He, after 40 years of study and reflection on the book, is among the best people in the world to do a program to spread the word. He looks at it as a scientist-mathematician who wants to see if what was said in 1955 and before was predictive of what science is uncovering today about certain cosmological relationships, archaeological discoveries, etc. If Kelli takes part, she too can share from a perspective shaped by many years of reading the book, but also as a theologian and pastor.

Those are just a couple things. Notice I didn't really say that I was involved in any of it particularly, at least not as the centerpiece of things. One of the things that is emerging is a feeling that these skills and tools need to be put to some other use than self promotion. I've worked an awful lot on JEM stuff this year, and done a site rebuild and a half. (We were going to use Wordpress like this site does, but ended up finding a kickass plan on the Squarespace infrastructure, so we dragged all the WP stuff over after a fairly complete job on WP.) A lot of time, but on reflection, maybe too little still, considering they have been asking me to write for them, or for the Streetlight newspaper, for some years now. I don't know if writing is my place with JEM; I happened to be the guy who knew enough of this web stuff to take them someplace else when the time came. The whole website in its revamped form is actually going to change the way JEM operates and presents itself. This is suitable repayment for the influence that JEM has had in my life, helping me see the world in a vastly different way in the wake of so much personal upheaval. Recall that I met Lee of JEM just a couple weeks before I got evicted in 2005, as if to say that God had some other plan, and was introducing a whole new father figure that was going to point the way for the next stage in life, now that the old one had essentially passed on that responsibility. So, the countless hours of volunteer work don't seem like much.

Not all the media work is as volunteer though. I got a few bones this summer for crafting a single page site for the writer-blogger-podcaster-polemicist James Howard Kunstler. He has two books now that are novels about the post oil future. Both are supported by one-page sites that I designed. (See World Made By Hand and The Witch of Hebron, the sequel.) Working for JHK is interesting because he too was highly influential, even as far back as 1998 when I was given a copy of his book, The Geography of Nowhere, which was perhaps the first real dose of social consciousness that I embraced as my own. That book and its survey of the wasted landscapes of this nation did awaken the sort of consciousness of how my world operates, the sort of consciousness that was jolted again a few years later in 2004 when I saw Kunstler in the peak oil cautionary film, The End of Suburbia—a film which I was showing in 2005, just days after I met Lee (he attended, we later collaborated on a showing of The Corporation), and days before I got evicted from my suburban home.

When I met Lee, I thought I was starting a project called EONSNOW, and rather boldly asked him to support my project. Now that seems hopelessly preposterous, being a pretty untested entity myself, and he having years and years of pastoring experience, and life experience to excel mine by double. So now, years later, it is right for me to take my place in a support role to what he is doing, even as he has allowed me a great latitude to experiment and change the plan daily. But finally, he, with the message, and I with the means to get it outside of his office,  are on to something. We're quite excited.

One of the lessons in my mens' rites of passage was that "your life is not about you." If I were to set up two poles in my life, viz. my relationship to technology and media, those poles are that I used a lot of it to be pretty self-aggrandizing and me-centered in the earlier years, and the opposite was to shed as much of it as possible and find myself disregarding the media options that I used to use, sort of like a dry drunk. Either too much or too little—a dualistic mindset that is anathema to honest spiritual progress. Either of those poles was about me whether in indulgence or in denial. It is sort of like the story of the Buddha who experimented with hermitic self-denial for several years after living the lavish life that was his birthright as a son of a royal man. Ultimately, he found the third way between the poles and embraced that.  So it goes here, I hope. I am not a businessman who plans and executes the business of web work, but I am a creative person who wants to share time and enthusiasm. Right now the business of pushing potatoes during the day makes clear the way for pushing pixels by night on a volunteer basis. JEM is now presenting the type of content I wish I had the consciousness to articulate back in 2005 when I was doing the EONSNOW stuff. The intervening years have done much to re-focus on the outer realm, but only after a lot of inner realm work. Understanding that my life is not about me is one bit of humble pie that one eventually has to live with.

Technology, such as I have to deal with in this kind of work, is a blank slate. I've certainly abused web communications in the past, and been a bad netizen. (But that has largely faded except in the Google realm where everyone's misdeeds will be saved till the end of the age of electricity.) But on to other things. JEM has a coherent and holistic message that I believe in, so I decided to jump into that flow and do my part.

I've read Parker Palmer's book Let Your Life Speak a few times now. In it he talks about how he had to face what his Quaker tradition calls "way closing" many times—rejection, failure, disappointment—so that "way will open" into new opportunity, one step closer to knowing what one is really called to do. He gave an example of how he traced his path toward being an educator. It was a seemingly odd one until he figured out how components of past interests were leading him to what he loves to do now, and finds he has the inner light and energy to lead him to do. Telling about wanting to be a pilot or an ad exec, he found the aspects of those things that left clues that perhaps were not even considered as they were happening.

For me, I considered that my past history of building plastic models demonstrated that I liked to devote myself to projects that started and stopped and involved many stages to complete—assembly, fine tuning, painting, presenting. Or that later on I got into doing cassette recordings with home made tape box "art" (now that is stretching it) with liner notes that filled most of the available space. I did that for years, and that developed into CD projects using increasingly sophisticated technology, culminating in Receiving, which was an all-digital project that aspired to the same thing as in the early days: record it, make the cover that explains it all, and package it. Getting into the website was an extension of the liner notes where every damned detail could be explained. Podcasting now is an extension of that, integrating the web and audio interests as well as the knack for developing something from pieces to a finished product on display. Other interests of mine are looking at the dynamics of relationships at the personal level, or at the larger human level, social critique, bible study and interpretation, volunteering for socially useful causes (home delivered meals, church offices) and maybe more. So right now, it makes sense to be doing this work for JEM, even if it can only be done with technologically advanced toys and tools. It seems that right now this is what I need to do, seeing how it lies at the intersection of various interests and abilities.

Monday
Aug022010

The Digital Audio Deep End

Apple logic pro is my present recorder used for podcasts.Podcasting using Apple Logic ProYou'd think a guy like me who had a history in audio would just take to this like a duck to quacking, but I'm not so sure about that. It is hard to overstate what a love affair I had with my VS-880, making it do stuff that people don't expect of 8-track recorders. In some ways I feel that that is plenty of technology for me. It was, after all, the machine on which I did my most creative work, and certainly the most complete sounding stuff. I didn't buy it knowing an awful lot about audio, so it was right-scaled for me, and though there was a learning curve, it helped me produce results for the odd sort of music I recorded.

A long time ago, back in 1995 when I was doing my first all solo project, a thing done on cassettes with just a couple stereo machines and a mic that was mixed in as a new input, Marty Eldridge of Rockola told me I should really be using ProTools to do what I was doing. Of course at the time, PT was waaaay prohibitively expensive for a guy who used probably all of about $1000 worth of recording gear (and that is stretching it). I knew nothing about computers then and didn't care to. Finally a few years later, Tom Griesgraber got himself into a ProTools Digi001 system which, after my glory days of VS-880 use and the attempted upscaling to a VS-2480 for about a year, I decided to get, having finally been on the computer long enough to think I could go for it.

But that story has been dribbled out over these pages for nearly a decade now; not having real knobs or switches is odd for a guy who came into this stuff enjoying that tactile approach as a major part of playing parts and recording them with those effects and processing characteristics printed to the recording on the way in. But I have wanted to streamline and get closer to a natural sound so the stripped front end of a digital workstation was appealing. But life was changing and little time did I have to give to master the stuff like I did on the VS-880. Some of my ProTools era stuff has a dose of the old Hog Heaven sound, and actually a lot of it is captured better. But I always liked a rich mix, calling freely on effects to create an atmosphere. I totally admire guys who can get dry tracks and make them kick, but that isn't quite my style. Interestingly, I've read one criticism of Peter Gabriel's second record that took issue with Robert Fripp's over-adherence to dry tracks, totally missing the richness that characterizes PG's sonic landscape; like, PG uses the quality of sound to convey a musical atmosphere as much as any lyric or tempo or harmony.

And so it is with me.

ProTools has been a big disappointment for me. I've produced just a handful of demos that even hint at what I would like to have accomplished on that rig. But the pitfalls of life had as much to do with that as the frustrations with the gear itself. Losing my studio has sort of put the nail in the coffin for my recording life. Being married with a partner who wants to get some sleep and have a relationship is also one big reason for letting it all fade. Not having a dedicated space to wail has something to do with it.

But humming along in the background for some years has been various digital audio editing work—for several years I edited sermons and church service audio, and have over four years of that material to cite as what I've been doing in audio. Lately I've been recording podcast material, requiring a pretty simple rig, but one that even ProTools couldn't seem to hack, which leaves me dumbfounded considering the hours and hours of jam sessions I recorded back in Hog Heaven in 2002-3.

So I am about to embark on digital audio studio mk3 (Roland VS; ProTools on G4s; iMac and Logic). I just now bought a Focusrite Saffire Pro so that I can get stuff into the computer by FireWire. It is a whole new paradigm for me on this computer. The Saffire is a good solid front end, and it also allows me a versatile combination of a number of channels from my Mackie mixer, and an 8 channel DigiMax ADAT preamp. That is to say, a range of channels that have some EQ or limiting on the way in. It even has SPDIF in so I can finally copy my DAT tapes into the computer and have a whole store of material that has gone unheard for years, simply because the DAT has not been set up since oh, 2006 or so.

The immediate task before me is to learn how to route Skype calls/chat connections into a recording program so we can draw upon distant voices for our JEM podcast, occasionally interviewing people out of the area. For the podcast audio, I find that both Peak and Garage Band output podcast XML data, so that helps.

So here I am, all dressed up and ready to go. Anyone want to record some stuff?

Friday
Jul232010

iMac, Therefore iAM

It finally got me. The Apple finally seduced me and I ate of it. I put it off for a good long while, often vacillating between wanting to throw computers into the sea and wanting to keep up and get all the new shit. I ended up getting the new shit because I guess I am not done with the Internet and all the toys that are available. Understand, the last machine I got was in 2004 and that is several operating system upgrades ago. The machine was fine except for how the web stuff advances so fast and left me in the dust around last summer when various sites really just withdrew support for this plugin or that.

Anyhow, finding myself a budding podcast producer and still doing web work for a couple people, I found it handy to get this new iMac 27" that sits here before me. Happily there was a successful migration so far and many of the programs I expected I'd need to pay to replace have so far opened up and seem to work fine, even though many of them are from 2004 or so and I was certain they'd be no good. It just helps to not have to look at replacing so much. Still, there are some Adobe ones that I will have to get, those being the worst.

Maybe it is all the web work for JEM and J.H. Kunstler, coupled with all the setup and transition work, but man oh man, it has been a tech week or two. Barely left the house except to work. Hmph!

Sunday
Jul182010

Digital Hell

Oh. I have a love-hate relationship with Wordpress. Every once in a while when it comes time to upgrade the thing, I get into stuff that is pretty over my head. Add to that that I am creating a new site for Jubilee Economics Ministries, getting their podcast programs going (four episodes in the can now—subscribe in iTunes here), and it has drawn me back to a digital environment that I enjoy only to the extent that I can get something done. And when one is in database hell, it actually gets a bit scary. I've never really proven too good at backing things up, and I do get in a panic when it comes time to do such work. Somehow, I've kept Wordpress working for me since early 2006 or so when I dove into it. I just upgraded this week to version 3, and while doing so, I also took advantage to move its location within my server, so that it functions as the site's root. (The address now really IS http://tapkae.com and not /blog with a clumsy redirect.) Anyhow, WP is sensitive to this stuff and I am bound to blow it sometimes and have to call for help. This time around my server company has not been as helpful so the site took a half week vacation.

Anyhow, all this new work is being joined by other projects: some web work for James Howard Kunstler (home page is based on an earlier version I did, but he kept the graphic banner) and his new book The Witch of Hebron. (I also did the front page for his last book, World Made By Hand. This book is a sequel.) The Jubilee Economics site is planned to be another WP site, and I am looking forward to getting them a far snappier site both for visual sake, but for function's sake mainly. They really deserve some good presence on the web, and WP is the way to get their stuff presented. I am digging on WP3 as an easy-to-configure thing, making menus a lot easier, and other bits that I have fought with have become a lot more bearable, or even easy. But I have to make up for a fading interest in web design in the last few years. I sort of let the social media thing pass me by, in part because of a genuine interest in easing away from digital friendships in favor of in-person relationship, but also that my machine has been aging all along and slowly but surely, various things that make web use fun and interactive have slowly decayed. Last year it was Yahoo Instant Messenger, MySpace and YouTube that all began to be glitchy and then completely unsupported. Other bits like embedded movies and stuff that plays on the latest version of Flash players or even Quicktime players just don't show up. It drove me nuts to go to the Apple site and find that even THEIR media player was not supported on THEIR machines, old as mine is. Damn, Apple, if you want to sell people on your new stuff, shouldn't you make your video ads and tutorials playable on old machines so those of us who are using ancient tech? Sure, I have a 2003 model that does plenty of stuff pretty well, but the web is a place of abandonment for me! So I have been looking at new stuff.

And then after the business of scanning the new Apple output for the last year or so, sometimes checking in on a shop like Crywolf, and then more hand-wringing as I weigh how much digital life I want to lead, I finally threw down for a refurb iMac 27" last week and am eagerly awaiting the thing upon my doorstep. Of course this means more hunting for programs (some at great expense, others nice and cheap), and if I hope to do audio, then I will need a new Firewire based audio interface, at least enough to do the two-track podcast recordings, and perhaps a version of Logic to be the main audio program. But, I guess that having my old computer for six years is a long time to stretch it. I've had the means to buy for a while, but last year was the year of the bikes. Right now I'm wondering how much use this present machine will get. For a while, it sort of has to do what it does for me as a recorder and editor in Pro Tools and Peak; Photoshop editing; Dreamweaver and web work; direct disk-to-disk copying on two drives. But so many other things are ripe for updating. Kelli's machine actually died earlier in the spring, so she might get more time to use this for her fairly light demands, and that might stall her getting a laptop. We shall see.

Sunday
Feb052006

Home. Work.

In the past few weeks, I have worked in one capacity or another for all 24 hours of the day. Let's survey what I've been up to and the varied hats I have worn since this time last month:

  • Recorded some music at the house here while Adam was still here.
  • Moved assloads of furniture and boxes more than once.
  • Cleaned the apartment to a shine on the way out.
  • Yard work here before properly moving in.
  • Function the in house IT guy for three computers now.
  • Regularly update my church web site.
  • Regularly record the services there too, and edit the recordings and archive them.
  • Function as secretary at the church board of trustees.
  • Helped Suzanne roommate move in to this house even before we are fully moved in.
  • Helped our other roommate Mark move some things too.
  • Did lots of laundry.
  • Started a compost bin.
  • Repaired various things as they appear.
  • Repaired broken wooden furniture that didn't fare well in the moves or storage.
  • Returned to work at the AV company and they put me to work primarily driving a 16' truck for 30 hours in three days, and three trips to Orange county in as many days.
  • Cooked dinner sometimes.
  • Hosted dinners with Kelli.
  • Attended some dinners next door.
  • Function as driver for street banner hanging work that has come my way (and saved my month of January).
  • Moved some furniture overflow to and from this house, and dumped some on my buddy Glenn who needed it more than we did.
  • Started to configure my studio again, slowly but surely constructing my Ikea Erector Set of a desk and moving junk in the garage way too much from one corner and back. Climbing ladders to the topmost rung (where you aint s'post to climb) so I can fabricate a simple bit of control over my lights in there.

Kelli has been beaming on and on about how I cleaned the apartment before she had a chance to. It's like she could never have expected such a thing. For me, there wasn't anything else that could be done. Hell, moving sucks, particularly the way it scatters your life. Getting back to normalcy is a priority. So I just worked around the clock till life seemed normal again. And the project continues! I've been licking my chops about playing music again and having stuff ready to record, but I keep circling that project like a dog matting its bed down by walking in circles. The studio has to be just perfect. Odd, considering it's a dumpy garage with hardly anything of sound dampening material. It makes my old studio look like Hog Heaven! Actually, it does make the old place look classy and refined, but you know, the "studio" is not the material, it's the environment. And I haven't played anything like music for over seven months.

The AV company I work for finally called me up for a few days last week. It seems they got busy beyond belief and needed a driver. While "driver" is part of my job title, ordinarily it is not the only thing I do. However, I far prefer to be out of the shop where the wind can blow and there is no concrete floor punishing my feet and legs. I will primarily have to balance the AV Concepts gig with Greg and his banner hanging work since both are vying for my time the most, but in one of those cruel ironies, on Wednesday this week, I had accepted work with the AVC for the following day and had to turn down Greg who had the first part of two nights of that 3:30 am shit. About the time of turning down the wicked early banner work, my old contact Mitch called and offered me a gig on Thursday—in LA! Shit. Three offers for one day and I could only take one! Oh well, the following day, I woke at 1:15 am to prep for the 5 am load in in Anaheim, then drove back and was near my house at 8 am, and continued to work straight through with no break till 1:15 pm. I came home and slept from 2 pm till about 7 or so, spent some time with Kelli and her visiting friends for dinner, then went to bed to catch a few winks for three hours before running off to do the 3:30 banner hanging gig on Saturday morning. He uh, made it worth my while to get up at 2:45. I at least got home before the sun crested the hills, and got to sleep till noon like good old times.

Later on, Kelli and her friend Ashley made dinner for whoever would show up, and that ended up being the three of us, incoming roommate Suzanne, Phil and Nancy next door, and Glenn. We all had good fun. For us, its nice to open our house up and get our little community together. In fact, we all ended up telling stories about how Okua the dog has left a mark on our lives with her escapes, food stealing and other canine antics. Glenn could tell how she left him with so much fur that he still finds some in his clothing. Kelli and I could tell about how she yanked the Foreman grill to the floor when she heisted all the sausages she could get from it and the plate nearby. Phil and Nancy could tell about her jumping out windows and over fences (so could we—really). Suzanne marveled at it all and still retained her wish that Okua would be a good buddy and would cuddle on her bed... hah. Okua will move in and won't leave!!! This is her house more than any of ours except for Phil's, you see.

Ah, another sleepy January is gone. Except this January was not sleepy in the "real" sense. I don't know that I slept much. Sure, I pretty much didn't have a job but damn, it was work work work all month long! And that doesn't even include the various things I turned down or just couldn't get to. Somehow, people came out of the wood work asking if I knew how to fix this or install that. One guy wanted some electronics fixed. One lady wanted a faucet installed.

But one thing is for sure. I don't do Windows. I do Apple.

Sunday
Jan152006

The IT Department

Kelli decided it was time to get a laptop computer, so she bought a used iBook for real cheap, and the last week or so has been one of me getting to gleefully tinker with it as I prepped it for her to use when she returns to school next week. For what she wants to use it for, it's great, but the drive was too small to do much, so we got that replaced, got a second battery, and I am in the process of moving her off the G4 that I gave her when I upgraded in 2004. We're all on OS X.3 now, and I finally got them all talking to one another on the network.

She took to using mine and hers to do her work during the semester, making for a task of reconsolidating her stuff back to one machine and doing the regular work of keeping two machines going. The physical layout of the apartment was such that her desk should have been away from the bed—I had to do the regular night's sleep and she pulled the all nighters in a role reversal that still amazes me. Her computer is the noisy one that I retired but it was in the bedroom here. We had some challenging nights as I struggled to sleep with the fan noise, the keyboard clicking, and the monitor casting light all over the room. But it was too big a project to move the computers into opposite rooms, so we just struggled. With the laptop its a non issue, but even more so when she gets her own room to study in once we move! I might let this larger G4 do the job of audio machine only (ProTools, Peak, etc.), while using the older G4 to be the host for a shared iTunes and general internet and print station sort of thing somewhere in the house.

Friday
Dec312004

2004

Hmmm. That was fast. 2004 was dizzying. I'm pretty stunned at the things that went down this year. The high water mark is obviously getting married to my angel girl. It would be hard to top that, but let's just run down the stuff that did go along this year.

  • Got engaged, had Kelli move in, and got married
  • Bought another computer and moved the older one to Kelli
  • Got really good grades in my school classes
  • Got a dog
  • Learned an awful lot about my interests in the world, history, politics, cultural issues
  • Bought a few instruments. Sold a few too
  • Remodeled my office/lounge/studio room to accommodate Kelli and me
  • Got to know a bunch of my old clients better
  • Went on a road trip honeymoon to places I've never been
  • Got an electronic leash (cell phone)
  • Had nine piggy gifts given to me
  • Got to be a lot closer to our adoptive family
  • Put most of the depression to rest
  • Had a great holiday season
  • Grew grass in the back yard
  • Finally saw 2001 Space Odyssey and Apocalypse Now, and The Deer Hunter three more times
  • Read a lot more than ever since high school
  • Hosted parties and dinner nights with Kelli
  • Made a web site for my church, and changed mine a couple times
Sunday
Aug152004

Happy Together

I finally got my new computer back from the shop after a week and a half. New CD writer and DVD writer installed, and now we finally have the right wireless card in there. Now all I have to do (and have been doing tonight) is get everything configured to my tastes. Ah deja vu. I just did a lot of that on the old machine, and will probably have to do it again so that Kelli has things set up for her. Wow. Both hooked up to the net with not so much as a preference panel to deal with. That is just one reason to like Macs. Oh, my double disk set up burns a whole CD in about two minutes. That is wicked cool. Too bad copying CDs sort of went the way of the dodo for stealing music. Oh well, I have a use for the double disk set up. OSX is on both machines, and they are oh soooo cute together.