Tech crap

Hi, peeps. Hope this week has treated you well.

I’m on a tech jag, lately.

I’m going to be updating my desktop in the next couple of months or so. I’m currently on Mac laptops and a PC desktop that is still running — wait for it — XP. Which I personally think was the last good platform Microsoft put out. I bought this desktop in 2005, I think it was, and here it is 2013 and it’s still going.

Want to hear me rant n’ rave more about tech stuff? Sure you do. Keep reading…

Oh, sure. My desktop has had a couple of problems. Its antivirus program was unable to stop a malware attack three years ago that wiped its hard drive (not a big deal — I keep all my important stuff backed up on another hard drive and flash drives and I switched to VIPRE and ZoneAlarm Firewall and haven’t had a problem since [knock on wood]). And the computer geeks I took it to then clearly missed some of it or my machine got reinfected because I had another incident about two months after that. Malwarebytes found it and isolated it right quick. After all that, the machine runs okay, but it’s slow and now Word (I think it’s 2003; maybe older) has decided not to work correctly and I no longer have those disks to re-load it. Plus, Microsoft pretty much quit issuing updates and security patches for XP because like any corporate asshat, it wants to force you to upgrade.

Point being, I like the XP platform. It’s been a solid workhorse and I learned its quirks and fixes and did fine with it for the past 8 years. I refused Vista (thank god), which turned out to be a total crap-ass of a program. And, frankly, I thought it was poorly dealt with because when it launched, NOTHING was compatible with it. Windows 7, I thought, was kind of cool and looked like an updated version of XP. But then Microsoft rolled out Windows 8, which, I must tell you, I think sucks. Two of my older relatives bought a laptop loaded with Windows 8. They’ve already had to have it worked on twice because malware got through all the virus and malware protection they have (which might also be a function of using Explorer, which I warn people not to use). Another relative had her brand new laptop with Windows 8 for two months and it crashed and she had to completely reload the OS. I don’t find Windows 8 to be a very user-friendly program for older people (i.e. over 50). XP and Windows 7 were. For people who just want a basic system, with easy-to-access desktop icons, Windows 8 is not it. I’m both Mac- and PC-based and I do not find Windows 8 to be an intuitive program at all. I’m going to be convincing my older relatives to invest in a Mac.

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I’ve been a Mac laptop person since about 2006 and I’m still using the first Mac laptop I bought then. The only issue it’s had was a result of me dropping it and I had a new hard drive installed ($100) and it’s been okay since. I’m typing on it now. I did invest in a MacBook Pro last year, and I’ve got Scrivener and Pages on that pup. I’m going to be switching over to Pages from Word because I’m tired of the Word bugginess I’ve been dealing with. I’ll keep it on this, my original laptop (since it’s already loaded on there), but the Mac desktop I get will be loaded with Pages.

Which brings me to the iPad. I have one. I use it for basic communication, but not for any serious kind of office-based work. I don’t like its keyboard (too small), so I bought a portable that works much better for me, but the iPad doesn’t have mouse capability, so I have to use my finger to mouse stuff. I’m going to invest in a stylus because I just can’t get things to work out the way I want them to on the iPad. And I hate not having USB capability. I like flash drives. The Cloud makes me nervous, and though I’ll use it to back up some stuff, I prefer having flash drives in addition to that. Maybe I’m ol’ skool. Whatever. I’m not all that impressed with the iPad’s features. I use it for basic email when I’m on the road, music, ebooks, and very, very basic/rudimentary typing stuff. I do not AT ALL see it as a viable tool for me to do the kind of writing I do. I suppose if it was the only tool I had, I’d make it work. But it’s not, so I view it as a supplementary kind of thing that allows me to not have to take my laptop on the road on quick business trips.

And now, smartphones. I freaking hate them. I’m still using a basically bomb-proof Samsung Convoy flip phone. I’ve had it now for almost 4 years. I’ve dropped it numerous times with no issues. The only major drawback to it is that its photos are absolutely horrible. That’s the only reason I would switch to a smartphone and I do admit, I really like how the iPhone works and I think its camera is the best one on the smartphone market. That said, every freaking smartphone I’ve looked at over the past year is too big. That is, I like having a phone that I can comfortably carry in my front pocket. Did I mention that the Convoy’s battery lasts about 3 days? I don’t use it for web stuff, but I make a lot of calls and do a lot of texting. I charge it once every 3-4 days, and it’s still on its original battery. I don’t like how big smartphones are. I have small hands and small pockets, and I sure as hell don’t want to have to carry a phone in my butt pocket. Too many chances that it’ll get broken or butt dial or some other mishap. So when there’s a smart phone the size of my flip phone that takes great photos, I might then consider upgrading.

I don’t need a ton of apps. I need a small phone that takes great pictures and allows me easy access to the web to check email. That’s it. When there’s a smartphone for that, I’ll consider upgrading. (Hello? phone-makers in the movie Looper? I’m talking to you.)

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This is why I’ve stuck with my Convoy. Because I don’t like carrying a mini-laptop around, basically. And I can’t stand smartphone zombies, who can’t function anywhere without their damn phones. Really, people? How about you put the phone away and try engaging with people around you? But that’s another of my rants, and you can actually find it right HERE.

Anyway, my overall points are: figure out what you plan to do with your tech devices. Don’t run out and buy “the next big thing” just because you want to have “the next big thing.” I invested in computers that match my needs and work. The iPad I figured could sub in a pinch for a laptop on short business trips. And people, remember to take time off away from your devices. It’s okay to not be online 24/7. Really. In fact, it’s better for you. Trust me. I’m a writer. 😀

Happy reading, happy writing, happy Friday.

2 thoughts on “Tech crap

  1. I need a new laptop and I’m probably getting a Macbook Air in a few months. I want something small and light for when I travel. I’d considered getting an iPad and a keyboard, but you confirm what I’ve heard about using it for writing so I think I’ll give it a miss.

    Great post, just what I needed this morning. Thanks, Andi.

  2. Sure thing! Also, I debated a Mac Air vs. MacBook Pro. The Mac guy I talked to at the store asked exactly what I needed it for and I told him I wasn’t a gamer and didn’t stash a lot of music or photos. I like a lot of USB options, and you don’t get that with an Air, and he told me that he uses the Cloud for extra storage. With the Air, you can’t upgrade memory. Just keep that in mind. It comes with a fixed drive, he explained, to keep it lightweight, so you can’t add more memory. I like having the upgraded memory option. But maybe I’m just weird. Like I said, I’m not completely sold on the Cloud.

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