Posted by: jgurner | April 30, 2010

Stone Knives and Bear Skins

For the past couple of days, I’ve been stuck using a Windoze machine at work.

One of the first things I did when I started at the liberry was to switch all the patron computers from Windoze to Mac. It wasn’t just my fanatical devotion to the platform that compelled me to do this. The fact was I was spending most of my time working on the aging computers that were in place here. I was constantly dealing with viruses, spyware and kids who knew a whole lot more about screwing up a Windoze computer than I knew about fixing them. For instance, the time one kid went in and changed everything to black – the background, the type color, the highlight color, etc. The only way I could fix it was to wipe the computer and re-install everything. That took a day and a half in addition to the day and a half it took to finally find out what had been done. (A friend of his snitched finally)

So, when it came time for new computers, I made the switch. Macs are invulnerable, but when it comes to computers used by the public, they work much better, imho, that Windoze. Plus, there aren’t many people around who can screw up a Mac in a way I can’t fix pretty quickly.

But, that still left the computers we had to use at the desk. They had to be Windoze because of the software we use. Not only did they have to be Windoze, up until a year or so ago they had to be XP or earlier because the software was not completely compatible with Vista. (Well. you could spend a day on the phone with a tech dude from the company in order  to make it compatible.)

So, while we took a step forward with machines for the patrons, we were stuck in place with machines at the desk. The only change we’ve made was when an old machine died a couple of years ago and we had to replace it and special order one with XP instead of Vista. That was fun.

Move ahead to two days ago when my MacBook went kerplooie. Once we switched the patron computers to Macs, I started using my iBook to admin them. The, later, I switched to my MacBook. I also switched most of my office work over to the MacBook as well. And it was great. The only time I had to touch a PC was to check books in or out or still do some of the few things that had to be done in Windoze.

For a while, it was great. And hopefully it will be great again. I think I traced most of my MacBook problems down to a bad AC converter. I knew the one I had had problems. I’d had it for almost four years and it had more than normal wear and tear. Finally, in the last days, it quit recharging the battery completely and then Wednesday, the computer wouldn’t even boot and the battery was completely dead. I don’t know if it was exacerbating the heating issues I was having, but I’ve read that it could be a possibility. We’ll see.

Anyway, for the past couple of days, I’ve had to do all my work on PCs. And not just any PCs, but ones with old system software which can only be updated to a certain point.

I have to say, I now know how Spock felt when he was trying to build a mnemonic memory circuit while trapped in the 1930 depression era America. It’s all stone knives and bear skins.

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