Category Archives: mac life

around the house mac life weather

A week

Published by:

Okay, not quite yet, but it has felt like one. Maybe, two.

MacBook Air has been acquired. His name is “Airy,” because. Lightning fast. Pretty much out of the box, since the Apple Store folks took care of porting over the contents of the MacBook. A few Mail glitches, but other than that, all good.

15 hours battery life is doable if I stay away from internet (surfing okay, but videos not so much), music, and turn down the keyboard backlighting. It is as light, if not lighter than, my 1st gen iPad. I really didn’t want to spend the money now, but I had no choice and as far as the system is concerned, I think I made the right choice. Really liking the quiet and speed of the solid state drive.

Not to be outdone, Kuro-the-Forester decided on Friday that he wanted some attention, too. Noticed weird smells emanating from under the hood after visit to Apple Store–not gas/oil, but lighter chemical smells. No leaks, smoke, drips, red lights on dash. Still, I worried about things like, oh, brake fluid, and made an appointment at the garage. Verdict–torn axle boot. Smell was due to leaking grease hitting the exhaust and burning. Front boots replaced, for an amount not as bad as, say, a head gasket, but still. Kuro is happynowIhope. Now hoping that House doesn’t take it into its pointy little head to make it a three-fer.

Gaby had an infected toe a few weeks ago that required antibiotics and painkillers, so I think she’s good wrt Crisis of the Day for another month or two. I hope.

::fingers crossed::

Lost a small tree during the recent round of t-storms. It needed to come down anyway because it was an accidental tree, not an I-planted-you-here on-purpose, tree. Too close to the back fence and up in the power lines. I’m lucky wires didn’t come down when it fell…well, actually, it bent. Still needs to be cut. I shall add it to the list.

There was a robin in my garage, but I think it’s out now. It had been in there for a while, clattering about the eaves, leaving dropping everywhere. I was concerned that it had built a nest, but I think it was just frazzled by the enclosure and the storms. Hoping, anyway. I will keep an eye out in case it comes back.

Backyard has taken on a primeval aspect thanks to the heat and rain. Really need to cut the grass, but there’s too much standing water.

In other news, BLACKHAWKS!! I love the moment when the guys pass around the Cup, the speculation as to whom the captain will hand it off first. In 2010, Toews handed the Cup off to Marian Hossa, who had tried to win it with so many other teams and come up short. This year, he handed it to Michal Handzus, who played for, iirc, 14 years w/o playing on a championship team. Handzus them passed it to Jamal Mayers, who had played 15 17 years. Mayer then passed it to Michal Rozsival, the last of the old timers. Then Rozsival passed it to Dave Bolland, who scored the winning goal.

Hockey. I think preseason starts in a couple months….

around the house life mac life

Thursday drive-by

Published by:

Spam has been negligible ever since I closed posts to comments after a couple of days. I still get some attaching to photos like ticks to a dog, and I haven’t figured out a way to stop that. But 2 spam messages in a week as opposed to, say, 200 in a day? Not that big an ish. Besides, I don’t want to shut down comments completely. So, we’ll see how it goes.

Moved up retirement to 31 July because I ran the numbers and saw that I could. I wanted to enjoy some summer months. So, I am taking the plunge. 40 more days, give or take a few hours. Not that I’m counting….

Came home to find laptop, an 5yo MacBook, displaying Gray Screen of Death. Second kernel panic in a week and a half. I rebooted with no issues. External hardware is sometimes the reason, and I have a new cable modem that needs to be installed b/c old one is out of date, but I won’t have time to do that for at least a week, so. Activated Dropbox to save wips every ten minutes. Backed up everything after the first panic attack. And I have the 9yo iBook as back-up in case the MacBook fails.

I suspect a new laptop may be in my future, tho damned if I want the expense right now. A new Apple laptop=new countertops/backsplash in kitchen. I may check Small Dog for rebuilts. Not enough of a gadgeteer to care whether I have the latest and greatest or not.

Retiring in 40 days–did I mention?

Time to cut the lawn.

around the house mac life

Midweek muddlings

Published by:

Spam has increased over the last week, I assume because of trolling for holiday shoppers. Lots of designer knock-offs and sports jerseys. Does anyone ever really click on those links?

Thanking the internetz for Akismet. Again.

Went a little nuts over the last 24 hours looking for my most recent royalty statement. I mean, I remembered sitting at the kitchen table and reading the thing a couple of weeks ago. Remembered setting it aside because I didn’t want to file it with the tax stuff.

There were three places it could have been–office, kitchen, filebox, and I tore the whole lot of them apart last night, then again over lunch and a third time after I got home from work tonight. Had I left the statement folded in the agency’s distinctively-colored envelope, or had I trashed said envelope? Had the statement gotten mixed up with three months’ worth of puppy medical records? It got to the point that I cleaned out the spare room so that I would be able to set stacks of docs on the bed and hunt through them page by page. Half a dozen blankets and comforters got lugged downstairs to the basement. Two brand-new pairs of running shoes were moved to my closet. Clothes were consigned to the laundry basket.

Found the printer manual–go me!

I found other papers I needed over the course of the search, but no royalty statement. After yet another go at the kitchen table, I went back to the filebox, which I keep by the living room desk. The top of the desk was pretty clean, relatively speaking–atomic clock, small lamp, box of envelopes…

…and tucked beneath said box, a distinctively-colored envelope that I completely missed seeing each of the 4-5 times I went to the desk to hunt through the filebox. Was it? Was it?

Yes! Statement!! Bloody thing.

It was actually a good thing that I cleaned out the spare room. Still need to get way too many messenger bags and handbags off the floor.

Amazing how a hunt for something chews up the evening.

In other news, back-ups. I had been using Time Machine since June. But I use it with an Extreme Base Station, and it’s my understanding that Apple doesn’t support that arrangement–I should be using Time Capsule, but I’ve read that they fail after a couple of years. There’s also the fact that TM seems to be one hell of a resource hog. Maybe my poor 5 yo Macbook is to blame, but these past 5 months on TM have been filled with hard drive racing and system stalling and crashing if I tried to open up Mail or a browser while TM was running.

I set up a Dropbox account months ago, and was also thinking of looking into Carbonite or something similar. But I use Intego Antivirus, and realized that one of the features is a Personal Backup system. I’d been staring at the little life preserver in the Macbook dock for a couple of years, but never opened it because I didn’t need it. Last night, I decided to give it a try.

It’s like a throwback to my late lamented .Mac Backup. Very simple set-up–I specify the files I want to save, the place I want to save them, and how often. I set up the wip to save to Dropbox every 2 hours, and it zipped through the process without racing or stalling. Most important files saved off site, and everything else left alone.

I will still perform full system backups every so often using TM. But I’ll use Personal Backup for everyday.

mac life weather

In other news

Published by:

It’s raining. Gonna rain most all the weekend. We do need it. The Lake is down 14″ to the lowest level since the mid-60s while closer to home–as in, my basement–the sump pump well has been so dry so long that it has become quite the spiderarium. But the lawn has thinned enough in spots that the pups track muddy footprints when they return from bathroom breaks, and chilly&soggy is just my least favorite weather condition ever. Which makes one wonder why in hell it’s my dream to move to the PacNorWet.

All I can say is that mountains trump chilly&soggy. Portland&Seattle trump chilly&soggy.

Weekend point to ponder–am I the only person who has absolutely no issues using both Macs and PCs? I switched from PCs to Macs in the early 00’s in order to avoid infestations, and had no difficulty making the OS transition. Used PCs at the day job, and never felt a speedbump. OK, the backspace keyless MacBook keyboard trips me up every so often. When I return to PC-ville, I lose half a sentence before I remember where I am, but I think that the deletion of the MacBook Backspace key was done for space-saving reasons rather than to accommodate differences in language.

Anyway, I know some people have Definite Views–no need to restate them here. Mine have faded over time. In the interest of economy, I would even buy a PC laptop as a back-up system if I decided to return to Word or write purely in rtf or found some other word processing program that worked seamlessly between Mac and PC. I like working in Scrivener, but I’m not 100% committed to it.

mac life

Question–backup systems/programs/whatevers

Published by:

Are all auto-backup systems–Carbonite, Dropbox, etc–resource hogs? Currently using Time Machine to wirelessly back up to external HD, and at times the MacBook comes to a complete stop while the backup proceeds. I can’t open Chrome. I can’t open Mail. A few times, things stalled to the point that the MacBook stopped responding and I needed to shut down/restart. I was trying to open Chrome at these times.

Granted, the issue is dependent upon the size of the back-up required–MacBook is currently backing up 225MB–and the initial indexing seems to be what takes up the most resources. Some small intermediate backups take place w/o my even realizing. But every couple of days I get a stall, and I just wondered whether all back-up systems behave the same way.