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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

An Apple A Day...

My very first personal computer was a used Windows 95 laptop purchased in 1998. It served us well for many years while we travelled the country in our RV. It was small and didn't take up much space, but then it had a dreaded "blue screen of death" episode and crashed. I was lucky, I didn't have any files on it, we mainly used it for email and internet access. 

After that, I purchased a new 2004 Insignia Windows XP desktop at Best Buy. It was a black-Friday day-after Thanksgiving special. It came with a whopping 512mb of RAM and 112GB of storage and the whole set-up cost $700 (tower, flat-panel monitor and printer.)  A year or so later, I had the RAM increased to its maximum of 1GB.

'04 XP desktop

It takes the old pin-type keyboard and mouse and does NOT have wireless capabilities, no built-in mic and no webcam. In todays world of "I have to have the newest" it is a pre-historic dinosaur. And yet, it still works and I still use it. Why, you ask?

I like the Windows Movie Maker software that came with it. It's a very user friendly version, so I have refused every update. I also have Audacity sound recording software on it, which I used to record my song parodies. I added one of the earliest editions of Photoshop and use it to edit my photography. I have used all of these programs to create my YouTube videos. 

I added Office 2003 and used this to properly format the publishing files for my Parkinson's Humor book. I have greeting card software and a Kodak software which allows me to turn photos into cartoons or coloring book type pages. I combine these with PowerPoint to make my slides for my speaking engagements and also used these to create the book cover.

I even have a program that allows me to duplicate karaoke CD's, so I took my favorite ones and put them all on one disc, instead of taking my originals out with me where they might get damaged.

My old friend has served me well over the years, but it isn't good for online stuff. Even though I can create and upload a video to YouTube with it, I can't watch said video because it won't play without pausing. There just isn't enough working memory.

The same problem happens if I try to watch a webinar. Even doing simple things such as bill pay is difficult because every website has HD videos playing somewhere. When I joined in the chatrooms, no one could see me, I had to listen through headphones and reply by typing only. Skype won't work on it either. 

Positioning is tricky also, it must be connected to the internet via ethernet cable, so that meant the computer had to be physically close to the cable modem. 

I could have purchased a new tower, but then I'd have to learn all the new versions of the software and I didn't want to do that. And then what do you do with the old one? So, I just struggled along until my Parkie friend Kip called me one day. 

It seems Kip's wife Kitty had bought herself a new Apple iMac. Her old iMac worked just fine; he had an identical one to hers and was still using his. Kip wondered whether or not I'd like to have it. All I would need to do is come up to Las Vegas and pick it up. I said yes, even though I knew nothing about Apple products. He said it would be plenty fast enough for all my online needs.

Kitty, YumaBev, Kip

Since we were driving through that area anyway, we could just stop by Las Vegas and pick it up on our way home. Kip went ahead and cleared all her stuff off of it, and put it back in "out of the box" mode and then even installed all the updates. All I would need to do, when I got it home, was plug it in and connect to the wifi. 

We stopped by their place and Kip gave me a brief tutorial on his iMac, and then we loaded it in the car and headed back home. It was a little intimidating at first. I was used to Windows XP and this was different. But now that I have had it for awhile, I never use the old one online. It's still set up, and I still use the programs on it, but if I'm online, like I am right now, writing this blog story, I'm using my "new to me" iMac.

New to me iMac

An Apple a day...keeps YumaBev connected to the online world.

Thank you Kip & Kitty.

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