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[personal profile] krpalmer
Hearing there'd be another new version of the Macintosh system software this year too got a few things unstuck in my mind. I'd made a few visits to Apple Stores just to accustom myself to the new appearance and system font of system 10.10 "Yosemite," but by the time I might have started really telling myself that if I was going to fixate on that sort of thing I might as well have just stuck with the black-and-white, 32-by-32 icons and Chicago system font of System 6 back in the 68000 days, the "fear, uncertainty, and doubt" injected into comment threads about "things breaking" had become ferocious. That just reminded me of how I'd never upgraded to system 10.7 "Lion," even if I had worked up the courage to jump straight to system 10.8 "Mountain Lion" and then moved on to system 10.9 "Mavericks." As I weighed "if it works, you don't need to fiddle with it" against certain programs and potentials I knew my current system couldn't do and worried about what would amount to "surrendering to complete paralysis at last," I also happened to replace the burnt-out hard drive in an old black plastic-cased Macbook with a solid-state drive, installed system 10.6 "Snow Leopard" on it because I didn't have the single more advanced system it could run, and then partitioned the drive to install a newer version of Mint Linux on it than the one I'd installed on my old plastic-cased iMac just as a hedge against some troubling unspeakable future. With that particular computer, the open-source operating system did manage to activate the wireless networking, but I did still have the distinct feeling that even with the customizability I could work out how to add it still had a bland, Windows-like look at heart.

As system 10.11 "El Capitan" arrived, the thought of jumping off the deep end grabbed me, given I'd adapted to its new "San Francisco" system font (not the "San Francisco" font of System 6 days) on my iPad. I managed to galvanize myself to the point of downloading the installer, which did take a while. I was wondering, though, about whether it still would help just a little more to wipe the internal hard drive and make a "clean installation," then reinstall all my applications and files from an external backup, which would take that much longer. It seemed to demand a completely open weekend, and those were a bit hard to come by. As I waited, the rumours there would be updated iMacs got stronger. I had bought a new iMac five years ago when the larger hard drive I'd put into my then four-year-old plastic-cased computer had burned out. That metal-cased computer still seemed to be holding up, but I suppose I was conscious the USB 2 ports in the back were a bottleneck when I was backing up files to external drives. A high-resolution display like the one I'd first seen in an iPod touch and then an iPad would be nice too, and so I took a bigger plunge and ordered the smaller-sized iMac with just about every "build to order" option available, knowing they couldn't be added afterwards. That did mean a bit of a wait for the computer to ship.

It did arrive, though, and I was very tempted to think its package tailored to accentuate the unpacking experience. As soon as I had it set up and switched on, I connected one of my external backups of my old computer and started copying files over with Migration Assistant. While the speed went up and down, it did seem at least at times to be running faster than the maximum speed of USB 2, and eventually I was stuck by the distinct feeling things hadn't "really" changed with the files and settings where they had been, except that is for the sharper text on screen. I'm still settling in and trying to figure a few things out, but I do hope this new computer will offer its own years of service and I won't be too scared to upgrade to further operating systems.

September 2017

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