The View From 32


MAY 26, 2007  More below:  NEW COMPUTER | ANNIE DECHANT

Uh oh.

Computer screen with lines of code over it.

This morning things went from bad to worse on the computer front. Last night ended with a "kernel panic" —that screen of doom that tells you in four languages that you have to restart your computer.

This morning I saw that screen change to the one shown here. In more than twenty years of using Macs, from the cute little 128k original to the G5, I've never seen this. It's like the real computer language guts broke through the glossy user-friendly skin.

Fortunately another rebuild with DiskWarrior accompanied by cooler temperatures seem to have fixed things for now. We'll see how long it lasts.


Help is on the way

Yesterday convinced me that I've got to upgrade, so I ordered a refurbished 20" Intel Core 2 Duo iMac from the Apple Store. Apple doesn't promote the refurbs much, but everything comes with a one-year warranty and a pretty good price. The iMac ends up being $100 cheaper than what I'd pay for a new one with the educators' discount.

The new computer will give me more screen real estate than I used to have with my two monitors (a few weeks ago before the $80 Logisys monitor conked out). It also has built-in wireless, so I can get rid of the exasperating heat-sensitive USB wireless adapter. And because it uses USB 2.0 instead of the much slower 1.0, backing up my iPhoto library to the external hard drive won't take three hours like it did today.


Anne DeChant

Glass with Camel logo on table at barWent to hear local folk/rock singer Anne DeChant with her band at The Winchester tonight. It was kind of amazing to sit there and breathe clean air since smoking's been outlawed, even in bars.

As laws restricting even cigarette advertising become tougher, the companies have become more creative, as the plastic glass holding my gin & tonic demonstrates.

But the crowd was fairly small, older, and quiet. Could this be a result of the no smoking laws? I noticed when Amtrak banned smoking in the lounge cars the fun quotient dropped dramatically. I'm not a smoker, and am not at all fond of cigarette smoke, but used to spend a lot of time in the lounge car anyway because that was where the lively conversations, card games and music would be happening. The last few train trips I've taken, the lounge cars have been quiet and boring.

Like it or not, I think that smokers tend to be more fun to be around in a lot of social settings. Maybe it's got something to do with living for the moment. Anyway, the music was really good. Here's a bit of what Anne DeChant sounds like: