The day has finally come… when I close my old, creaking, barely functioning laptop and open the brand spanking new Apple MacBook Pro which arrived earlier this month. This will get a bit technical, so if it doesn’t interest you, I forgive you for not reading on.
The two machines both have 16 GB of RAM memory, but they could hardly be more different. Apple is known as the favored brand of designers, among whom I count myself. But its expense, plus the expected agony of many days’ switchover in small increments, delayed me for some years. Now, however, the old PC really is showing its age (dual I3 processors, PLEASE). My larger and larger photos are becoming too much to open or edit on it, and it frequently freezes up or crashes with the unreasonable demands I tend to make on tech hardware and software.
A windfall from some friends clinched things for me, a gift large enough to cover the purchase price. So I jumped in, ordering it online. Some annoying hiccups later, it was delivered to someone in the USA who brought it here for me, saving me about $1000 and a month getting it here (sorry). While it’s only a 13-inch model, smaller than the 15-inch Lenovo I’d been using, it is sleek, beautiful, and benchmarking 50-100 times faster. Wow. What a difference 7 years or so can make in this computing universe.
I have used friends’ Macs before, so I wasn’t coming into this totally inexperienced. The new mouse has its whole upper surface scrollable-on, instead of any wheel or such, earning its new designation of Magic. I began calmly listing and the Googling all the things I didn’t know how to do on the new machine, instead of bothering friends with them.
The painful part, I knew, would be the transfer or replacement of many different kinds of software, which I had to list as they occurred to me. A word processor to write these Georgia Today articles on! (Pre-installed, no surprise, but it took a bit of persuading to open my old PC-style Word files). But what’s the keystroke combination to jump to the start or end of a line of text? Where do I find the word count? Still many little things to learn and memorize!
Photoshop: (I wanted to use an “em dash” there, not a colon, but haven’t found it yet) Here I was most frustrated to find that any replacement for the old version I had bought outright is now available by subscription only. Grrr, Adobe! Laughing all the way to the bank, are we? But being that this is a program I use practically on a daily basis for photo and other image editing, I have to justify the ongoing expense. Plus, the very latest version can do SO much more than my 2015 one could… “Enhance image!” no longer sounds like what Harrison Ford was doing in the original Blade Runner film. (’cept HIS computer was peering around corners in photos, which, well, we’re not quite there yet).
Actually, one of the smallest programs I had trouble with was the installer for my roughly 18-year-old Magti modem, for which I bought all the old batteries I could find as they’re not made anymore. I LIKE this little USB-powered thing, and using it means I can get internet anywhere that Magti operates in Georgia, without having to rely on my phone for this (though the phone remains available as a backup). I went to the considerable trouble of Googling how to run Windows programs on a Mac, downloaded a program to do this, set it up badly on the Mac, and then discovered that in this case it won’t be necessary at all. The modem broadcasts its Wi-fi signal as long it’s powered, not necessarily needing to be plugged into a computer at all. Fine.
Fractal programming I only do rarely now, but that has been firmly Window-based until now, using FractInt, which started life in the MS-DOS era (ALL commands and functions by keyboard only) and was eventually ported clunkily but more and more fully functionally to Windows. Mac, not yet.
Skype or equivalent… ditto for a password manager, VPN, web browser and various specialized photo-editing programs which can do what not even Photoshop can.
Today, January 21, 2023, was the day I copied over all my open Firefox tabs, plugged the modem into the new Mac, opened Pages instead of Word, and wrote this, with my old laptop powered down. We have arrived.
BLOG by Tony Hanmer
Tony Hanmer has lived in Georgia since 1999, in Svaneti since 2007, and been a weekly writer and photographer for GT since early 2011. He runs the “Svaneti Renaissance” Facebook group, now with nearly 2000 members, at www.facebook.com/groups/SvanetiRenaissance/
He and his wife also run their own guest house in Etseri: www.facebook.com/hanmer.house.svaneti