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Don Smallidge


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Mac Display and another Mac Mini! - March 2013

The new hardware setup at the Apple Store

Finally starting to have some ideas about how I need to use my annual R&D budget. Screen real estate triumphed as the most critical need this year, as well as a new reliable Mac Mini with the Thunderbolt drive (and USB 3.0) to anchor my reorganization efforts. I was very grateful for advice and input from several outstanding Apple Store employees who helped me reach a decision in record time. There have been quite a few helpful folks at the store (and I would like to mention them all by name, if I can ever get my act together and collect up all their business cards in one pile, which I fully intend to do some day). For today, though, here is a picture of Jerry and Jake, who helped me with this year's investment.

Jerry and Jake at the Apple Store

A Year of Challenges and Consolidation - 2012

This year was dominated by my mother-in-law's illness, so I didn't update my webpage all year. But I did make my annual pilgrimage to South Portland (with a side trip to Belfast), acquiring a Mac Mini loaded with Adobe software from a small company in Belfast, Maine. This led to enormous confusion as I tried to keep my activities coordinated among the Macs in my resource pool. We managed to get most of the Macs upgraded to Lion and recently to Mountain Lion. In the process, I created a separate partition to house Snow Leopard on a few of the Macs so I can still run a few of the Rosetta apps (mostly chess programs Sigma Chess and Vector3, both of whom unfortunately were not upgraded or rewritten in the Cocoa APIs so they would run under the Intel versions of Mac OS X starting with Lion).

iPad2 - August 2011

The new iPad2 in the hands of the author

My mother and sister have come over to the light side (iPad and Mac Mini, respectively), so I resolved to keep up with technology by acquiring the new iPad2 at the Apple Store in South Portland; they had it out of the box and into my hands in a matter of minutes! To the best of my knowledge, mother and daughter are having fun with their new devices. And the PC is gathering dust (somewhere, we got rid of it); we passed along our old PC also, to a friend who needed it for her business.

Recently learned that a friend of ours here in Maine has also taken the plunge. We have been using the new FaceTime application to have face-to-face conversations during breakfast. If you want to learn more about the new iPad2, just check out the Apple web site. You might recognize the picture above (taken by my wife at a local cafe). Check out some pictures taken with the iPad2 on my home page.

iMac - August 2010

The new iMac in all its glory - photo from Apple web site

We decided that we had to be on the same excellent computers so I could help her with her learning curve on a computer that was minimally qualified to help her establish her identity as a photographer. Once again I turned to the folks at the Apple Store in South Portland (my wife needed hers custom built, so ordered directly from Apple in Cupertino). If you want to learn more about the new iMac, just check out the Apple web site.

My wife is coming up to speed very quickly and has already added the Avery labels program to her collection without any help from me.

iPad - April 2010

Don Smallidge at Apple Store in South Portland - photo by Pete Z.

Pete Zimowski and I were among the early crowd and notables at the Apple Store in South Portland; as you can see, I was unable to resist! The newspapers and magazines (and the radio and probably television and cable) are full of stories about the exciting new device. Some believe that this is a watershed moment in the history of computers. I am cautiously waiting to see if that judgement is warranted, but I am very impressed with it so far.

My wife is very excited about the iPad and can hardly wait to get her hands on it. I insisted that we go for our walk first because exercise and nutrition are the foundation of a healthy mind and body (both of which are a good investment in being able to play chess, take photographs and use an iPad for more than just today). We fired it up after the walk and we are both having a great time with it.

Snow Leopard

I borrowed this beautiful graphic from the Apple web site; ordered my copy right away. What are you waiting for???? Check out the review at OS News. Or just Google snow leopard reviews; mostly positive so far.

Snow Leopard

As luck would have it, my wife got the first copy and has been using it for awhile. I finally found the time to install it on my own Mac (on my birthday weekend)! I have years of stuff on my hard drive, though, so I wanted to be very careful doing the upgrade. To that end I read various articles about the best approach. Some articles were much more conservative than others, and I tended to listen to those. I backed up everything outside of Time Machine on a separate external hard drive so I could be back in business with a minimum of lost time. I have been using it without incident. My mother-in-law is sticking with Leopard for the time being until she works through the book on the Mac OS.

G5 - 2005?

The Venerable G5

When I bought the G5 with part of my inheritance, I thought it would be the last Mac I would every be able to afford. It was a great improvement over my G4 and for its time was a really awesome computer. Since then, as you know, many even more exciting devices have come out and my promotion allowed me to keep up with some of the advances in Apple technology. I am ready to archive the files and rescue as much as possible before finding my G5 a happy new home. Having a Power PC chip holds it back from being able to upgrade (it stopped upgrading OS software at Leopard - Mac OS X 10.5.8, quite a while ago), but it still runs, even if it seems awfully slow by comparison to my later acquisitions!

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