Thursday, January 12, 2012

a big, scary change...

Current work: revisions (yup, they landed perfectly on time)
Listening to: Pachelbel
Reading: Louise Allen, Married to a Stranger (still enjoying)

I’m making a very, very big change in my life today.

My PC is currently running on borrowed time. Apart from the fact that it’s running out of space on the hard drive, it’s become slow and creaky, and a couple of times recently it’s even refused to switch on. Scary. It means I could lose stuff. (Like the books I’m working on. Despite the fact that they’re all backed up to a memory stick and the iPad and, um, an external hard drive. Paranoid about backing up? Nope. It’s good practice. Though I admit that it usually takes losing something important before you start doing it properly.)

So I thought I’d do the sensible thing and plan its replacement rather than do what I’ve done the last two times, i.e. left it until it’s actually conked out on me, and had to rush off to my lovely tecchies in a panic, asking them to build me a new one and rescue my data from the old machine.
My very first word processor was one of the old Amstrads that came with tiny floppy disks and a dot-matrix printer (which we couldn’t actually afford, as we’d just bought our first house, but DH believed in that I was going to make it as a writer and said I needed a proper word processor. Top hero material, that man).

From that, I went to a computer which had to be booted up with a floppy disk – it was state-of-the-art at the time, but didn’t actually have a hard drive. And then, 20 years ago, I qualified as an ACIM (Associate of the Chartered Institute of Marketing), and the company I worked for gave me a bonus. I spent the lot on a PC with a 386 processor (which was state-of-the-art at the time), Windows, a hard drive, an external modem and Lotus Smartsuite. (Incidentally, I still haven’t found a calendar/organiser program anywhere near as good as Lotus Organize. I’m hoping that iCalendar, along with iCloud, will sort that for me.) I had a very early version of voice dictation software, too (all right, all right, so I’m a bit of a gadget fiend).

I’ve replaced PCs several times over the years, but today I’m switching to a completely different system. My PC is off to the Apple shop to have its data migrated over to an iMac. If all goes to plan, I’ll get them both back on Saturday (as well as a quick lesson so I can migrate my email subaccounts across, sort out iCloud and find out how Word 2011 works). They have promised me that my data, my photos and my music will all be intact and there is nothing to worry about.

Doing what I do for a living, I have an overactive imagination. So you know what I’m worrying about. That I’ll lose data/photos. (Um – I’ve spent ages backing them up to an external hard drive. So I can’t lose them, right?) That I’ll have spent a small fortune on a new machine that’s robust and have lots of storage – but which has a different system and I won’t get on with it. (Despite the fact that I have been lusting after one of these for a couple of years now and I’ve played with one in the Apple shop enough to know that I do like it!) And that all my routines are going to have to change. (Um - that one's true.)

It’s scary and exciting, all at the same time. I can manage without a computer for two days (I have the iPad so I can still say hello on FB and have email access, and if I’m really stuck I can borrow lovely daughter’s laptop). But I have a feeling I’m going to be a bit twitchy and difficult to live with, for the rest of this week. Except, of course, I have revisions to take my mind off things, and I guess I can always try to persuade DH that we need to practice the new step we learned last night...


Nell Dixon said...

Oh scary stuff! I'm sure it'll be fine and you'll be gloating about the new machine in no time and wondering why you didn't do it before - hugs.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kate
I know what you mean about being paranoid about losing data.
My memory stick broke and I lost loads of stuff but then I discovered Dropbox. A free piece of software which automatically downloads your work and you can access anywhere with internet. It's brilliant. It also stays on your desktop on each computer if you wish and you can put photos and other files on it.
Also Scrivener - a beautiful piece of software for writing - this also autosaves to Dropbox every 2 seconds.
Panic over.
Best wishes

Caroline said...

iPad sounds fab! Caroline x

India said...

YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT! But if you do I'll send you chocolate every day to cheer you up*

(*Promise on which I clearly don't expect to be called to deliver!!)

The only irritation about it for me is the teeny tiny keyboard and the lack of a forward delete button, but I've got used to both. Can't wait to hear what you think!

Kate Jackson said...

It's a big change for you. But I'm sure you'll soon love it as much as my DH loves his Mac.

Kate Hardy said...

Nell - thank you - am enjoying it, but still finding out where everything is!

Sarah - I do remember you telling me about Scrivener (and being highly envious because it wasn't available for PC). Will have a play! Are you using iCloud or Time Machine at all?

Caroline - iPad and iPod are both great - now to sync them with the iMac... :o)

India - I don't mind the keyboard as it's the same size as the one on the iPad dock. You might get a few noob questions over the next week... ;o)

Kate - your lovely DH reassured me hugely, and I'm sure I'll get to love it soon. (Especially when I've had some more training...)