From Random Bongos to iMac with a Stop at Jenny Edwards’ Files

You know it’s not going to be as easy as you hoped. Still, it’s pretty impressive how intuitive this iMac stuff is. Really. It’s nearly “plug and play” – almost that easy. But there are still a few things that are unanswered and unresolved. Turns out I’m kind of in no-man’s land (or no-woman’s land) between Operating Systems – O/S’s. Too much knowledge to believe everything, unquestioned. Too little to talk true geek-speak.

Good thing we bought the One-on-One classes. No more call centers in Mumbai. (You know the guy’s name isn’t really “Bob” – when was the last time you met a guy named “Bob” from Mumbai? “Okay “Bob”, put down the “irate customer script, please. Just Listen To What I am Asking You.”) Nope. No more hijacked email and completely unresponsive “security” software vendors. (Even CNet refused to post my feedback on a forum seeking feedback on the software. Maybe the conspiracy theorists are right? The receptionist at the vendor actually laughed at me when I asked when I might receive confirmation of my faxed complaint, describing the failure of their software to do it’s only job. “Ha! Honey, you know how many hundreds of faxes we get every day?!”) (For the record: No response. Ever.)

Diaspora. Again. 

After we left the cruel enslavement in Gatesland, we found ourselves free at last in the Land of Linux. Ubuntu is not just an African word usurped by the World Champion Celtics. It’s also the name of the open source application that runs on the Linux O/S. Mostly, we were pretty happy. Except for the random bongos. And the too-geeky help that was often offered on the discussion boards. Kernel level coding? I don’t think so. Someone thought bongos were a nice touch but I couldn’t figure out how to turn the sound effect off. It was maddeningly inconsistent, too. Just every so often. Bongos.

We traded in IE for Firefox (which everyone should do!) Even migrated to gmail. Only so much Viagara you can use, y’know?

Apple of my “i” 

Now the cult of the individual has got us. We have drunk the über-cool – anti-establishment KoolAid. And it tastes like….gin. Plymouth Gin to be exact.

You see, it’s nearly dawn and I still haven’t found that #$%^ document I was nearly ready to post. I know it’s here. I used a external drive, copied all the old files from our Dell, transferred them here. I saw it. I saved it. Where-no one knows. Not Finder. Not Spotlight. Not a soul.

Caleb was told we’d have our hard drive copied over while we had our tutorial. Up on the “Genius” floor. Guess what? Geniuses don’t support Linux transfers. “Most people that use Linux don’t need our help.” Was that supposed to make me feel better? I could go to Bill for niceties like that!

Okay, so we continue with a bit of the tutorial but, of course, I was filling out the form for unavailable genius help. So I missed a few key things. And we ask different questions and learn in different ways. We stress-out at different things. Like when I asked about security. He started packing.

They really need to get beyond the cult-speak of “Macs are safe – period.” When I asked about security, that was pretty uniformly the answer. The website also barely has any info on security, just the soothing, seductive refrain “You don’t have to worry about that here. We’re safe.”  In that beautiful glass box of a store, one can almost hear the voice of HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

I understand the concept that hackers are more desirous of taking down the evil empire, that the user base of Macs is still too small to make it attractive, etc., etc. I accept (on faith, alone) that Unix is a safer foundation. But these are naturally time-limited arguments. At some point, someone disgruntled with the new second empire, will see just enough of an opportunity to make a name for himself or herself.

As I suspected, it has begun. See here. And here. Granted, one has to find the contests challenging hackers or foolish users surfing porn. But still, it is no longer true that Macs are invulnerable, absolutely safe.

The new MobileMe offers such ease of use from anywhere. “Push” technology is not that new,but you’d think it was by the way they talk about it. But they, once again, nearly laughed when I asked about security and privacy of all my data being stored on their server. I am not alone with my concerns. This comforts me only a little. After all, we don’t even have MobileMe yet and I already know too much about Jenny. 

Jenny Edwards, That Is

We get home. Plug in and away we go! Right to Jenny Edwards’ files.

Who’s Jenny Edwards, you ask? Good question. As far as I can figure out, there are only one of two ways that her documents could appear on our iMac. One: some part was refurbed and not thoroughly cleaned (doubtful.) Two: there’s a wireless user in the vicinity by that name and somehow we grabbed her files.

We called the geniuses. They promised it was a completely new machine. Okay, remember those pesky security questions I kept asking? Maybe one of the geniuses could have instructed us how to shut off the “airport” or wireless port. Don’t you think? I hope Jenny secures her network. I saw her music list, not bad taste. She’s probably a nice person. But no bongos. What if I miss them?

Well, it’s getting light and the real apple of my eye is snoring gently nearby. I’m done. This much I know:

  1. Everything’s pretty much easier, already. So many steps eliminated. So many clear and intuitive functions.
  2. I will never pay Bill Gates another penny for privilege of getting hacked, breached, blacklisted.
  3. I won’t have to learn what kernel coding is. 
  4. I won’t have to listen to bongos again, unless I get some through iTunes. Which I’m sure I’ll get working soon enough. But not tonight. Er, make that this morning.


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  1. Tales of the Cocktail may be over but the fun continues. Check the blogs and podcasts for all the news that fit to drink!
  2. The Maori art of facial tatooing is called moko. It is a powerful expression of tribal identity which has only recently enjoyed a resurgence as the colonial Christian prohibitions against it have lessened. Go to the Peabody Essex Museum for this rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of this amazing cultural tradition. The documentary I saw at Sundance years ago on moko, was one of the most powerful films I have ever seen.
  3. The Audubon Insectarium is a new and top-notch attraction in New Orleans. We passed by it and wondered why we'd missed it before. Turns out it's just now opening. No time this last trip, but it's on the list for the next time. Check here for info.

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