Greet the new dawn

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I am male, therefore I am excited about owning a new toy that plugs into the wall. My PowerBook could not be rescued. I have yet to find out if they’ve managed to recover all my data, although it was sounding hopeful when I lasted called the computer A&E on a South London industrial estate. However, knowing my old laptop had perished, on Friday, I bought one of these, a MacBook, in black. Naturally, I am in love with it. It’s a whole lot faster, as my old PowerBook was starting to reach its memory limit anyway, and there’s a stupid Photo Book application which takes a picture of you with the laptop, except the resulting photo is a mirror image. What use is that, really? (Sorry, I’m starting to sound like David Mitchell.)

The good news is: when I presciently backed up all my documents at the end of April onto a brand new portable hard drive, it turns out I also backed up all of my photos, which was a massive bonus when I plugged it into this little fella on Friday evening and copied across. I’m currently going through the laborious process of re-bookmarking all my favourite websites and re-inputting all my bloody passwords and usernames. (I’ve already had to call up the 123-Reg helpline to recover one lot that I couldn’t remember, but this is par for the course, and I had to re-sign in to Flickr using a password I originally invented for a Yahoo account about seven years ago!) I have learned never again to trust anything to a piece of metal – or at least not to one piece of metal – and to back up daily. It’s nice to have 15 years’ worth of writing back. I think I might copy this archive – which goes back to the very first satirical items I wrote with Stuart Maconie for Mark Goodier’s show in 1992 – onto a variety of different hard drives and hide them at different locations around the country. (Excuse any typos – I’m learning to cope with a slightly different keyboard.)

Anyway, I went to see Die Hard 4.0 at the weekend and of course it’s about what happens when evil hackers bring the Eastern Seaboard to its knees by mucking about with some files. A very apt subject. I really enjoyed the film, by the way. Clearly it’s not a patch on Die Hard, Die Hard 2 or even Die Hard With A Vengeance, but it could have been a whole lot worse. Preposterous, but isn’t that the point?

Must go, as I’m precisely one week behind on the final script for series two of Not Going Out. Thank you for your patience and your computer-empathy.

(By the way: main advantage of working on a Mac – there are only really two laptops to choose from in the shop, whereas if you want a PC there are about 20. It certainly cuts down the time spent in PC World, who, it turns out, offer £15-a-month insurance that includes free back-up and recovery, but not, if you read the small print, for Macs! What second class citizens we are.)

I hope nobody was really flooded, by the way. What did for me was a leaky roof one floor above my office, but that’s hardly being trapped in Tewkesbury with no drinking water is it?

26 thoughts on “Greet the new dawn

  1. 1. get a del.icio.us account at http://www.del.icio.us and bookmark your stuff that way – you can then get your bookmarks from anywhere.2. get pastor (password stor for OSX)http://www.mehlau.net/pastor/it stores all your passwords under one master password. and encypts them.

  2. 1. get a del.icio.us account at http://www.del.icio.us and bookmark your stuff that way – you can then get your bookmarks from anywhere.2. get pastor (password stor for OSX)http://www.mehlau.net/pastor/it stores all your passwords under one master password. and encypts them.

  3. You can use the built-in system application ‘Keychain’ to securely manage your passwords. Properly written applications can even hook directly into this, to allow you to manage single passwords using your mac login credentials, it’s how Safari stores website passwords you tell it to save, for example.You can backup the kechain file quite easily to take it to another Mac, it’s the file ‘login.kechain’ and lives in the ‘Keychains’ folder within your ‘Library’.I think if you pay up for one of Apple’s ‘.Mac’ subscriptions, you get a backup tool that lets you move bookmarks and addressbooks and things easily between computers, although I’ve not tried it myself, I’ve got my own ramshackle ‘solutions’.Did you realise that you pay extra money just for the colour when you get a black MacBook ? You can get an identically specified white model for less. They do look great though, and still represent a saving over the powerbook/ MacBook Pro.

  4. You can use the built-in system application ‘Keychain’ to securely manage your passwords. Properly written applications can even hook directly into this, to allow you to manage single passwords using your mac login credentials, it’s how Safari stores website passwords you tell it to save, for example.You can backup the kechain file quite easily to take it to another Mac, it’s the file ‘login.kechain’ and lives in the ‘Keychains’ folder within your ‘Library’.I think if you pay up for one of Apple’s ‘.Mac’ subscriptions, you get a backup tool that lets you move bookmarks and addressbooks and things easily between computers, although I’ve not tried it myself, I’ve got my own ramshackle ‘solutions’.Did you realise that you pay extra money just for the colour when you get a black MacBook ? You can get an identically specified white model for less. They do look great though, and still represent a saving over the powerbook/ MacBook Pro.

  5. “Anyway, a white one will just show marks.”That is, in the terminology of your former colleague Gideon Coe, “top duffing” – you should ask him for a badge….Is it inevitable that we all turn (knowingly or unknowingly) into parrots of our parents, or is it just me?Also very jealous of your new acquisition, as a former Mac-user who has been forced (by work requirements) over to the dark side of pcs.

  6. “Anyway, a white one will just show marks.”That is, in the terminology of your former colleague Gideon Coe, “top duffing” – you should ask him for a badge….Is it inevitable that we all turn (knowingly or unknowingly) into parrots of our parents, or is it just me?Also very jealous of your new acquisition, as a former Mac-user who has been forced (by work requirements) over to the dark side of pcs.

  7. I’m slightly envious. They didn’t have any black ones in, back when I ordered my white one. I think they’re both prone to showing marks after a while.

  8. I’m slightly envious. They didn’t have any black ones in, back when I ordered my white one. I think they’re both prone to showing marks after a while.

  9. Apologies for being too dumb to have an opinion on wet computers or how to back up data. But I do have the opinion that Die Hard 4.0 was waaaay better then Die Hard With A Vengence.AnonoNick

  10. Apologies for being too dumb to have an opinion on wet computers or how to back up data. But I do have the opinion that Die Hard 4.0 was waaaay better then Die Hard With A Vengence.AnonoNick

  11. Don’t trust hard drives left idle for long periods, they have a tendency to make nasty screeching noises after a year or so. If you’re going to distribute your storage then DVDs are probably better (and cheaper, with branded ones selling at about £17 per 100) – it’s also easier to burn extra disks off when you want to add to your distributed archive rather than have to get the hard disks back from various locations. I hope you get your data back – I thought I’d lost some on my Mac recently when the hard drive died but I managed to rescue everything with a handy utility on my Windows laptop – take that Robert Webb!

  12. Don’t trust hard drives left idle for long periods, they have a tendency to make nasty screeching noises after a year or so. If you’re going to distribute your storage then DVDs are probably better (and cheaper, with branded ones selling at about £17 per 100) – it’s also easier to burn extra disks off when you want to add to your distributed archive rather than have to get the hard disks back from various locations. I hope you get your data back – I thought I’d lost some on my Mac recently when the hard drive died but I managed to rescue everything with a handy utility on my Windows laptop – take that Robert Webb!

  13. Realistically, everything will fail eventually – it seems they’re designed that way. I think best to have an external hard drive which is set to back-up periodically by itself, plus make the occasional DVD of important data, and sync as many devices as possible.PCs work much better for me – my Mac has evolved into a stereo. My wife prefers Macs, just because they’re cute. She also listens to Lenny Kravitz because he looks so good.

  14. Realistically, everything will fail eventually – it seems they’re designed that way. I think best to have an external hard drive which is set to back-up periodically by itself, plus make the occasional DVD of important data, and sync as many devices as possible.PCs work much better for me – my Mac has evolved into a stereo. My wife prefers Macs, just because they’re cute. She also listens to Lenny Kravitz because he looks so good.

  15. Also envious of your beautiful Mac, mine little iBook makes me happy every day (except the day it mysteriously disappeared all my writing, but I have mostly forgiven it for that). I would love it more in black though…glad you’re back 🙂

  16. Also envious of your beautiful Mac, mine little iBook makes me happy every day (except the day it mysteriously disappeared all my writing, but I have mostly forgiven it for that). I would love it more in black though…glad you’re back 🙂

  17. Yeah, bit jealous here too. We IT bods pretty much have to stick to the boring old beige PC if we want to use the machine for work.simon h b: Surely all photos are not mirror images, or the writing on any signs, T-shirts, etc. would be reversed?

  18. Yeah, bit jealous here too. We IT bods pretty much have to stick to the boring old beige PC if we want to use the machine for work.simon h b: Surely all photos are not mirror images, or the writing on any signs, T-shirts, etc. would be reversed?

  19. I love my Mac Book! On Photo booth if you go to edit on the menu there’s a function which ‘Auto Flips’ the image therefore it not a mirror image photo when its stored.Hope thats of some use now get back to work fella!Paul

  20. I love my Mac Book! On Photo booth if you go to edit on the menu there’s a function which ‘Auto Flips’ the image therefore it not a mirror image photo when its stored.Hope thats of some use now get back to work fella!Paul

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