Friday, May 06, 2005

Tiger, tiger burning bright, in your computer

SACRAMENTO STATE UNIVERSITY, At The Bookstore - The young people who sold me my new Apple iBook G4 computer are soooo nice and soooo helpful and soooo savvy about technical stuff that boggles my mind that I almost ran back to the store yesterday to pick up my copy of 'Tiger.'

The young lady who called me, breathless, said that because I bought the computer on a special promotion, that I was entitled to a copy of this revolutionary product and to come on down while they still had one.

So there I was, standing with this block box (just like the photo) and I had to ask the question:

What the hell is it?

Tiger, it turns out, is the new hotshot operating system, an advance on the OS10.whatever I have right now and full of sexy features that we Mac addicts all love. I was hooked, for a moment.

"Uh," the young man at the counter said, "You do know to back up all your data and settings right? Sometimes when you install this, it wipes your hard drive."

Wipes your hard drive.

Jaysus H.

The entire reason I have a new computer is because the old one died - its logic board tested too much by my keystrokes writing this blog and 3,000 or so other words per day (stories, emails, chapter outlines, grocery lists, nasty notes to HMOs). And for about a week, I've been reconstructing email lists, moving data slowly from what I could salvage and generally swearing at the new, latest, sexy software that is a lot smarter than I am.

Tiger indeed.

The Tiger will stay in the box for awhile, until I get my courage up - and my data somehow saved on my external hard drive in a way that allows me to sleep at night without worrying that I'll get up in the morning, have an assignment from my new consulting job - and no computer to do it.

But it's a great desk decoration.

And now, in addition to saying that I work for 'The Bureau,' I can say I own my own Tiger.

And I'm keeping him tightly caged.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, students.

    If you tell it to, it will erase your hard drive. If you don't, it does an update - all your files live happily in the same place they were. That's the default install in OSX. Just like 10.3.7 to 10.3.8 upgrade.

    What you'll get? Dashboard - more fun than any one person should have and beautiful to look at. Remember Desk Acessories? Picture a whole layer of desk accessories accessed via a hot key.

    As a writer, you'll love Spotlight. It searches inside the files on your hard drive. That's right - inside. A "new" concept called metadata (coming in a year or so to a Windows desktop near you). Looking for an article you wrote some time back featuring ice cream? Click on the magnifying glass in the upper right hand coner of your screen and type in "ice cream". ,Any file - including E-mails, .pdfs, web pages, Word, Powerpoint - with ice cream in it is pulled into a window. If you want to be crazy, you can create a "smart folder" that automatically updates based on the content you specify.

    As for saving your data to an external drive - buy a firewire drive and get a copy of Carbon Copy Cloner by guru Mike Bombich. Link the drive up, run the software, select the target and source, click a button, type your password and it creates a duplicate of your hard drive. You can then use "Startup Disk" and select that drive to start up your Mac. We use it at school all the time. Want to be industiral safe? Buy a second hard drive and alternate at a regular interval. If you download psync, it'll only update the changed files. Bad news, it won't run under Tiger yet, but you'll get a 10.3 backup that will boot your computer.

    Tiger is a revolution. Lots of new features under the surface. Ease of use in my estimation has increased greatly.

    As the ad used to say, "Try it. You'll like it."