Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Grrrrrrr..... and stuff

OK, it has been a while.... too long.

Yes, I share and post fairly regularly on the FaceBook page, but I have neglected the main site, I admit.

No excuses. Just... stuff. Money, work (that pays), more stuff, IT matters....

Big changes afoot. Our sons are all grow'd up and take their 'A' levels in a few week's time, then are off abroad for two years to do National Service in Singapore.

Which makes where we are too big and a very expensive proposition to keep running. And at the same time as a physical move we need to look at saving money everywhere we can (those boys are coming back with luck to 3 years' Uni, and while abroad no parent ever has not found the need to send a care package of dosh). 

One area is the site. It may have been designed to run ad infinitum without human intervention, but that is not really the case. She is a grand, glitchy old lady and needs constant TLC. Maintenance. And there are operational costs, from email to site hosting to server fees.

So we are actively looking at paring down. Easier said than done when all the modern, cheap ways of doing things (look at this on Blogger... images, video... in one click!)  take one look at the scripts was written with (especially the core searchable Ideas database) and run away gibbering that they have found evidence of an older lost civilisation. At least they still talk... sort of (hold that thought).

Which brings me to my actual Grrr as a relevant post for JMR on an 'eco' topic, as it is all run on a whirring grey box on a desk, after all.

I am a Mac person. I started with an Amstrad about 35-40 years ago and then some DOS PCs, but as soon as I got my first 128k (which I still have, in its box, along with G3's and all manner of colourful jobbies) in the mid 80's that was me hooked. Been with 'em ever since, for writing, graphics and all the rest.

My needs now are simple(r). Mainly eMail, surfing, watching videos, social media and some .doc stuff. Plus a few desktoppy apps, like iPlayer, Calendar, Address Book, etc.

And to do this I have been happily using a succession of Minis (currently I do most on a £60 Android tablet, for heaven's sake!). For the money not too powerful, but a nice small footprint... does the job. 

Then the rot started. I started finding little warnings popping up, that stuff I was using couldn't now be used, unless I upgraded my OS. But... to upgrade the OS I needed to upgrade the hardware. 


I have a 500GB hard drive. With all my photos and music and decades of writing it is only half-full. I need a C-130, not an F-35. It works just fine.

First it was my Final Cut Pro, then it was my FileMaker, and Bento....

Next up Flash, and Firefox, and Chrome. 

The latter are free, but I paid for the former. All, useless.

And now, as I decide to back up the last month from my tablet...

'Beginning March 23rd, 2015, the Dropbox desktop client will no longer be available for download on OS X Tiger 10.4 or OS X Leopard 10.5. If you are currently running the Dropbox desktop client on these versions of OS X, you will no longer be able to sign in to your existing account or create a new account through the desktop client.

You may be signed out of your account on the desktop client as early as May 18th, 2015, and will not be able to sign in again until you update to OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.'

Like I say... Grrrrrr.

I would dearly love Apple, and all those who write for them, to explain to me why I should ever invest several hundred pounds on a not very high spec piece of IT kit that clearly is designed around early obsolescence more as a primary requirement.