Friday, 2 July 2010

Playing with the Mac Mini (and Other Stuff)

Luis went onto Apple.com and after some vacillating, bought a Mac Mini. It's absolutely tiny! The keyboard and magic mouse arrived a few days ago. the actual unit, which is maybe 7" (15cm) across and front to back, came from China... the whole journey tracked by Luis, who wanted to know every minute where it was. He's been setting it up since he got home.

It's really quite amazing! The image is sharp, the computer allows the user to make the font as large or small as he or she would like it to be and the interface is easy to use. The 42" telly doesn't hurt, but any telly will handle this.

NetFlix was also a crisp, clear image and streamed in a much better fashion on the Mac Mini than ever before - through TiVO. The interface allows the user to set up a multitude of things - YouTube, NetFlix, Flex, the internet, Pandora, and iTunes, to name a few. This is the new toy in the house. I need to refamiliarise myself with Mac keys, using the Command key instead of control... and I have no idea how diacritical marks work... let's see... no, it's not "option"... not "control"... and not fn (function)‚ I tried what looked like the alt key, but that is not right either. I'll have to look it up. Still, I'm not too rusty after nearly twenty years of not touching a Mac computer.

It was a little expensive, over $1,000 but you know Luis - spare no expense when it comes to toys! He has a funny idea of what has value enough to spend money (underwear and socks have the lowest priority; furniture has low priority; household repairs that are not screaming necessities are low-medium priorities; green household expenses are high priorities and of course toys/entertainment top the charts.

My list is different and if I held onto my money for more than half a second, I could easily do most of the stuff. But my priority list is topped by small, seemingly valueless items - books, CDs, DVDs, crystals, candles, pens, organising tools, and other unique items.

I just finished a book called "Stuff", about hoarders.Maybe you don't know any, but I'm betting you do - it happens to around 5% of the population, which is a staggering number. I don't - or can't think of - anyone personally that I know who hoards, but as an emergency medical technician, I've come across it - more than once - in the field. I remember being pissed off at the scene... it is unrealistic to expect that I can wend my way with stretcher and jump kit in tow through a ten-inch wide aisle between the chest high stacks of newspapers, broken toys, kitchen implements in a kitchen that is unusable and get any weight patient out. But after the frustration of thw call (and finally ambulating the patient out because if we tried to touch anything, there was a major meltdown), it occurred to me that there was something psychological to this.

I get collecting - I don't get the piles. I have one room with stuff in it, but it is not a problem discarding as much as just never finding the time to go down there and clean it out. Ask Luis - he'll tell you it would be nice if I'd knock off the discarding stuff!

The book is fascinating and I highly recommend it. Certainly it gave me a new perspective on hoarding.

Ah, yes, it is 2 July - I hear rather large but unprofessional fireworks being set off not far from here. I agree with the stringent laws of New Jersey about fireworks (the average person is entirely too stupid to be allowed to play with explosives - but I do remember Ray getting them in New York or Pennsylvania and setting them off. I cannot tell you how fortunate we were not to take off a hand, burn the house down or start a brush fire in the backyard - and believe me, it was sheer screaming dumb luck that did it - but we never did harm ourselves or anyone else doing it.

When I was a kid in Pennsylvania, we would go over to the Hills' house and they set up a show that was as good as any professional show in larger towns. They had it all, and we had sparklers to play with (although I've never been a fan of sparklers - I was always afraid of setting my hand on fire. (That is me all over, even to this day.)

Well! This is really cool - I like having this set up on the telly! I love that I can do stuff on the Internet without havinf to turn on my laptop. Next stop (briefly), Facebook!

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