I didn't mean to just disappear on everybody. Where did the time go? All that happened is that I got a new desktop computer. . . oops. Asked and answered, right? You've been there. No food in the house. No sleep. Uncommunicative.
Yep, that's right. It's fantastic! My experience of the last two days epitomizes the saying: "It's never too late to have a happy childhood."
Alot has happened in the world of personal computing in the years since the last laptops arrived at our house in mid-2003. And since the advent of digital cameras, I have taken thousands of photographs: from our home at 4200 feet above sea level near Asheville, North Carolina; travels in Scotland, Maine and other great places in the world; our move back to Pensacola and subsequent building project of our home here (while we were living in the attached original cottage we now call "The Lodge"); lots of fun with family and friends at The Longleaf Bar and Grill (also known as Mary Beth's Kitchen); and a chronicle of continuous learning about wildflowers, critters and the joys of recreating a Longleaf pine/mixed hardwoods and wire grass environment and living plop in the middle of it with the loves of my life (Buck andMaggie-dog).
I've gone from working piecemeal on two laptops with 40 gigabyte hard drives and 512 megabytes of RAM to one sleek desktop with a 750 hard drive and 8 gigabytes of RAM, plus have moved from using Windows Office 2000 to Windows Office 2007. Plus, the wireless is built in, so I can keep it in The Lodge where Buck and I hang out, rather than in my lovely, but isolated study where the router connection is.
The agony of researching all the computer options out there is over. I know in my heart, (and from the recommendations of some friends), that I would love a MAC, but in the end, I was too cheap to pay for one. I've heard complaints about my mainstream choice, but I was able to get a high end unit for a great price. The deal was further sweetened with a nice wireless all-in-one color printer to replace our old one that is a good secondary, but getting a bit long in the tooth. Buck helped me to think through all the various choices, and once I had settled on the winner, he had four words for me: "Happy Birthday, Sweet Baby!" (My birthday isn't until later this month, but I think this birthday present is good for several years. . .)
What did I take home? It's an HP with a 23 inch screen. Set up was a breeze with no problems at all. I have heard all the parades of horribles about Windows Vista, and figured I would have to grit my teeth dealing with it until Windows 7 comes out. Ha. No worries here. For the applications I use, (mainly words and pictures), it's easy as pie. I even edited and submitted a short piece to a fine journal late last night using Word 2007. It was awesome for me to see two pages side by side on the screen and to realize that my tired eyeballs were beginning to recede back into their sockets and relax.
Don't get me wrong. I can't haul the desktop around with me. A laptop of some sort — possibly even a netbook — will always be part of our entourage. Even the old Thinkpads are still great machines, and now that I've moved about 25 gigs of photos off of each one, they will probably regain some of their old vim and vigor.
Meanwhile, I finally broke away for a few minutes and ran down to check on the tadpoles and to see if the asclepias (milkweed) pods had opened during my absence.
The tadpoles have turned into frogs and hopped away. All that's left are bubbles and some tiny pink sundews growing along the bank.
The milkweed pods are popping.
The imaginatively named "man-of-the-earth" flowering vines bloom from late May through August. Luckily for me, this trio had not yet twisted themselves closed in the late morning sun.
I guess this turkey has gotten used to my wanderings. She wasn't spooked enough to fly.
Note: I've always used Google's Picassa to store photos on laptop hard drives. Moving all the photos has turned out to be super easy by uploading photos from the old hard drives onto private Picassa web albums and then downloading them onto the new hard drive, where, (for the first time), I can have all photos in one place and organize them. I'm sure there are many other more sophisticated ways to accomplish this, but I'm grateful to have discovered this headache-free one.