Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A moment of silence

I'm holding my breath a little, but it's likely my faithful little laptop has given up the ghost (sniff!). After I posted the Landon tidbit, I was busy loading up some audio and video from today's practice. I also decided to download some audio from the web - nothing weird, I just thought it might be fun to add some sound effects to videos. I found a public domain recording of "Night on Bald Mountain" and set it to download. Like it sometimes does when I have multiple tasks going, my computer froze up. No biggie. I turned it off and tried to restart. No go. No go in "Last known good configuration", no go in any safe mode, nada, nada.
For all those who say I'm a role model in any way, let me emphasize that I am in fact at times like this a good example of what not to do. First of all, writers should learn all they can about computers so they're not helpless in the face of expired warranties. Secondly, writers should back up all their data monthly, weekly, even daily. Thirdly, all writers should know exactly where their reboot discs are and how to use them.
I guess I should appreciate how long my little $800 dollar laptop hung in there. I bought it just before I covered the 2005 World Youth Cup in Peru, so it was there when the U.S. U17 team (Young Jozy, Preston, et al) defeated Italy. I actually lost my power cord at the stadium there, and was in a panic until the stadium staff returned it to me a day later. It's been dropped more than once, got mislaid in Chicago, went to Germany, bounced around in a bike rack while I rode through Hamburg, and generally been a faithful little computer that could handle anything I threw at it.
I'm anthropomorphizing a piece of machinery, I know, but I'm sentimental. Anyway, I'm using another computer right now - just wanted to explain the holdup on the Landon interview. I'm not sure how to load the audio on this one - it doesn't have the same program my laptop does, so it might take a while. My laptop had WindowsXP on it. This one has Vista, which I really despise.
Anyway, I'll quit mourning. . . sometime.

27 comments:

Sidenetting said...

I'm not going to wax eloquently about my MacBook but it is an amazing computer. At least give if a try before you buy your next laptop.

A.C. said...

I love the idea of a Mac - I've always wanted one. But they're expensive.

Dan Haug said...

Carefull... You'll start a religious war. ;)

Jim said...

I have to agree. I switched to a MacBook last year and I would never go back to a PC notebook for personal use. I have one for work but even when I travel, I sometimes take my MacBook with me.

I think you can get a teacher discount depending on your school district as well. A MacBook can go from 1200.00 down to 999.00. Quite a savings!

A.C. said...

Adjunct faculty members don't qualify for any teacher discounts that I know of.

Anonymous said...

I have used a Mac since 1990 and nothing else. One by one my friends and family who were diehard PC fans have purchased a Mac after their PC's had given up on them. They kick themselves for taking so long in trying and then purchasing a Mac. Whatever floats your boat though.

Gunner said...

Get a mac you'll never go back. They cost a bit more but you wont have to replace it as often as a PC. I wrestled with the idea of getting one for years when I finally did get one I wondered how went without it.

Who knows there might be a guy in a white van during Chivas USA games that could help you out, might even throw in a Directv setup for free.

papa bear said...

I started on Mac and went PC and have yet to go back. :)
I like a platform that has 100x as many possible (free) software options and is more extensible than Mac will ever be.
I also work with video editing and audio editing a lot and would rather have a dagger shoved into every orifice in my body than ever do that with a Mac and the god awful Final Cut Pro ever again.
Basically what I'm saying is it's a matter of preference. :)

If I ever went back to a Unix based system again I'd go with Ubuntu (Linux) since it is and always will be FREE.

re: your problem, if you know the error code, there is probably and easy fix short of reformatting the HD and starting from the begining.

Anonymous said...

HAHA! Way to keep us in suspense Andrea..., Im dying to know what LANDO said ...?

Anonymous said...

For serious audio and video editing the Mac wins. I compose music for film and video and the Mac is the choice of most pros except apparently Papa Bear.

Anonymous said...

More people migrate to the Mac rather than away from it. Also, there are far less problems to worry about in terms of viruses, malware and illegal pirated software.

Anonymous said...

I also do video editing and I moved away from Mac to PC, and not necessarily because I disliked Macs, but mostly because I like to custom build my own computers and upgrade them myself, which you can't do with Apple, well you can, but I'm not comfortable with the stability of a Hackintosh. Though I hear that the Intel-based Mac Pro is easier to upgrade and it's actually possible to change the CPU on them now without having to go to an Apple dealer to do it for you, so I might give it them a try again at some point.

Anonymous said...

you can use an online repository to backup your files...like Box.net

Anonymous said...

Adjunct faculty members don't qualify for any teacher discounts that I know of.

if you order online at the apple store you're fine. just find the school, select faculty and you should be able to pick up a base macbook for $999.

artnsue said...

MacBook all the way. Apple is the choice for multimedia, and should be the media's choice! Hey you even get the built in ISight Video camera. Very cool to talk with friends or relatives and to see them! Video blogging anyone?

artnsue said...

Also about Mac and Leopard OS10.5 and backing data, it now has Time Machine that automatically backs up all of your files (and the all important multimedia) and allows you to retrieve them. As well, you can also back everything up throutgh a .mac account.

Dan Haug said...

I warned you :)

I'm the IT Director for an organization of 500 employees (blatant appeal to authority). There are lots of people with strongly held beliefs regarding Macs vs PCs. If you really like the interface of the Mac and you feel it makes you more productive, buy one. However it will cost you about 20% more than a comparable PC, and your software options will be limited (probably not something to concern you).

As far as capabilities for audio and video, the hardware is essentially the same now that Mac is using Intel chips, and most of the professional software is available on both.

The bottom line is that if the added cost is not an issue, you should buy what you like better.

A.C. said...

Some good news. I've been able to retrieve some important data from the computer but yes, it has a nasty virus of some kind that a computer buddy says can't be easily eradicated. Boo hiss on those who make machines ill. Anyway, we're trying to rescue a few more of my files before effectively dipping my laptop in technological radiation to kill the cancer before we reformat.

Anonymous said...

However it will cost you about 20% more than a comparable PC

not quite true. it will cost you about 20% more than the bargain basement products dell, hp, and no-name brands offer or one you build yourself. a mac will cost you about the same as a quality p.c. sometimes less (look at a comparable dell or alienware to the current macpro). which is totally fine for organizations that use computers for email, word, power-point etc... but once you start to expand the boundaries of what you need to do - video capture/video editing, audio editing, dvd production, etc... you need to start adding things like firewire, dual layer dvd rw, optical audio in/out, etc... and the software to do it. while IT people might feel comfortable locating F/OS versions of the applications your average user doesn't know about them or the quirks required to install them so they're left with commercial apps: photoshop elements, premiere elements etc... pretty soon that +20% cost differential becomes -10% cost differential.

and your software options will be limited (probably not something to concern you).

again not quite true. there are hundreds of thousands of garbage-ware titles out there not available for the mac. totally concede that point. there are also some enterprise-centric software not available for the mac, but if you take an 80/20 view (e.g. 80% of the people out there only use 20% of the software) there's really nothing you can't get for the mac either as a dual release (e.g. microsoft office) or an equal and sometimes superior competitor (omni graffle vs. visio).

worst case scenario you install parallels or vmware fusion and

--------------------------------------

i would think something like a macbook would be perfect for a new media journalist. right out of the box you can plug-in your firewire video camera, record directly to disk, edit in imovie and upload directly to youtube. ditto for audio, plugin in a microphone record directly to garageband, edit and upload. there's no out-of-the-box solution like that in the pc world.

p.s. if you want andrea i can help you out. i don't do it for a living, but i do help friends and family set up their macs for them.

A.C. said...

thanks anon! I wish I had a birthday coming up, so I could drop copious hints about a MacBookPro, but alas. Let's see how the resurrection of the no-name cheap PC-clone I have at present goes.
You do make plug-n-play sound awfully tempting, I must say.

Anonymous said...

"you need to start adding things like firewire, dual layer dvd rw, optical audio in/out, etc... and the software to do it...pretty soon that +20% cost differential becomes -10% cost differential."

This is where custom building your own PC becomes a cheaper alternative. Windows is opened to anyone who wants to build their own rig, not so with any Apple OS. I like the freedom of being able to upgrade any part of my computer from the PSU to the motherboard any time I want. You can't do that with Macs really because their software is licensed only for machines built by Apple themselves, and rely on hardware and software sales to keep themselves in business.

Anonymous said...

You can put all the best PC hardware together but you're still stuck with the Windows OS (unless you migrate to another OS).

Ben said...

A.C. it cracks me up that you get more comments no this than on posts about soccer... what do people take more seriously? My thoughts and prayers are with you and your ald laptop. God speed little computer, God speed

Anonymous said...

Our computers allow us to keep informed on the game we love. It allows AC & LB to instantly inform us. Why would anyone surprised that we all might have an opinion on a device that allows us to stay informed.

Anonymous said...

CORRECTION - Why would anyone be surprised that we all might have an opinion on a device that allows us to stay informed.

A.C. said...

Actually, I'm really touched that so many of you were sympathetic to my plight. I guess modern life includes the fact that we generally all deal with computer problems at one point. Plus, yes, this computer is the one that has handled the vast majority of my blog postings since Sideline Views started in late 2006.

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