Thursday, September 15, 2016

FROM MODERATE TABLET TO A LAPTOP -Why?

Last time I was here was to share a bittersweet event. What was that, you ask? Our iMac 27 inch, late 2009 computer was in near death mode. That meant it was time to find a suitable replacement that could carry out the tasks I need to do every day...well, almost every day. Not wanting our computer to have dual duty as our television anymore, it was obvious we wouldn't fork over the huge amount that the original iMac cost. Don't get me wrong, after years of PC ownership, the last six years as an iMac user has been remarkably better. Multi tasking, video producing, working with graphics and word processing, as well as bookkeeping and such...oh ya, watching Youtube videos and other moving images while I worked away, basically problem free. So Apple, for me (thanks to my dear nephew's recommendation) has been a great system.
But it just wouldn't be feasible to take it to the dealer for diagnosis and repair, if possible. I just discovered my particular iMac has been classified as "vintage." That means it is not possible to purchase new replacement parts. Yes, that includes the official Apple dealer in our region. In fact, they were the ones who informed me of my iMac's old age classification and what it meant.
Here is one of the things I love to do on my computer, draw! 

What About The iPad Air?
If you read the previous post, then you know I was please with the newly purchased iPad Air. It was a simple to use and mobile device. Mind you, I didn't have a case yet, so I was very paranoid about dropping it. That meant I kept it snuggled and propped up in a box. Determined to make it work to avoid spending more money on a new computer, I had ordered cords and such in an attempt to access my back up hard drive. You see the one annoying, big deal about the iPads...no USB ports. That means it is the same as using your phone or other hand held device. I knew that prior to purchasing. It was a bigger deal than I realized. My computer is used not just to blog like I am now, but to draw (I am an artist after all), edit and produce videos, and run A Bergie Creation, my online Etsy Shop. No, I do not play video games. Did that back in the Pac Man days, and boy was it addictive!
Using the iPad Air would have worked if I had no choice. In fact, I was re-typing out all my Pages documents needed for my Personal Care Attendants. Hiring them means documentation, scheduling and preparing quarterly reports and all that fun stuff. Yes, iPads come with the fundamental programs like Pages and iMovie, but I couldn't get them off my back up drive because of the inability to plug in my back up drive that contained those documents. Bit by bit, the necessary documents were being re-written.
iCloud, A New Necessity
What about iCloud? Well, yes, when my iMac first because shutting down spontaneously, I did back up documents onto my iCloud account. Unfortunately, wouldn't ya know it, I missed some key files. Argh! Needless to say, I definitely have concluded that it is time to depend on iCloud for all important files and photos. It is far less stressful that worrying about losing the ability to read the back up drive. No, I do not know if you can use iCloud for PC's. I say that because I did consider the possibility of switching to an inexpensive PC lap top instead of Apple World. For the countless non-Apple users, I know there are methods of saving your files on the "cloud" by other apps. Based on my many computer "deaths" over the years, I highly recommend making use of whatever methods available to protect your precious photos and data.
My First Computer
A long time ago, I realized that as convenient as a laptop can be, it wouldn't ever work for me. Using a laptop is a frustrating challenge if you have weakened hand muscles or other hand issues. My weakness means I am unable to hold my hands above the surface. For decades resting my hands on the area I was writing painting or drawing on, was the norm. It was why my first computer about twenty five years ago, was set up with a track ball device. I had been assessed by a facility that apparently still provides assessments and access to government funding for communication devices such as a computer. It was how I was blessed with my first PC. Even though my hands weren't as weak as they are now, they assessed that it may benefit me if I didn't have to move my right hand to make a mouse move. A Trac-Ball was a stationary device that meant I just placed my hand on the piece and rolled the ball with my hand to direct the pointer. To select and such, I could click the button on the right left and I think the top middle part. It fit my hand well. However, when it was time for a new computer, I didn't want to go through the government again if I didn't have to so I tried a "regular" mouse and discovered my hand could manage it well.
For me a laptop was never an option. Mostly because the key board is too deep for me to reach comfortably. As well, unless there is a way to turn it off, my hands and wrists rest on the track pad /mouse part in order to type, making it impossible to accomplish any proper key boarding. Knowing that brings to question what happened next...
In fact, even as I type this, my wrist is starting to hurt as my fingers use every ounce of strength, trying to reach the letters between "Q and P," not to mention the numbers. (Thankfully, I believe I am able to connect the Bluetooth wireless key board and mouse, that came with our vintage iMac. I just haven't done it yet). So yes, almost a week later, I was flipping through the Best Buy website where we purchased the iPad. For some reason, I have come to believe that Apple products never go on sale. Mind you, the iPad Air was on sale for fifteen dollars less, but I am talking serious discounts that really mean "on Sale." Well surprise! I just happened to discover that the 2016 Macbook Air was on sale for not fifteen, but a whole two hundred dollars less! In my usual impulsive manner, I declared to Craig (my husband), that he had to fly down to the Best Buy Store and exchange the iPad for the laptop. It just made more sense to be able to actually use a computer and not a hand held device that can't handle the tasks I have always carried out.
My dear husband helped me quickly pack up the iPad. Concerned it would sell out, I didn't have time to delete all my passwords and such. I booked the laptop online, reserving it for twenty minutes to pick up at our location. Frantically, I was telling him that he had to hurry!
"Hurry Craig! You only have twenty minutes or it might be sold out!"
He made it there. In fact, at first we didn't think it worked when the sales lady said she couldn't find the reserved one. He phoned me about it first and then he asked if the Macbook that was sitting behind her, was the one we reserved. She couldn't find our name on it, but once she looked closer, voila! There is was, our new laptop.
See, even if you have weak hands, wrists and arms like me, there are adaptive aids to not just help you use a computer but to play bowling like I am doing here. And if you look to the left, there are many ways that enable steering your power wheelchair using your fingers, head and these days there are even brain implants so you can think your chair where to go. (not a fan of transhumanism but, it is out there)
The Nopes And The Yays
As I waited for him to return my thoughts turned from, "yay a sale!" on Apple products to, "how on earth would I use a laptop?" Well, here we are a week later and I am typing with the keyboard that is built in. Easy? Nope. I do have to manoeuvre my forearms as close as I can get them, but like I said thanks to Bluetooth. Here are My Yays and Nopes...
Yay, I can use my wireless devices.
Yay, Once again I am able to access my back up drive which means no more having to re-write my important documents.
Nope, I can not lift this mobile computer.
Yay, I can use this computer like my vintage one.
Nope, it won't be possible to just bring it to watch in bed.
Yay, I can carry out multiple tasks without the lagging that happened with the iPad.
Yay, I get to blog, run my shop and I am pretty sure make videos!
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