Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Here, at last, a day that's just a day, free of engagements and incursions. My husband is having a lot of trouble with his new gnashers. We were back at the dentist's yesterday. Rams & Yowes was much admired in the waiting room. Not even that, today (I hope).

I have now embarked on the final stripe. That is followed by three rounds in the same colour – black – which will provide a fold line, and then the return journey begins. Progress, I suppose. It seems endless.

All went well at Glenalmond, and Mungo has been abandoned there. He wasn't dreadfully keen about going – but couldn't have done classics, of all things, if he had stayed at the International School in Athens. His father (a worrier, as I've mentioned) was anxious about him, but hopeful. There will be three of them doing Ancient Greek A-Level, which is a good-sized class these days.

Then David came back to Edinburgh and took Archie out to eat at Wagamama. I didn't even know there was one in Edinburgh. They swung in here briefly before going back to school. Archie was in fine form – he had seemed a bit down when I saw him briefly on Sunday, coming by to retrieve a telephone charger he had left behind. But now he is full of enthusiasm for his new A-Level courses and seems generally energised.

And – big news – he's on the voters' roll. There had been some doubt and confusion on that point. So that's a “no” in the bag on the 18th.

We heard a "no" voter -- a worker at a small whisky distillery -- say on the news last night that he thought independence was "a Hadrian's Wall too far". If we heard him correctly.


Thank you for help and advice, and especially for the communications from Apple fans. Alexander wrote to say that I am too old to make the switch, which has of course only served to inflame. I think I might buy “Macbook Pro for Dummies”. Thirty years ago I read a good book about DOS before we bought our first computer (an Olivetti M-24) – and, indeed, learned a valuable lesson as I read. Which was, that we would need to have a hard disk because even thirty years ago my husband couldn't have managed the fiddle of the then-common dual-floppy machines.

The persecution from POP-FUP stopped for awhile yesterday afternoon, and I was grateful to McAfee for standing at my right hand and keeping the bridge with me, although I wished they could do it by themselves. Alas, it's started again this morning. I finally got the iPad connected by turning the booster off. I had to do that again this morning, too.

Archie will be here for an early Exeat weekend the day after the Referendum. We have a date to go Apple-shopping at John Lewis.


  1. My son, aged 7, is very concerned about the referendum and is firmly in the no camp too!

    I work at a university and there is no clear consensus among my colleagues - although the economists I know seem to think its a bad idea.

    Interesting times, whatever happens.

  2. Following the independence debate with great interest here below - wondering which way my ancestors would have voted.

  3. Anonymous10:04 AM

    I read your remarks and the comments about the independence election with great interest. Here in the USA I would never have known about the referendum if you hadn't spoken of it. It amazes me that there hasn't been even a human interest story about this in the world news!

    1. I've been thinking the same thing!

    2. Anonymous6:35 PM

      So have I!
      -- stashdragon

  4. GrannyPurple1:03 PM

    Of course, here in Canada, we have our share of such referendums (referenda?), and are all, including Quebec, watching with great interest!

  5. "A Hadrian's Wall too far." Great comment, but perhaps not funny when you live north of the wall. Of course you can make the switch to a Mac. The windows interface was a copy of Mac's OS. It will be a bit of adjusting, but not much. You have a team of long-time users to answer questions! And get Apple Care, then you have a 24 hour help line. Well worth it, in my opinion.

  6. Ellen1:15 PM

    We switched to a Mac 4 years ago at the behest of our daughters. My daughters are both academics, as is one son in law, and all use Macs without difficulty for their work. Word can be installed at the time of purchase, and the Apple geniuses will transfer all the material to your new computer. Apple offers many classes, plus your package entitles you to One to One coaching on whatever topics are causing you problems . My computer skills are right at about the level of your husbands, and I find it simple to use. Definitely take a look before you decide that it wouldn't work for you.

  7. My first computer was an old-style AppleIIgs about 25 years ago. My next ones were Windows machines, but 4 years ago I bought a Mac. That was the best computer decision I've ever made.

  8. How bizarre that a school in Athens wouldn't offer Classics. Three is a good sized class for Ancient Greek, I started out my A-level Greek in a class of two, but after one term the other girl dropped out of school, so it was just me. I'm glad I stuck with it though, Latin and Greek have stood me in good stead for all kinds of things.

  9. I switched from a PC to a MAC about 6 months ago and will never look is so much more intuitive. Plus, you have and use an IPAD, right. It will make the transition so much easier. I sort of understand WHY I am doing things to get other places now...much more than on the PC - then I only did what I was told to do - never understood it. Of course, since my husband is a computer geek it makes my life mich easier.

  10. I second Mary Lou's advice. If you buy a Mac get Applecare. It's worth every penny you will spend on it, plus some. You can phone them with any question, no matter how basic.

  11. I think that a mac would definitely help. I just consulted google, and it looks like Edinburgh is getting an apple store very soon. They are wonderful, you can literally plunk yourself down and ask for help and someone will sit with you and figure out the problem. Highly recommended.

  12. Anonymous5:22 PM

    I got my first MacBook five yrs ago and will never go back to windows, and my network engineer husband will one days do the same when full retirement arrives. I learned without a manual and it was much less complicated than windows.

  13. I've been following the independence vote with interest. Really a multi-faceted, complicated topic. Independence has its own challendges for sure.

    I work in IT and to me there are more similarities than differences between Macs and PCs. We are a largely Mac college, but students, staff and faculty may have PCs at home or come from Windows environments. What I have noticed is that those who see the similarities and those who view it simply as a new tool have few problems. The people who focus and dwell on the differences struggle. Mindset, not age, has been the larger determining factor of ease-of-use in the users I work with.

    I also would recommend getting Apple Care if it extends the warranty for you - not sure if there are longer mandatory warranties in the UK. In the US AppleCare will extend the standard one year warranty to three years and you can purchase AppleCare at any time during the first year of coverage - it does not have to be at the time of purchase. It may be different in the UK, though, since warranties have to comply with national standards.

    If you are testing a computer, I would see if they would let you set up and test the 5 tasks you do most commonly on your computer and see how it goes. They may not have MS Office installed on the display computers, though. Still, it will give you an idea and the Office suite is much the same on the two platforms, although Excel and Outlook are not as full-featured on the Mac.

    In regard to the cost of a Mac, whenever someone complains to me about how expensive they are I challenge them to find a PC for less money with the same class of components. They typically cannot, unless they are going to build the computer themselves and even then it is close. Apple chooses higher-end components. The abundance of low-end computers definitely taints the Windows experience. Most people never get to experience Windows on hardware comparable to what they get with a Mac.

    Also, don't forget to add the cost of software you might need into your cost equation. Your license for MS Office typically won't transfer, for example.

    That said, I don't think you would have any issues, but the more you know the better you can judge for yourself.