Apple orchard at my house

I grew tired of difficulties with my Windows laptop(s), troubles of various kinds.  Never fell in love with Windows 8.

First move was to get a Mac Mini and found it exceptional.  Next a MacBook Pro. Also exceptional.  Last addition to the orchard is due for delivery on December 17th.  It is an iPad Air with 128 gb of storage.  It gets engraving with my name on it and “Gnawledgewurker” as well.  Why other computer makers don’t offer engraving is beyond me.

I used a Macintosh Lisa a couple of times per month back in the 80s.  I used a Mac II and SE at Canada Wire and Cable.  My last Apple product before the past year was an ibook (2001). It was great, still works, but it has had the technology surf race past it.  The hard drive, an upgrade when I bought it was a tiny 40 gb.

I am very happy with the Apple orchard in my home.

Hanx, one fun app

Tom Hanks, yes that one, loves vintage typewriters.  He has a large collection of them.  There is an app i have been running on my iPad2 called Hanx from him, it simulates typing on an vintage typewriter.  It has a delightful animated interface and is not bad at all for a text processor.  Do try it out.

to find a review of it online see

my long experience with Apple computers

I have always enjoyed using Apple products and wish I could have used them more often in my technical writing career. At the same time I appreciate the strengths of Windows and Microsoft Office.

Way back when at the Information Centre at the Ontario Ministry of Education during my brief stint as a honest to God civil servant, I had the chance to work with an Apple II plus.  This was the time of Visicalc.  A landmark moment was the day the systems librarian and I cracked open that Apple and installed a math co-processor card and lived to tell the tale.  I also had the chance to use a Macintosh Lisa to do some electronic typesetting for some publications of the Information Centre.

Around 1990 I was at Canada Wire and Cable and my department, a group of trainers and me, the lone technical writer, used Macs.  I found to my surprise that the team was using desktop publishing software without any knowledge of styles.  Pagemaker was the desktop publisher software. They were used to taking large amounts of time to individually adjusting and formatting bits of normal text.  So I showed them how to use the power of that software by using styles. Many “aha” moments occurred.  I also showed one business project officer how to use Word to create tagged text and then to import that file into Pagemaker.  With add new pages as needed function turned on , the fifty page document built itself and formatted itself in about twenty seconds.  He was totally blown away.  To finish that document I sat with it for about twenty minutes adjusting column widths on some 12 tables he had included. These were simple three column information tables and varied as needed, one narrow, second narrow, third wide, and so on.  If memory serves the computer modeks were a Mac II (?) and a Mac SE. I became fair in using MacDraw.  Around this time our team acquired a scanner.  But I must say it was not easy for us to get any let alone good results from it.  We struggled mightily. 

For most of my technical writing career, Apple computers were not the chosen models, so I became steeped in Windows and Microsoft Word. At AMEX Canada I brought my own first digital camera, Sony FD-7, into the office and introduced it for use as a tech info tool to my department.  My camera travelled to Mexico AMEX with a facilities management engineer to record troubles he was sent down there to assess and fix. 

I picked up an iPod for music and later an iPad2 for web browsing and use as an ereader.

Late in 2000 I purchased an iBook for myself and my work.  It still runs, but the second battery no longer retains charge, so it must be plugged into a wall receptacle.  The hard drive is just 40 gb and that was an upgrade I chose to pay extra for.

Now I have a Mac Mini and I am blowing away the dust from my Apple skills. It is lots of fun and I am enjoying after some recent struggles I have had with Windows laptops.  I have come a long way and time from my first days of computing when at the sunset of their use I punched keypunch cards and ran a tiny program on the mainframe computer at Queen’s Park in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

miniMac, a treat

I have been struggling with my Windows laptops and so the whole question of mobile computing has become a question worth a fresh look.  I will mobilize myself with my iPad2.  I will desktop with my new as of today miniMac.  It took about fifteen minutes to set up.  A little longer to get all the updates installed.  But it was effortless.


I have previous Mac experience back, way back with an Apple SE used for work at Canada Wire and Cable around 1990.  I still have and it still runs but doesn’t manage well in this day and age an iBook bought in 2000.


A real treat.  Knock wood (lightly tapping my head), let it be fun computing.

breathing life back into my eleven year old iBook

spent some time trying to see if I could find any old photos or other files of interest on my old iBook which I bought back in 2001….without the wifi aircard, and with just a 40 gb hard drive…..a little trouble with the replacement battery not willing to hold a charge and a slightly smecked connector on the power adapter but I got it running and spent some time poking around with files on it.


new laptop first impressions

Sony Vaio E series

liking it, battery length with no DVD use is about 5 hours, like the case and the white keyboard., texture pattern on the case is also very very nice

with DVD use, charge time drops to near three hours.

my previous laptop was a lower priced Gateway that had a couple of ergonomic features that I never got totally comofortable with….an odd touchpad design, and a shortish battery charge length……but it was inexpensive and worked ok for my kind of software efforts.

probably my favourite laptop is my still running but needing some replacement parts (battery number 3 and the power adapter cable) iBook G3 that I bought back in 2001.

I am considering spending for those parts and using it for word processing, hmmmm

this time around the budget just could not handle the Apple laptop price points and the 13.3 inch screen turned me off.