Saturday, November 17, 2007

New Computer, New Me!

Does that sound too . . . too? Sorry. (Not really.) It's Saturday — hmmm, already afternoon, I see — and I am voluntarily sitting at my desk. This is big for me right now. Firstly, I've been recovering from a surgery and so haven't spent time in my office for a while. I've been back to part-time work for 2 weeks, but before the new machine arrived, I was working on a laptop from bed. Sometimes the couch. To put that in context, I had 5 external abdominal incisions and a couple of internal slices, so part of my recovery has involved regaining my ability to sit upright for good long stretches, whether I want to eat at the dinner table, ride in a car, or prop myself up in front of my desk. (Wouldn't want anyone to think the working-from-bed-thing was just par for a freelancer's cushy course.)

Secondly, I took the plunge and bought a new iMac. I've been setting it up since Wednesday, my first day "back in the office." Still at it, but so far, so good. Nothing like a new toy to rev up a girl's interest in getting back to work. I'm hoping to realize the full productivity potential that having an up-to-date machine will surely bring. I have lots more room to house files/apps (and, let's be real, music), a bigger monitor (I sprang for the 24-incher!), the ability to use a current browser, and wireless communication between the iMac and my still-kicking iBook . . . plus I can easily fit the wireless, small-footprint keyboard and mouse on the smallish keyboard tray attached to my desk.

The keyboard is one of the bigger "whews" to me, believe it or not. It will go a long way toward allowing me to comfortably use my deskptop/office the way I want to. (I like my laptop, but I do prefer to do most of my work in my designated workspace.) I used to use a Datadesk TrackBoard because it fit my tray and worked great for me ergonomically. It happily coexisted for a time with my old G3 before presenting a few minor problems that I lived with. But when I last upgraded my desktop (in 2002 to a 2001 G4), the keyboard was no longer compatible, and neither was the updated Trackboard I bought. Tons of ridiculous glitches. But I kept going back to it every now and then (or begrudgingly working more and more on my laptop) because my right hand would hurt from mousing up high on the desk instead of at the keyboard tray level. I learned all the tricks for stopping the Trackboard's annoying problems, but several weeks ago — after I'd foolishly hooked it up again (my bad judgment, but I took a chance knowing I wanted to upgrade the computer soon) — my G4 suffered a major meltdown just after the Trackboard did. While I was on deadline, natch.

But all that is in the past! Luckily, I keep good backups, and now all necessary items from my G4 live on the iMac. I'm writing this surrounded by all 3 computers, and by Monday I expect to be back down to 1 on the desk with a laptop in the wings. Yay!

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