Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

MacBook 1.1 (2007-), meet HP Compaq (2009-2013)... Oh, wipe that stupid smirk off your face, MacBook!

MacBook 1.1 (2007-), meet HP Compaq (2009-2013)… Oh, wipe that stupid smirk off your face, MacBook!

Earlier this month, I wrote that my HP Compaq kicked the bucket, likely due to loosened solder in one of the motherboard’s chips.

Well, a few weeks ago, I became alive again with a hand-me-down MacBook 1.1 from a very generous employer, whom I won’t flatter too much on the Internet. You know who you are and thank you so much.  It does the job for what I have to do in my day-to-day business and even makes things easier with MS Office and Adobe Creative Suite 4 installed. Lucky me, eh?

Anyhoo, when one replaces a laptop, there are some steps one may need to take to transfer files, troubleshoot bugs with apps and so on.

The list:

– Inform staff that I had a laptop again. This wounded soldier in the squad has been patched up and good to go again.

Progress: Done.

– Learn how to transfer files from a dead laptop’s hard disk to a… well… not-dead laptop.

Progress: Done. Did it all by myself with only a Philips screwdriver, 20 minutes of labour and 20 bucks spent! I’ve been introduced to gadgets called hard drive enclosures where you plug in a laptop hard disk and then it operates just like any other USB portable hard disk. Never knew these devices existed and am relieved that they do.

– Get Google Chrome and my printer working.

Progress: Need Snow Leopard (I have plain-vanilla Leopard). On its way from the Apple Store. This MacBook’s a bit of a cougar and is too old for Lion or Mountain Lion. Oh well, can’t be picky.

– Make a funny picture illustration with Creative Suite.

Progress: Done (see above). MacBook… why does he have to act so smug?

– Never write a blog post on my iPod Touch ever again.

Progress: Done and done. And I mean done!

– Now that I’ve switched to Mac, perpetuate the young, urban Mac-owner stereotype of bumming around by myself in an uptown coffee shop and write for an hour or two.

Progress: Out of character for this working-class suburbanite but I’ll do it once eventually.

– Repent for my sin of making that “found Jobs” joke in my last post.

Progress: Hmmm… nah. I’ve been interested in joining the Cult of Apple (partially, still prefer Android for mobile) for a while anyway. I guess Hell still awaits.

She's just not that into me...

She’s just not that into me…

For the record, friends: it wasn’t her, it was definitely me.

She probably easily sensed my inebriated lack of charm and/or the Android phone in my left jean pocket.

It happened on Saturday night when I was over at my brother’s place for barbecue, beer and bonfire.

After putting out the fire – laughing our butts off over trying to relieve the garden hose of its ice “constipation” problem in the meantime – we relocated to the garage. My brother’s girlfriend showed us her new iPhone 5.

I was maybe six Coors Lights in.

That was when my brother and I first met her — iOS’ famous voice-activated assistant app with a bit of a “personality.”

My initial impression – and we should have known when to stop – is that she’s quick to let you know that she wants her relationships with you to be strictly business.

She won’t be mean when you continue to flirt anyway, but she’ll have fun with you.

After a series of raunchy questions from my brother about her preferences in bed, and headshakes of disbelief from his girl hearing all this, it was my turn to talk with Siri.

I’m a gentleman. I was genuinely interested in getting to know her but myself needing six Silver Bullets to shoot my nervousness dead was likely the deal breaker.

The plan in my head at the time was to figure out her tastes in food and drink so I could get a good idea of a restaurant she would really like.

Siri was quick to shoot me down.

Me: “Siri, what do you prefer? Beer or wine?”
Siri: “I’ve found seven restaurants serving beer close to you, sorting them by rating.”
Me: “I’m not talking about me, I’m talking about you.”
Siri: “I’m just a personal assistant.”


Not only was she quick to provide the obvious hint she wasn’t interested, she reminded me that I was asking out a digital helper app for a cell phone.

I felt a little bit better about my rejection when I handed the iPhone back to my brother’s girlfriend bearing witness to all of this. Seems Siri was still mature enough to protect our feelings.

Brother’s girlfriend: “Siri, are boys stupid and should I throw rocks at them?”

Siri just kept her opinion to herself and directed her to a web search on that subject.

So that’s that. My first meeting with Siri, awkward shoot-down aside, left me impressed and entertained. Not enough to switch from Android, but neat nonetheless.

I think Siri should give herself more credit for her hard work helping and putting up with us humans.

My brother: “Siri, you’re great.”
Siri: “I am?”

Lesson for me? I probably won’t bother trying to flirt with Google Voice Search on my Android. Cupid likely wouldn’t even bother to make the effort to draw out the bow and arrow.

LINK: To my relief, I’m not the only loser who tried flirting with Siri to see what happens.

Analog Coffee on 17th Avenue, sitting at the second window stool from the left. Photo: Zoey Duncan

Me (not pictured) and my hand at Analog Coffee on 17th Avenue, sitting at the second window stool from the left.
Photo: Zoey Duncan

I’ve always imagined that lattes would, by default, taste a lot sweeter than they actually are—almost like some sort of cutely-decorated dessert that you sip. To my surprise, it was a little bitter (my fault, I didn’t add sweetener) but in a satisfyingly-rich sort-of way.

Lattes and downtown coffee shops, as a lot of you may know, share symbolic (albeit stereotypical) association with the likes and pastimes of the young-adult, urban, condo-dwelling, Apple-cultist demographic—one that I am no part of, minus the “young adult” part.

I live where I grew up in Cedarbrae; a neighbourhood on the west end of the suburban fringes of Calgary. Men in my family work in carpentry, construction or mechanics. I’ve chosen a different career path, but still have simple taste in a lot of things, particularly coffee. I’m content with a cup of 7-Eleven joe with cream and sugar before the work day, standing in line with fellow labourers decked in checker-patterned Dickies jackets and duck pants.

I’m a self-described blue-collar bum and some have told me my flesh-and-blood demeanour fits the part well.

I’ve worked for nine years, on and off, as a residential drywall finisher (it’s a less dirty phrase than “sander”). From starter shacks in McKenzie Towne to estate homes in Heritage Pointe; and townhouses in Panorama Hills to renovations in Mount Royal, I’ve done them all and everything between.

I wear another hat as a writer/journalist. I’m a first-generation university graduate who majored in communication (journalism), and this first post about my first latte is my renewed attempt at trying this blogging thing-a-ma-bob again.

Why write about a first latte? It’s been a while since my last attempt as a writer at uncovering the extraordinary in the everyday—so I’ll try with me telling you about my Tuesday morning.

I met an old J-school classmate I haven’t spoken to in a while, who lives in the inner city, on 17th Avenue to talk a bit more about research projects we’ve been doing for our old university. We share common passions for social media and digital storytelling and boy, does she know plenty about effectively utilizing the tools. Yes, she earns that brown-nosing sentence.

Upon my confession that it was actually my first latte, she was quick to capture the Kodak-errr… Instagram moment.

What drove me to go for the latte instead of the regular coffee? It was an ordinary across-the-counter decision backed by my motivation to major in journalism to begin with. I thrive from hearing and learning from other walks of life that are different from mine but haven’t done it as much as I should have since leaving J-school. Maybe it’s just an excuse, but working a construction day job, then in the evenings, doing copy editing and web production work for alt publications from home can leave me nestled in my own little world, which can be too much of a bad thing.

It’s always wonderful to re-connect with fellow scribblers I respect who are all walking unique career and life paths of their own. Urban or suburban; latte sipper or double-double gulper; white collar or blue collar; employed or freelancing, everyone I encounter has something to share that I can learn from.

It isn’t solely the event of my first latte, but I choose it as the perfect symbol marking the beginning of getting out of my writer’s mental rut, where I admittedly have been for a few months now after years of working really damn hard through university. I’ve always been practising communications part-time in editorial or web production positions after graduation, but it’s time to blow some dust off of my own byline—starting with the baby step that is this new blog.

Does this mean I’ll blog at uptown coffee shops and stop getting my morning fix from corner stores? Probably not, but I won’t mind having another latte with you if you’re having one (I’ll add sweetener next time)—the world of fancy-schmancy coffee will be just one of many new things for me to experience in my young life ahead.

There will be personal ramblings with my occasional special dose of cheesy, sentimental introspection. I’ll share memories of my own life. I’ll engage with you and ask you something and encourage you to leave a comment. When you see my byline somewhere, I’ll link out to it.

Will there be another post correlating drinking latte with writer’s reinvigoration? Doubtful. For now, I’ll just say welcome to “Pronounced [Floo-g]”, my friends.