02/24/14

YouTube, Google+ and their children

I can’t say that I felt there was any particular mystery to why YouTube and Google+ were connected. In fact, once that connection evolved into an authentication process, instead of being outrage as a YouTube subscriber, as a channel owner, I was optimistic that this could result in troll reduction.

There’s nothing like getting a bunch of abusive comments in response to a howto video. Over time you realize that this is just what trolls do, but at first, you may find yourself at a loss, as I recently was, as to why the length of a video warrants strings of angry curse words.

Preoccupied with this idea, it was a while before it occurred to me to ask why. The graphic below is from a slide deck where I ask these questions. Click on the circles to see the links where I found my answers.

This post is part of a series about getting your Google+ on. And also an excerpt from something I’ve been working on for subscribers and clients. Here’s part one.

08/23/13

A Tale of Two MacBooks (And How I Un-retired an old one for the 4th time)

Want to hear a completely random non-business-related story about my favorite pieces of business technology?

MacBook Pro 2006 A1211

Who knew my MBP 2013 could save my MBP 2006?

In March of 2007, following a six month period of personal and professional devastation, a little of the money that was owed to me arrived.

And I spent some of it on a brand new MacBook Pro (Apple Model Number A1211).

I’d dreamed of a MacBook Pro ever since they got the Intel processor. Fond memories of my tween and teen years using the Apple II and Macs my father bought for us to learn on over the years led me to the Mac store.

And despite still loving regular Windows laptops, I have been in love with that particular MacBookPro ever since.

(I always had a Windows tower or laptop as well, though I’d rarely use them – I’m not a Windows-hater just because I’m a Mac Lover. Since when can we only like one thing at a time?)

Over the years, my first dual core laptop has somehow survived, well, me.

Since March 2007, I’ve

  • dropped it – at least once a quarter,
  • spilled a 64 ounce of apple juice on it
  • left it where each of the two sets of twins could reach it to shove it off the dining room table onto the floor
  • fell and then landed on it
  • scratched and dented it up crazy – see the pic above

Four times I’ve thought it was dead for good. The first time I spilled liquid on it, I thought it was dead. After a day it woke up like nothing happened. This was, of course, a year after the warranty initially expired.

The second time, the big apple juice spill, had me thinking it wouldn’t recover, because the power cord stopped powering the laptop and charging the battery.

Then I found this gizmo to charge the battery externally and the day was saved. I bought an extra battery, rather than spend  almost the amount of money as a new laptop to get it fixed.

The third time, it quietly died again one night after it got super-hot.

I figured it for dead, but again, months later, the spontaneous whim to “pop a charged battery in and see what happens” brought it inexplicably back to life. I started using it every day again but this time, around 2010, I stopped traveling with it.

My MBP officially became my home computer, and I used Windows laptops when travelling – problem was, the clumsy bumbling that my Mac easily survived was not as well received by the other machines. (The clumsiness, I later found, was due to the worsening of a medical condition I have, in case you were wondering how it is that I have abused this machine so much.)

The constant dropping, road trips, twin incidents etc, annihilated any Windows laptop I bought within 6 months. I learned to backup Everything, and started saving to the cloud.

The fourth time though, I was certain it was dead. It was last summer, known for the rest of my life as the summer I almost died, brought as one of its better consequences, the return of the twins. Both the elder twin niece and nephew, and the junior male twins were back.

However, having been sick, and living without them for over a year, I was no longer in the habit of protecting my valuables from the little humans.

One day I left my MacBook Pro on the dining table, in close proximity to the junior twins, then 2 years old. I turned around, realizing my mistake just in time to see the youngest one knock the laptop to the floor.

In my mind, it still happens in slow motion.

Incredibly, the display still worked. But the keyboard and touchpad were completely unhoused from the casing – when I typed, nothing happened. Same thing when I moved my finger around on the touchpad. I tried sliding it back in place, nothing. I realized that if I bought a keyboard and an external mouse, I could probably still use it.

But I thought, “a six year run is pretty great for just about any laptop. Time to let her go.”

I packed it away without a second thought, and started leaning pretty heavily on my Toshiba laptop, then when it died, an ASUS laptop.

When it “died”, I figured I’d get a brand new MacBook Pro for my birthday. For months I struggled over whether Retina Display was worth it yet. I eventually decided it wasn’t, but that I had to have a Quad-core, which ruled out the 13.3.

On a whim, I charged the battery on my old one and popped in the battery, thinking I could use an Ethernet cord to migrate my files over, if nothing else.

To my shock and delight, the keyboard and touchpad mouse thingy is working again.

Not only that, the new power adapter works with the old machine!

As in, it charged my battery, AND keeps the computer running with the battery removed.

It really works, not kinda-with-duct-tape if-you-never-touch-it, works.

If you have an old MacBook Pro whose only issue is that the old power cord won’t fit correctly anymore, take it to the Mac store and try it with the new MagSafe adapter.

In another life, the MagSafe adapter was the bane of my existence  - it drives me crazy how much more expensive the cord is, (and at one time, how hard it was to get when I couldn’t physically leave my house) but this is the life I have chosen, LOL.

How ironic that its current incarnation is the thing that saved my old MBP!  After I strip my files from it, I’ll be paying it forward to a dear friend who needs a dual core Intel Mac.

One more neat thing – I was able to find the proper page at Apple to detail the technical specs of my computer the new owner by

  1. finding my serial number (in the System profiler) (which you can also use to find out when the warranty expires),
  2. using it to look up the model number and/or sales number (using this neat tool at Power Mac Medic that also verified that my old MBP was built in 02.07),
  3. and searching support.apple.com for MacBook Pro Technical Specifications plus the the model number it gave me, using Google. (If the “sales number” comes up, you can just Google that without any qualifiers.)

Did you have a half dead computer laying around that you were able to rescue in some unconventional way? I’d love to hear about it.