The Downsizing Dozen: Case of the Missing Mac

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Well, this has been an interesting October. While one would hardly call me a Luddite, I was reduced to a smart phone, some stolen moments with my husband’s computer, and the throwback of pen upon paper, while my ancient five-year-old laptop was away for updates.

I admit that I was one of the lingering Mac users who still clung to the old Snow Leopard pride in operating systems while the rest of the world marched on to bigger cats, and eventually became mavericks reaching new heights in Yosemite. When links failed to open, secured sites became insecure, and social media lambasted me to change my browser with such frequency that I could’t ignore the situation any longer, I reluctantly scheduled surgery that would require wiping my laptop and restoring its information.

What caused such fear of change? Not so long ago, I eagerly embraced the latest operating system or newfangled gadget that would supposedly enhance my life. In a word, it is “digital,” a battle cry for minimalism, and the blessing and bane of my life. During my Great Downsizing Purge of 2014, and even before, I extolled its virtues while digitizing music, photos and documents, and backing them up in various formats.

The problem with updates and interconnecting devices, however, is that sometimes you are locked out of older program versions after updating, or your phone, computer and tablet can gang up on you in the Cloud these days, deciding to delete everything in your best interests. This, along with the realization that I’ve digitized nearly all my meaningful music, writing and photos since 2003, is enough to give me pause.

So, in October I spent an inordinate amount of time googling worst-case scenarios and possible options while waiting for my beloved word processor to return from Apple’s latest mountaintop, wondering if it could even survive the thin air of progress much less work properly. I’m happy to report that it’s running well with a fresh outlook under the lid, although my old friend came home to find a new grandchild added to the family, a tiny tablet with better retinal vision and response time than its elder.

For now, we’re progressing cautiously, with a bigger backup arsenal, a variety of devices to do the job, and a little more confidence.

Once a month for the next twelve, I’ll feature another step in the downsizing journey that didn’t just begin when we sold our suburban house and moved to a small walk-up apartment in June of 2014. This shift to a simpler life has been years in the making, and I hope you’ll join me in my family’s quest to get down to basics. My inaugural post entitled Giving It All Away was featured in July, Make It Stick in August, and Following Your Feet in September.

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14 thoughts on “The Downsizing Dozen: Case of the Missing Mac

  1. The older I get, the less anxious I am to update, but sometimes we just have to. I felt like I had more control (or maybe it was just the illusion of control) when papers were actual paper in the file cabinet and photos were on the shelf in photo albums. Backup with your arsenal and enjoy your tiny grandchild!

    1. Thanks, Bonny! I am enjoying the grandchild, and a friend gave me a keyboard so I can type away on the iPad now, too! You hit the nail on the head about control and my reluctance to let go of the paper files and photos. I don’t quite trust the new formats so I’m keeping hard copies of the important stuff, especially handmade gifts my daughter made when she was little.

  2. I had to read this twice to begin to understand. But I still don’t. The part I get has to do with paper and pens — there’s technology I know! But it did sound as though October was a bit bumpy for you; I’m glad you have your updated computer back, and also glad to find your post here.

    And I love both photos! The writer in autumn — oh, yeah.

    1. I’m glad you like the photos, Maureen! I had a bit of a struggle updating the header photo this time. Formats are constantly changing as you well know, but I found a work-around after a few hours! Time consuming but worth it.

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