If It Works…

Yeah, I know. But I did. I fixed it. By breaking it.

Work Flow, a process, when it happens, to covet and protect. And when it’s gone, you’re an object at rest, a deer in the headlights, an inert and ineffectual lump.

I know it will come again, but after years at the PC of doing the same thing the same way, my fingers long for the familiar trails, overlooks, shortcuts and the exhilaration of moving quickly towards a destination. Ecco Pro; Notetab Pro; One Note; Active Words; Note_Zilla; Firefox.

I’m running a couple of the PC programs on the Mac in a virtual machine under Parallels, but it is sorta like going around the house every time you want to scratch your nose. You can get there, but…

It will just take sorting out. And more RAM. And lots of patience, being tolerant of mistakes, taking rabbit trails that lead no where, coming upon a sudden precipice, realizing I’m lost and taking three times longer to get from A to B than I used to.

It will mean taking the time to follow all those great links to what seemed like pertinent how-to’s before I had the machine sitting here. Now, I need to do my homework. I have only started opening all the doors into the Mac OS. Most of what I’m seeing is really impressive. Some is disappointing so far–Mac Mail, iCal, iPhoto–seem yawners so far. I’d be willing to be convinced otherwise.

Force Quit and hit and hold the button on the CPU–I’ve had to resort to both. Memory problem, I’m thinking.

The Western Digital MyBook Studio 750GB hard drive, I find out now, has been causing problems with Time Machine. (Fortunately it has a 5 yr warranty so if it’s fubar-ed, it can be replaced. If it’s just unfortunately incompatible with the OS, well that is just tough and there went $250. And my CD drive isn’t doing exactly right. Oy.

Today, install Creative Suite 3. And get back to work! And who knows–with the ice storm we had overnight, there might be some interesting pix, and I’ll get to upload and work directly with images on the Mac for the first time. Lost of “first times” ahead. Mostly, I’m enjoying the journey. I knew I’d lose it for a while, but the flow will return.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Apropos productivity and flow … you might want to take a look at application launchers such as ‘launchbar’ or ‘quicksilver’. They give you immediate access to applications or files without taking your fingers from the keyboard. I have been using launchbar for years and cannot work without it. It’s the second thing I install on a new mac — the first being ‘littlesnitch’.

    The application launchers remember (and learn) what apps or files you use, and let you bring them up via hot-key sequences. I type command-space-m and the Mail application appears. Command-space-o and I have OmniWeb; command-space-p brings up System Preferences. This is so much faster than having to move to the mouse and bring up the dock or Finder.

    Both launchbar and quicksilver are well-regarded and have many loyal fans. It’d be worth your time to give both a trial, and see which suits you best.