October 21, 2014

More Computer Play & Leaf Removal

Not a lot has been going on since the rain stopped late last week. I continue to read blogs of people traveling, on retirement and sports. Some of the blogs on my blog list I moved to my Feedly account. That is a really good free program that I like and it's easy to keep up with all the different blogs I read.

Since late Thursday I have been having a lot of enjoyment installing, and learning about the new Apple OS update called Yosemite. For the readers that have Windows PC this probably will not be of much interest but I have a few readers that have Macs, iPads and iPhones, so maybe some information here will help them. When I have looked at the store, I haven't liked any Window changes after XP, especially not Windows 7 or 8. Their prices are tempting though for laptops.

I switched to Apple products in October 2014 after spending almost 14 years on Windows PC's. I was willing to pay more for what I have found to be a very reliable system with zero malware problems or "blue screen of death". I was having major malware problems towards the end of my PC usage and it was almost to deciding to reformat my hard drive and reinstall or buy a new computer. I chose to go in the direction of Apple and buy a new computer. Their computers have the maintenance system built in so I no longer had to spend time defragging the hard drive nor using 5 different programs to seek, find and destroy different malware. I've been running my iMac with no anti-virus and have had zero issues of any kind in my 4 years of ownership. (knock on wood)

I also have started my annual tree leaf cleanup. Due to laziness and being a dreamer, my first step is to do nothing and watch the winds, the leaves, then decide at what point I need to get outside (lol) and start by either raking and burning or use my leaf machine to blow them into a central location, then suck them into a bag that is too small and break them down into mulch material that I usually pile in the area in back that is not mowed.

I wait for a couple of reasons. A few times in the past years during the day very strong winds have come through and basically cleaned the whole yard and blew them over the hill out of sight. I didn't have to do anything those years. I'm hopeful of that this year. The other times they will be blown to a central location where little raking is involved and I can clean them in a few hours. There are a lot of leaves on the ground today and the trees are not even half bare. So there is a chance the longer I wait the larger the leaf piles are and of course longer to clean up, then again ... there is always the chance the wind will take care of them for me.

Back to the new Apple OS X. First of all I am not an expert. I'm a common user, that reads the iMac Forum (Mac Rumors) for most of my answers or use my best friend Google Search to find my answers when I have questions on how to do things on a computer. In the past I have kind of waited for the dust to settle before doing any upgrades on my iPhones, iMac or iPad but this time I decided to go for it when it was available and if it didn't work, I could revert back to the previous OS X Mavericks via my Time Machine backup. Like any new release either in Apple or Windows you will always hear both sides of the story in either love or hatred but after 4 days of operation I can say I love all the changes including the changes to Safari.

With my Exede Satellite Internet monthly limit of 15Gb's per month, I do all my uploads and updates during the free period between midnight - 5am. I don't stay up that long but recently even before the OS change I have been staying up until 3am most nights just because I am a true night person. So the past week my sleep schedule as been all out weird to some ... but it's beautiful outside at 4am when I take a computer break.

So a little past midnight last Thursday night on the first day of availability I downloaded the free OS Yosemite and installed it as a update and not a clean install. I've never had problems in the past doing it that way so I thought I'd continue the same way. After about 3 hours I had the system installed and the fun began. I had to force myself to go to sleep at 5am and that gave me a couple of hour nap until Winston HOWLS by 730am to go outside.

Nope ... no problems at all !!

Sure, there were some changes where I might have to change the way I do things or at least do some research and find a while to make some adjustments to get some features back to the way I had them....but I like change, so I have done some major changes on the way I use my browser without keeping the same processes of the past system.

In fact Safari has improved so much on this update that I have made it my default browser and have left Google Chrome ... something that I thought I'd never do. I moved my dock to the left side from the bottom and stretched my website window down to the bottom of my monitor. I have a choice to have a list of notification on the right side such as calendar, weather, time, etc...but since I'm retired my calendar means nothing anymore and weather and different time zones don't mean enough to have the notification center open on a fulltime basis. So it's doc on the left side and all content filling up the 27" monitor.

I will say at least on my "old" iMac, i3, 4Gb ram ... that Safari is really fast. I have also tried different designs such as bringing the favorites bar back to the top of the screen, for a few days like the old days but decided to go with the new design changes in Safari and follow that. So far, I love the new changes of surfing the web.

A couple of strange bugs ... every time I start my computer the background picture on my main monitor changes to one that I used last spring. So I moved the picture I like to my lower desktop and with a couple of clicks, I reset my background picture upon every restart, hoping that will be fixed in the next update. The other thing and it might be the 'cold war' between Apple and Google ... when I open my blog there is no way to log into my blog in the upper right screen, or new post or design. I use Google Chrome to write new posts or look at the design. I have a feeling that will not change as long as Google and Apple are not playing well with each other, lately.

Last summer while I was waiting to decide whether to buy a new iPhone 6 or the 5s because I was due an upgrade and a new phone contract, I did some reading and found out that a 5s would have the upgraded features. I found out yesterday before upgrading to OS 8.1 that my 5s phone will not have the ability to use Apple Pay, which is ok with me because I'm not sure I want to use Apple Pay anyway ... I'll wait for it to be a requirement in a few years, as I am sure it will eventually get rid of credit cards as we know it, with Google, Windows, Amazon, eBay getting into the electronic payment market. All of my devices have synched without any problems. You have the choice if you want your iPhone and iPad to have the same internet history and bookmarks. I have chose to do that but I can change back later with a click and synchronize the device.

I also found out that my iMac was made right at the cutoff to use the new Apple feature called "handoff". Meaning I could start an email or work on an excel spreadsheet on my iMac and finish it on my iPhone or iPad ... not a big deal to me. My computer missed the cutoff by a .02 on their build number.

In summary for readers that use Apple products ... the new updates are nice, in my case work well without any program or computer hardware issues. One thing to note is the HD space required on the iPad and iPhone is around 5.6Gb, so some might have to delete some old unused apps, maybe some photos to a different drive, to free up space. On my older iMac I am finding things are moving faster and no "spinning beach balls".

I can't promise it will work smooth for you but I can say on my equipment both OS updates have worked flawlessly.

Yes, I have been using my Nikon D3200 camera almost daily and posting most of those photos on my Flickr account. There is a link on the blog in the upper left called "My Other Photos" if you want to see them. The hounds are great and spend a lot of time outside, except Heidi because she is the Queen of the couch and a true hermit staying inside unless we walk or her short trips for relieving her kidneys. As they say you cannot lead a horse to water, she is free to do as she pleases. After all, she's a basset hound and they are a stubborn bred at times.

I have gone back to Fromm dog food. It cost more than I like but I can see a difference in the hounds when I feed them Fromm food. Family owned for a 100 years, all products are made in the USA and they have never had a recall. They are 1 of 3 dog food companies that deal in just dog food, no other markets.

I'll add more pictures in my next post.

All is good in the 'tropics' of southern Indiana and in retirement.

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