New Horse What This?

My old work compy is dead, hail the new work compy. Except… there’s a bit of a learning curve. For years, I have worked on Macs and played on PC’s. It suited me that way. PC’s were prone to unexpected BSOD’s [That’s the Blue Screen Of Death for the those not familiar with shorthand] and the Macs were steadfast, reliable, and capable of chugging along for literal years. Sadly, that is no longer true. Both Mac and PC have reached an equilibrium. A meeting point caused by one side getting slack and the other stepping up their game.

In the switch between Mac and PC there’s a learning curve for me. Sure, I can type like I used to, but there’s a wall of muscle-memory obstacles that are causing me a lot of frustration. Use the “command” key in Apple and you can do just about anything. Use the “command” key in a PC and you get the menu pop-up. This has had an impact on copy-pasting as you may well imagine.

There’s also Dumb Editor Tricks, like “command” and the down arrow to get to the bottom of your document. That doesn’t exist in a PC. It should, but it does not. It’s the same with skipping to the end of the line. The best I can do in a PC editing environment is skip ahead by word or paragraph, and it gets worse in iA Writer, because the skip forward functionality in a PC means “search for the next instance of this word in this situation.” It’s frustrating.

It’s a steep slope, is what I’m saying. Computers, like the horse in the title here, have personalities. Macs are the steady, stable horse that seems to know what you want before you want it. PC’s are the annoying sods who have been trained to only understand Latvian and take every command literally when you only have half an idea of what it meant in the first place.

Unfortunately for me and my budget, Macs have an unfortunate habit of dying too often whilst also being heinously expensive to replace. If they had trade-in capabilities [Bring out your dead! LOL] so you could at least partially cover your new compy bill with the value of your old one, that would be one thing. But no. Macs are now a status symbol because they’ve gone for the upper-class market.

Thoroughbreds trained to seek out and trip in gopher holes, thereby breaking their legs… to stretch a metaphor.

Planned obsolescence has been the bane of my existence for a majority of my life. If I ran the world, I’d make it illegal. Corporations arguing about growth will be made to write lines – “Constant growth is impossible inside a closed system, and this planet is a closed system,” – until they firkin get it.

But hey, these are the same organisations that are fine with literal millions dying if an imaginary line goes up rather than down, so they might be spending a lot of time on those lines. That’s a rant for another blog.

I’ve never been in a situation where I had a great deal of disposable money. My money is almost eternally spoken for, and it’s mostly spoken by other people. Pay the bills, get things for Someone, replace breakages, blah blah blah. Having a work computer that dies within the decade doesn’t fit my budget and PC’s are cheaper to repair or replace than a Mac.

Hells’ bells, I once had a PC that was still operational after fifteen years. It could have debatably been still functional in another twenty, but I wanted a shiny new program with an awesome new graphics capability and that was it. Which might be a subtler form of planned obsolescence, but at least it’s an affordable one.

Which leads me almost-smoothly to the Whining About Millennials and Generation Next/Generation A, whatever the next batch of Young People is going to be called in the Media. Corporations have gone out of their way to hire less people to do more at lower wages for decades… and then they have the unmitigated gall to complain that nobody’s spending any money on luxury items.

When people are running on determination and spit, they’re going to pick the essentials first and say “F that” to literally everything else. I’m not one of those Young People by a long shot [I’m old enough to be many’s grandparental] but I do understand the struggle of choosing between paying the bills and having a meal.

This will not stand. The centre will not hold. The whole upside-down pyramid won’t stay balanced forever and the tipping point is going to come soon.

Hopefully, the corporate bodies will see that and act accordingly. It’s the only way we’ll get through the cascade of crises that caring about an imaginary line has caused.

We can all learn new ways of doing things. Even if it’s cussing softly while we adjust our muscle memory as things go “BOONK” at us in a rude way. Sometimes, to misquote Watterson, progress has to go “BOONK”.

I’m proof that anybody can adjust to new ways of managing. Let’s softly cuss at it together.

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