A fresh start

My new laptop

Last week I got my new laptop. My new glasses also came in. I am thrilled to see through glasses without scratches. Such a joy. The optometrist told me that my right eye has gotten a little worse since my cataract surgery pre COVID. But my left eye is the same. I’ve always had trouble with the right eye not being able to focus due to a hole in my retina. I think it’s congenital and I’ve had it checked through the years and it hasn’t gotten any worse. Thank goodness!

Here’s the deal. With my new computer and better vision I have started on draft number two of my manuscript that disappeared off my old laptop. I’ve roughed out a chapter outline and worked on my characters to add more depth. It was a manuscript I wrote for NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month where you write 50,000 of a rough draft in the month of November.

I put off working on rewriting the draft until the new computer came in. Files continued to disappear from my old laptop. I didn’t have the desire or energy to get all worked up if I happened to lose another draft.

Which reminds me. I need to order a new back up drive!

Are you working on any new or old projects that you’re excited about? What are they?

My new glasses without scratches in my line of vision!

I had to laugh…

macbook air grey logo on laptop
Photo by Marc Mueller on Pexels.com

I did it. I ordered a new MacBook Air. After losing files due to some software glitch, I tried to update the operating system on my current machine. I was given a message that there wasn’t enough memory. So I’m stuck with the glitch.

I called my computer expert (my son) and he informed me the amount of storage on my MacBook Air was less than what he had on his phone. With more files disappearing including my manuscript from NaNoWriMo (I wrote about that HERE) I was feeling desperate.

I went back and forth on which laptop to buy — the MacBook Pro or Air. How much RAM and storage. I finally settled on the Air and maxed it out. I like the light weight of the Air compared to the heaviness of the Pro.

Anyway, the only thing that was available immediately was the standard MacBook Air, which I knew wouldn’t last long due to not enough memory. I’ve been waiting patiently for a couple weeks for my souped up laptop to arrive. I got an email that it will arrive today.

I had to laugh.

Did you see the announcement from Apple? They are introducing a BRAND SPANKING NEW MacBook Air that is lightyears and decades superior to the one I’m getting today. But of course.

It has a better chip, more RAM, a better screen — better everything.

Oh well. I don’t care. I just want my work to be backed up, And not to have my work disappear before my very eyes. I did get an email from Apple that they lowered the price on my new computer and will refund me the difference. So there’s that.

What are your thoughts about Apple and how they roll out new products?

Screenshot of the brand new MacBook Air introduced this week.

Not to dwell…

The baby quail are delightful to watch. They get my mind off the unpleasant.

So. Apple contacted me at 7 a.m. yesterday. Just like they said they would. However the news was not good. At least the customer service was excellent with the tech keeping his word on when he’d call. He followed up with me several times throughout the process.

If you missed my post yesterday you can read it HERE to learn what happened.

“It looks like they have recovered all available files that could be recovered. They also stated that they will have no other ways to recover the data if it is still 
missing,” he said.

I looked through my computer to see what files they were able to recover. I noticed three and four copies of the files already there. So now I have a mess to clean up.

I felt a mourning loss for my work. I don’t look forward to my next newsletter that I have to start without the use of the two published newsletters to use as templates.

My son told me something I’ve never heard before. Ernest Hemingway lost 10 years of his work. It was all in one briefcase that he left on a train in France.

I’m not the only one to lose a manuscript. And it happened before computers and the cloud. Who knew?

“Did you know that D.H. Lawrence never edited his drafts?” My son told me. “He threw it out if he didn’t like it and started over.”

He told me to look at my NaNoWriMo missing manuscript as an opportunity, not a loss.

Thinking about that, he may be right. I get too married to my first rough draft. I make little edits here and there on later drafts, but I never get to the meat of throwing out scenes or restructuring my plot. I’ve submitted manuscripts to agents and publishers and have gotten interest. I’ve been given suggestions and have been asked for rewrites. But, after I resubmitted, I’d hear that I didn’t go far enough.

Do you find the silver lining in your mishaps? When life gives you lemons, do you make lemonade? Can you give an example?

Have you seen the hilarious autocorrects?

Example of an autocorrect taken from the internet.

My husband and I laugh over the many autocorrects on texts that are posted on the internet. Some are so funny!

But when autocorrect happens to me, it’s really annoying. It mostly happens when I type too fast.

I saw an article in the Wall Street Journal called “Autocorrect Explained: Why Your iPhone Adds Annoying Typos While Fixing Others.” Tpying truble? During the iPhone’s first 15 years, its keyboard software has evolved, but it still sometimes flubs your lines. Here’s how it works and what you can do about it, by Joanna Stern.

Here’s an excerpt:

I get it, complaining about autocorrect feels very 2000-and-late. Yet here in 2022, nearly 15 years since the iPhone’s debut, Apple’s AAPL -0.15%▼ smart typing software can still make us want to break the Guinness World Record for phone throwing. The system still introduces annoying—OK, sometimes hilarious—typos, misspellings and grammatical errors. Perhaps even more than ever before.

But before I git into thast, allow me to make a pont. Go itnto hour iPhone settings and turn off autocrrct. Yeaaasah. Good lyuck typig without it!

If you didn’t catch that, I turned off autocorrect for a day and barely lived to tell the tale. Within minutes, it was clear how much the software is saving us from ourselves.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/autocorrect-explained-why-your-iphone-adds-annoying-typos-while-fixing-others-11651051891?mod=wsjhp_columnists_pos2

The reporter explains what autocorrect is and how it works. That’s something I’ve never thought about. You would think about 15 years of iphones, the bugs would be worked out. If you have access to the Wall Street Journal, this is a very interesting article with lots of detail and information.

Here’s what Stern says about that:

Here’s what’s going on. When you type, the autocorrect algorithms are trying to figure out what you mean by looking at various things, including where your fingers landed on the keyboard and the other words in the sentences, while comparing your word fragment to the words in two unseen dictionaries:

• Static Dictionary: Built into iOS, this contains dictionary words and common proper nouns, such as product names or sports teams. There were over 70,000 words in this when the first iPhone launched and it’s gotten bigger since then.

• Dynamic Dictionary: Built over time as you use your phone, this consists of words that are unique to you. The system looks at your contacts, emails, messages, Safari pages—even the names of installed apps.

“The static dictionary and the dynamic dictionary would be in a little bit of a battle with each other,” Mr. Kocienda said. The software is designed to break the tie, he added, but it doesn’t always pick what you would pick.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/autocorrect-explained-why-your-iphone-adds-annoying-typos-while-fixing-others-11651051891?mod=wsjhp_columnists_pos2

Have you had problems with autocorrect? What is one of the funniest or worst autocorrects you’ve had? Do you read the hilarious autocorrect fails online?

Is There Something Apple Isn’t Telling Us?

One of our earlier Macs.

One of our earlier Macs.

I never realized how much I depended on my iPhone, until it went down!  It’s almost like missing a good friend. I’ve written about my relationship with technology in a blog post here.

My son called to tell me he finally got new tires. After a nice talk, I put the phone down and next time I picked it up I discovered a white screen with the Apple logo. (Which reminds me of a funny video called, “Put Your Phone Down!” — by Smog and Fog, the Whole Foods and Yoga Girl guy.)

Not good. I got the phone in March, so I knew it was still under warranty. I backed it up when it acted skittish a few weeks ago. I wasn’t panicked because I knew I wasn’t losing anything irreplaceable.

This looks like the very first Mac I owned.

This looks like the very first Mac I owned.

The only thing I was truly suffering from was inconvenience.  I got online and tried a bunch of technical fixes from Apple Support like updating and restoring. Repeatedly. Nothing worked. I drove to AT&T where I bought it to see if they could do anything. Nope.

I had no choice but to go to Apple and visit the Genius Bar. The only problem was the next available appointment was five days away! I went ahead and made the appointment. What other choice did I have?

During the next days, I checked myself every time I reached for my phone. I posted on FB that I was phone-less in the off chance someone needed to reach me. I still have a home phone, email, etc. My morning walks were without my iHeart radio. I couldn’t take photos of the beauty during my morning walks, nor post to insta. I couldn’t tweet. What on earth was a person to do?

What we used before computers.

What we used before computers.

I decided not to wait for my appointment. Instead I drove to Palm Desert, which is 30 miles away, to the Apple store before it opened this morning. Was I shocked to see 50 people standing in line on the sidewalk!

“Oh, great,” I thought. “I pick the day they release the iPhone 6s to get my phone looked at!”

But, no, standing in line, feeling the camaraderie that happens when you’re waiting with strangers, I discovered that the new iPhone won’t be in stores for about a week. People I talked with had the same white screen with the Apple logo on their iPhone 6. This cannot be good. What the heck is going on? Is there something that Apple isn’t telling us? Is it the upgrade to iOS 9? 

When my hour and 45 minute wait was over and I got a coveted stool at the Genius bar, my “appointment genius” couldn’t answer my questions.

My favorite typewriter. The IBM Selectric II.

My favorite typewriter. The IBM Selectric II.

“It could be because of anything,” he said. “No, it’s not an upgrade glitch.”

Hmmmm. I glanced up and down the Genius bar at all the frozen phones. Interesting.

The best thing I can say about this adventure is this: the customer service at Apple is amazing. I walked away with a new phone, feeling thankful to have my friend, iPhone 6, back in my daily life.

Has anyone else had their iPhone freeze this week?

I wonder if the world as we know it would come to a halt, if there was a truly huge Apple glitch? What does that say about how dependent we are on technology and electronics?

It's back!

It’s back!