You know, I’ve always said that one of the things I admire most about a person is when they are happy to say “I don’t know”. I think that says they’re confident enough about what they do know, to be able to admit the boundaries of their knowledge.
In a similar vein I have a lot of respect for people who are happy to admit they’re wrong. And so I will step up to the plate now, and admit that after the feedback I received over the last week from a number of colleagues and acquaintances about my previous post …
I was talking with a friend the other day, about the “prehistoric” days of computing, about things we did in our youth tinkering with PCs, which ignited our interest in computers. And apart from this proving a fascinating “walk down memory lane”, these reminiscences got me thinking about some of the features of modern Operating Systems we take for granted today.
My earliest experience was on an Apple IIe, with a Z80 card installed, which allowed me to run what seemed to me at the time, an incredibly powerful Operating System, CP/M. And the highlight of using CP/M was what I thought was a very sophisticated Word Processor, Wordstar.
For those not familiar with this now ancient program, here’s a fantastic video from Youtube, which provides a quick overview of the use of Wordstar. And although I can’t be certain, given the “naming” of the drive used, I suspect it is actually being launched (very slowly) from a “floppy disk” – and for those who don’t know what they are – yes they’re the things that look like the Save Button in modern programs, that no one uses any more!
On my main office Mac – a 64 GB 2020 i7 iMac – with lots of external drives, I had an unexpected, catastrophic failure a week ago. The sort that after the machine restarts, you get Mac OS saying: “Your machine was restarted because of a problem …” and you get asked to send a report to Apple, etc, etc … From memory, I think that the issue revolved around “kernel panic”. However, as the machine appeared to have come back up fine – it seemed – I didn’t pay that much attention to the issue, and got back to work. But then I noticed that some things weren’t working as expected. And some of my Drives weren’t mapped correctly. What was going on?
Now that so many of us are working from home, new challenges arise in our study or home office. Many will be forced to use two computers – our own, and a computer provided by our employer, because it has a prescribed or controlled operating environment, or connectivity or tools installed. Unless you’ve got a really big desk, or actually like typing on laptop keyboards – does anyone? – it’s going to get very crowded if you need to have separate external keyboards and mice for both machines, so I’ve commonly used KVM (Keyboard / Video Mouse) switches in the past – of varying levels of sophistication.
I use a number of cloud storage providers. One of them is Google Drive, and given my personal productivity platform of choice is mac OS, I’ve been following the various incarnations of Google Drive on that platform. Across several Macs and many versions of OS X and now Mac OS, I’ve used a variety of versions of Drive, and – from memory – I think they’ve been called:
Google Drive – originally
Google Backup and Sync, and now
Google Drive for Desktop
The move back to this latest version of Google Drive for Desktop promises to deliver some really impressive additional features and Google has been advising users to transition to this new version. I began to do that recently, thinking it should be simple. Nothing could be further from the truth.
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