Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Insert Knob A into Hole B...

...with all due respect to Isaac Asimov. If you have not read his story whose title this entry borrows - please do.

Sometimes I need to remind myself how much of a geek I am. My Mac Mini, which I use for writing and little else, was woefully short of memory - although I had doubled the base amount when I bought it.

But then, there was the upgrade to the operating system, the imposition (sorry, installation) of Microsoft's Word program, and sundry other writing tools. I suppose the final straw was a speech recognition program - because typing in sixty thousand words takes longer than writing them by hand in the first place. At least for me.

Apple didn't make the Mac Mini (the vintage I own) particularly easy to upgrade. The genius at the Apple Store suggested I find instructional videos on the web - and watch them two to three times before attempting anything.

I procrastinated, as I do, but finally took the plunge. On foot of a special offer from a discount web store I must admit, else I'd still be procrastinating. Waiting turned out to be good as firmware upgrades and the declining price of memory meant I was able to take my Mini from 2GB to 8GB for surprisingly little. Hardly such a mini now.

The video I found online was excellent. Detailed, descriptive, not too frightening. Far from Asimov's "blurred and ambiguous" instructions. Still, removing a casing with a putty knife, lifting out an entire drive assembly, popping out the existing memory, reassembling everything and having the machine still work (somewhat more rapidly given the additional memory)...it seems the boy's still got it! Whatever "it" actually is.

With the new, more speedy, computer I was able to create my revised Assignment 1 for my novel-writing course. Two novel ideas, describing who, where, what, etc. The first of the ideas has a beginning, middle and end. Two of each as it turns out. Let's see what my Instructor thinks of that.

The second has an end also - it's in the second book of the series. The first book does come to a conclusion - somewhat in the spirit of those end-of-season cliffhangers TV series. I mentioned, in the letter accompanying the assignment, that I am half way through creating another story (some thirty thousand words into it) so we have a fallback position if needed.

It'll be interesting to see what comes back in the next couple of weeks.


  1. You're brave...I wouldn't want to open a laptop and spill its guts. :)

  2. I'd probably electrocute myself or blow the thing up. Or both.

  3. I come by these abilities late. My father was most impressed some years ago to hear of my replacing the motherboard of a computer - and have the whole thing still work when I'd finished. There a tale of the adventure of it to be told, but some other time.

    I recall him trying, when I was quite young, to teach me about electricity. He failed at few things. That was one. He taught my sister instead. She made a much better student.