Monday, February 18, 2008

Mike Rafferty: Comhaltas Video Clip of the Day

Linda & Mike, at the Catskills Irish Arts Festival in July, 2004.

NEWS FLASH: My Irish flute teacher, Mike Rafferty, is the subject of today's Comhaltas Video Clip of the Day! (Comhaltas is a non-profit Irish organization, with local chapters around the world, dedicated to the preservation of traditional Irish music.) In the video Mike performs with his daughter, Mary Rafferty Clancy, and his son-in-law, Donal Clancy. They play two jigs, The Lilting Banshee and another tune he learned from his father, Tom "Barrel" Rafferty. Click on the link below, then sit back and enjoy!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Teetering on the Brink

Well, the sad Lenovo/Windows saga continues (see January 14 and January 19 posts). It started with my decision to give my husband a new laptop PC for Christmas. The Lenovo T61 widescreen Vista ThinkPad was delivered on December 27. Unhappy with Vista, I initiated the return process and ordered a T61 standard screen XP Thinkpad as a replacement. The replacement arrived before the return authorization. With two computers in my possession – and on my credit card -- I steadfastly refused to open the second one, knowing that a factory sealed box would be easily accepted for return if the situation deteriorated further.

While waiting for the return authorization, I started reading about Apple computers. Since the new, ultra-thin MacBook Air was unveiled on January 15, the Mac buzz has been pretty good. While I don’t think I’m going to jump at the MacBook Air, I'm very impressed with latest Mac operating system, OS X Leopard, released in October 26, 2007. Reading about its features, I now can see what Microsoft is trying to do, but they're just not doing it nearly as well as Apple. If you're interested, I recommend Mac OS X Leopard: A Perfect 10 written by Tom Yager, senior analyst for InfoWorld.

I seem to be at a critical juncture. What time commitment do I want to make to technology during the upcoming years? With Vista it looks like I’d need to stay familiar with all the aspects of the operating system so I could monitor and manage it for best performance. With XP the time commitment might be less, but I’d be choosing to remain with a 5-year old operating system I doubt I’d ever want to upgrade! With Leopard, on the other hand, I'd have an initial learning curve but no monitoring or management would be necessary. Additionally, Apple has demonstrated with each operating system upgrade that it knows most users don’t want to spend their time fussing over settings and configurations. I feel like I’m teetering on the brink of conversion to Mac. Very scary indeed...

Wondering how easy or difficult it would be to switch from PC to Mac, I set about checking file compatibility. I was pleasantly surprised to see that my husband’s files are compatible. With Microsoft Office for Mac, I doubt he would need Leopard’s Boot Camp function which allows you to boot up Windows XP on your Mac.

Next I checked price. With my husband's educator discount a MacBook wouldn’t cost any more than one of these Lenovos. Granted, I'd lose a few dollars in shipping and restocking fees and the software I bought to be compatible with Vista. Nothing too outrageous. I'll chalk it up to experience and next time do my research before placing an order.

Sounds like I’m about the take the plunge, doesn’t it?

© 2008, Linda Mason Hood
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