Nemo Memo Guest Essay – Joyce Hardin
Joyce Hardin, who moved to Tucson from Philadelphia in 1973, is a retired writer and editor. In Philadelphia she worked for the American Friends Service Committee and was Managing Editor for the national Quaker publication Friends Journal. In Tucson, her major work was as editor of the Pima County employee newspaper. Hardin also was a member of the collective that published five editions of New West Trails (Tucson People’s Yellow Pages) between 1974 and 1980. She is an active board member and participant in Tucson Macintosh Users Group
“Where Do I Go From Here?”
When I first met my iMac three and a half years ago, I could not imagine the investment I would need to make to feel at home in the virtual world — an investment not only of money, but also, to my surprise, lots more time than I ever could have imagined. I encountered a greater challenge than any I had experienced in a long time. I was equally unprepared for the returns I would receive from this investment; however, temptations lurk at every turn.
Early in my Macintosh life I discovered TMUG, the Tucson Macintosh User Group. Naturally this group proved a resource for ongoing learning basics and more advanced information, as well as a contact point for tutors, great deals and exposure to the latest products. And, best of all, in this Microsoft-dominated world I enjoyed becoming one of the true believers: a Macintosh addict.
Addictions present their victims with frequent temptations. When I hear about operating system upgrades, improved storage media, or intriguing applications, I must consider whether or when I can afford them and how significantly they will improve my quality of life. And, am I ready to take the time to learn how to use them properly?
On the plus side: learning computer skills is fabulous mental exercise. When I realize the extent to which I am committed to physical exercise, with its attendant costs of time and (sometimes) money, I acknowledge the importance, as I age, of keeping my mind as fit as my body.
There’s another aspect of my time expenditure these days as compared to my pre-computer routine. The Internet can be a tremendous time sink. I have subscribed for free to several email newsletters, most of which offer intriguing links to explore.
Three and a half years ago when my iMac came home with me I had no idea that I would find myself “budgeting” at least an hour every day (often two hours) for reading and acting on email. And if I wander into a challenging or complicated website, I can easily lose sight of time. What amazing sources of information! What convenient and diverse shopping opportunities!
As a retired person with a little bit of income available for “play” (but not a lot), I spend more time online than I would need to if I had a high-speed connection. This is one of a number of financial decisions (some already mentioned) that affect my computer life.
Looming ever closer is my need (or is it desire?) to upgrade to a newer operating system. Since I am not one of those people who can intuitively make this leap unaided or without recognizing the learning curve I require to absorb new computer habits, I again confront upcoming time/money decisions.
I realize I should be prepared to evaluate my peripherals — possibly with the help of an expert — to find out how I can get the most from upgrading to the latest operating system. At the same time, I feel it might make sense to get a new computer to take advantage in the most cost-effective technology now available that I did not even dream of when first I entered this brave new world.
My new challenges are: 1.) to avoid feeling superior to dear friends who cannot imagine why my computer life is so important to me; 2.) to avoid disparaging my friends who have not yet entered the true faith to become Macolytes.
What a great experience so far!