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Evaluating Our Tools

iMac ImageI’ve been a Mac guy pretty much for the past 12 years (please – no ‘Mac vs. PC’ rants: I’ve heard them all) and had been working with a 2008 Macbook Pro. Over the past few weeks/months, I’d noticed that the machine had really begun slowing down, especially since upgrading to Lion, the latest version of the Macintosh operating system. It was taking forever to carry out routine tasks and I was beginning to get frustrated. I performed all of the required computer maintenance, ran various cleanup scripts but the darn thing still chugged along like a locomotive with three broken wheels. I looked into adding additional memory but sadly discovered that 4 gig was as high as I could go.

Now in addition to being a fiction writer, I also write technical manuals so I tend to need quite a bit of computing power. Finally, I decided to break down and get a new computer. But instead of buying directly from Apple’s main online store or one of their retail stores, I thought I’d give their Refurb Store a try. I checked back daily for awhile until a listing finally caught my eye. It was a speedy New iMac that was greatly discounted — almost four hundred dollars less than the list price (the price found on the Apple Store). After hemming and hawing (and fearing the inevitable buyer’s remorse), I finally pulled out my credit card and bought the darn thing.

But I wasn’t finished yet. The machine shipped with only 4 gig of ram (the same amount as my old Macbook Pro). I I headed over to Crucial’s Web Site and purchased 16 gig of ram (it was quite a deal!). A couple of days later, my computer and ram arrived and since I have been one happy camper. I couldn’t help but wonder why I had endured so much frustration for so long? I knew for awhile that it was time to upgrade some of my aging equipment as it was taking me longer and longer to get my work done. I am now considerably more productive with less anxiety.

The moral here is that we need to evaluate our tools from time to me to make sure that they are still working for us. Take a look at what’s out there and see whether it can make your workload a little lighter, a little easier and a little less frustrating. Sometimes, upgrading to the latest version can make all the difference in the world. I know it did for me.

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