Thursday, January 23, 2014


So, for the benefit of any tech enthusiasts and at the risk of chasing away everyone else, here is what the innards of my iMac looked like when I finally succeeded in the tooth-grindingly difficult operation of opening him up. The diagrams drawn by the Genius who kindly advised me at the Apple store were more or less useless, probably applying to a different Mac model altogether, but with patience, doggedness, brute force and a look at some tech videos on the internet, I managed to work it out and only lost one of the teeny weeny screws  inside the patient. But since he's unlikely ever to recover I suppose it doesn't matter that he's got a loose screw somewhere in his electronic brain.

And here is my hard drive which I succeeded in removing for subsequent plugging into my laptop and copying the files therein.

That's the end of this techy saga, although having to abandon the use of software such as Dreamweaver for uploading my website is still a problem. I'm looking into other alternatives but meanwhile, attention to computer-language has brought out my philosophical, metaphor-seeking tendencies.

For instance: take one of the options under the History menu on the top bar of your browser screen (I assume your browser has some tabs up there? Mine has, whether I use Safari or Firefox or Chrome). One of the items in that menu is:


Isn't that wonderful? With one click we can clear our entire history and start anew, unburdened of our past mistakes and the mistakes anyone else made concerning us, free of all our procrastinations, self-defeating habits and repetitious behaviour. One click and it's all gone!

So all we have to do is to figure out what that metaphorical CLICK means in ordinary, real-life language. What is the trigger in our minds which could instantly set off the CLEARING HISTORY process?

And look at those tabs at the top of your browser again: they are all wonderful advice - think about it:








What  more do you want?

Monday, January 13, 2014


Or, less euphemistically, you're a clapped out, geriatric waste of space. You're a computer. Specifically a Mac. More specifically: my iMac, born 2006.

You don't look old, you look fresh and shiny and well cared for. That's me, your devoted carer, reflected in your screen. But you were programmed to die young and you've had it. Your Motherboard is dead and without that mother-f….r you're an empty carcass. The god Apple who created you doesn't replace vintage mothers. He "doesn't make the parts anymore". There are approved independent engineers who will replace your mother for about £300 but the maximum guarantee they'll give for her longevity is 90 days. Sorry mate.

This is the suitcase in which I carried my sick Mac to hospital last night, the shiny Apple Store on Regent Street.

This is the Apple Store and that's me in the foreground, disguised as Augustine, struggling to push reluctant suitcase into the premises. The store stays open late and my appointment at the Genius Bar was at 7:45 pm. In spite of my anxiety about Mac's health, I must admit that I always enjoy the welcoming ambiance with all those twinkling Apple toys to try out and the blue t-shirted assistants running around smiling and being helpful.

I was lucky since my assigned Genius, who looked about twelve but might have been thirty, was probably the smartest of them all -  several other Geniuses kept coming to him for answers. Not only was he articulate and knowledgeable but he also wholly agreed with me about the outrageousness of built-in obsolescence. Having examined my Mac, held his ear to its chest,  he gave me the verdict which I've anthropomorphised above.

But not all the news were bad: the good news were that Mac's hard drive (with all my files, but not old software) could be removed and then plugged into my laptop and/or a new computer and I could do this myself. He must have been aware of my geekiness because he drew some immaculate how-to diagrams which will allow me to perform the operation at home. This Genius did not try to sell me anything and spent nearly two hours giving me valuable, impartial help free of charge. I had also brought my MacBook laptop and he fixed some functions which were not working properly. So things are not quite as bad as I thought they might be although I will, in due course, have to decide about getting a new desktop. The old version of Dreamweaver, the crucial tool I use to design and upload my website and Blaugustine (the main blog) does not work on more recent Macs, like this laptop. So, for the moment, I'll continue to post only on this Mirror Blog.

Monday, January 06, 2014


A beautiful moment captured on my camera while Tess, one of my grand-nieces, was visiting over the holidays. The cat is Pushkin, also an infrequent but very welcome visitor.

Everyone's gone back home now and I'm bracing myself for non-stop work on the illustrations for the Blaise Cendrars book to be published this year by The Old Stile Press. Howling winds and driving rain make it easy to stay cozily indoors, mind and hand focused on the task. I will try to post some images and progress reports but my computer troubles haven't even begun to be resolved. Can't post anything to the main Blaugustine blog as all the software and files for this are on my dead iMac. A session with the 'geniuses' at the Regent Street Apple store has been booked for next Saturday but I'm not holding my breath.