Jason Snell on the new MacBook

The MacBook doesn’t need you to love it, but someone will

Coincidentally, Jason Snell has weighed in at almost the same time as I did on the new MacBook.

Apple shouldn’t build new tech to support people who are reluctant to give up old habits.

That’s a brilliant piece of thinking and writing and while I don’t feel it applies to me, it applies to many.

My questions about the new MacBook are less about the MacBook, more about my computing setup in general. The MacBook appeals to me as an outrigger to an iMac. If I weren’t considering an iMac I’m not sure I’d be considering a MacBook.

But, that brings up an interesting question: how many people will buy and use the MacBook as their only computer? If a person already has a portable computer (like me with a 15″ MacBook Pro) is there still a need for the MacBook as a more portable computing platform.

Maybe. People are attempting to use iPads as their only computing platform and if one can do that, one could use the MacBook as well.

Rooster Rock, Julia King, and a climbing trip that changed my life


I recently scanned over 400 slides. I shot most of them on movie reversal film I bulk rolled to save money. The upside was I saved money. The downside was and is, they’re not in great shape compared with the (few) Kodachrome slides I shot. I recently had them all scanned with ScanCafe and while my slides were a mess (very dirty) the service did a good job on them.

This is the first of many posts telling some of the stories the slides illustrate. What I’ve learned in looking at these scans is that in order to tell a story you don’t need a perfect image, just a good enough image to illustrate the story. Of course, it’s only in retrospect that a story can be built out of images like these. Interesting to think about going forward.


In the late 1970’s I got deeply into rock climbing. I started small and local in Eugene, Oregon and eventually did quite a bit of climbing all over the Northwest and in Yosemite Valley, California. Those were great years and I’ll be posting lots of images from many of the climbs I did back then. I shot most of them with one of two Olympus XA cameras I had back then (a fixed prime lens clamshell compact rangefinder camera).

I taught climbing classes for the Eugene, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and did a bit of private guiding on routes too remote or difficult for classes. In 1981 I dropped out of the climbing scene and pretty much everything else for a while to try to get to the bottom of a problem I’d had my entire life: dyslexia. In those days I wasn’t much of a multi-tasker: I found it difficult to do the work I was doing researching my reading and writing problems and at the same time carry on the rest of my life, so, I stopped everything until I got a handle on the reading and writing problems.

Richard and Olympia typewriter

Richard writing on his Olympia manual typewriter.

One of my most significant early tools was an Olympia manual typewriter. It solved my handwriting problems completely and for the first time in my life I could read my own writing. And, it allowed me to write without pain in my hands from bearing down too hard. But, the typewriter was just the beginning.

Julia King

When I came up for air in 1982 I decided to put an ad up at the local climbing spot that I was guiding again. I needed money and for me, this was a way to make some.

Richard's climbing instruction flyer

Richard’s climbing instruction flier.

Not long after I put up the ad I got a call from a women named Julia King. She had been on a mountaineering expedition on Mt. Jefferson in the Oregon Cascades and had watched as her then boyfriend slid down a snowfield to his death. That had shaken her up so badly that she got out of climbing. She wanted back in and wanted a gentle instructor to take her up a climb to break the ice.

We made a plan to drive up to a climbing spot called The Menagerie which is a collection of odd shaped rock formations in the western foothills of the Oregon, Cascades. The formations have names like Rooster Rock, Chicken Rock, and Hen Rock. The most well known climb there that I’d done numerous times was on Rooster Rock and that’s what Julia and I planned to start off with to see how she did.

Rooster Rock

Rooster Rock

We drove up to The Menagerie and hiked in to Rooster Rock. To be honest, even though I made this trip many times I have no memory of the various logging roads, trails, or route finding to get to this place. But, in those days I knew it all well. I carried a rucksack with a small rack of gear and we probably only brought a single rope as the rappel off of Rooster rock is short on the uphill side.

I have no particular memory of this but it’s a long enough drive so after picking Julia up, we had a few hours in my VW bus to get to know one another. Knowing what I know about her now, my guess is the conversation was wide ranging. Even though I’ve not seen Julia in 25 or more years, she remains one of the most interesting and brilliant people I’ve ever known (my wife has met her and agrees), but, I didn’t know any of this then, just that we were off for a climbing adventure and I was hoping to make it as much fun and as easy as possible for her.

Julia King under Rooster Rock

Julia King sorting slings and flaking rope under Rooster Rock.

The climb was uneventful as I remember it thirty two years later. Julia had climbing experience and knew about rope handling and belaying. Still, she was nervous and that meant I did a lot of talking to reassure her that I was well aware of her and taking good care of us while I led and she followed.

This climb was probably two pitches with a belay on a ledge between them although there are many routes on Rooster Rock and I don’t really remember which one we did. No doubt an easy one.

My foot and Julia King on Rooster Rock

Looking down at Julia belaying while I led the first pitch.

Julia King belaying on Rooster Rock

Julia setting up the belay for the second pitch.

At the top we sat on a ledge and had some food and water and talked both about her experiences climbing in Oregon and trekking in Nepal and my experiences of the past few years coming to terms with dyslexia.

Julia King on top of Rooster Rock

Julia on top of Rooster Rock.

The connection

In our discussion Julia mentioned that she thought that given the types of problems I was having with writing, writing with a computer would solve some problems for me. This wasn’t the first time I’d heard about the effects of editing text electronically, but Julia explained what she thought would make it work for me in a way that was both clear and convincing. She said that her then boyfriend Greg Estes had an IBM PC and I should stop by their house when we got back to Eugene to try writing with it.

I don’t remember talking much more about this on our walk out and drive home. Climbing is an exciting thing to do and the purpose of our trip was to get Julia over her fear and it seemed like we’d done that. She was extremely happy which made me happy. And, I was happy that after a period of time away from climbing I could still climb well and safely lead someone up up a moderate climb. Most importantly, I’d met an amazing person who would remain my close friend for many years to come.

programmer's journal

I can’t remember if I went to their house and tried Greg’s computer that very day or a day later but it was very soon after we returned to Eugene. Greg Estes was a DBase programmer who wrote and published a magazine called Programmer’s Journal which Julia helped edit and lay out. They’d both trekked extensively in Nepal where they met and they were both my kind of people: informal, well informed, easy going, and worldly.

After meeting Greg, he booted up his IBM PC (no hard disk or PC AT yet) and put in a disk with a simple writing program on it. He typed in the command to launch the program and backed away from the computer, leaving a green screen with a flashing cursor and a keyboard.

He told me to sit down and type something out on the keyboard. At this point you should know that even though I could tell right away that there was little chance of humiliating myself in front of these people, I was petrified, not of the computer, but of exposing anyone else to my spelling and writing. Even though I’d spent the previous two years hunting and pecking on a typewriter and my writing had improved tremendously during that time, it was still crude and I was still sensitive about it.

I wish I could remember the first sentence I wrote but it might have been something like, “hello my name is Richard.” Whatever it was I made a few mistakes which was good as it gave Greg something to teach me with. He told me to use the arrow keys to back the cursor up (the term cursor was new to me at that point) and put it just after the problem I wanted to fix, then use the backspace key to delete the problem letter and type the correct letter, fixing the problem.

Anyone reading this in 2014 takes all of this for granted and has for decades, but back then only a small number of people had experienced electronic editing and they tended to be of the nerdy persuasion. Greg talked me through a bit more writing and editing doing a few different things, then he sat down and demonstrated some other things which blew my mind.

We’re talking rudimentary word processing here, nothing fancy. But in those days just a “block move” (cutting and pasting) was a big deal.

Then he and Julia walked out of the room to fix dinner leaving me with the computer and writing software. I continued to experiment and pretty soon formed a thought that has stuck with me to this day:

Writing with a pen or a typewriter is very much like sculpting stone, the consequences of making a mistake involve a complete rewrite. Writing with a computer is very much like working with clay because writing/editing and printing are separate pieces of the process, the consequences of making a mistake are eliminated because the writing remains plastic and editable at all times.

Note: I have both a BFA and an MFA in ceramics and while I was pretty much done with ceramics at that point, working with clay remained and remains an important piece of my life.

I would later go on to write numerous articles about “mistake tolerant tools and processes” comparing older analog tools with their newer digital counterparts. I had a gut feeling about this that very first day but it was unformed, just excitement and wonder.

We had dinner, talked more about it and about lots of other stuff and Greg offered to help me if I decided to get a computer. It was an incredible evening.

In the next few days I went to my local bookstore and did some research and poured through The Whole Earth Catalog which was just beginning to mention computers and got a copy of Peter McWilliams’ The Word Processing Book. In the end, I decided to get an IBM PC, MS DOS and WordStar mostly because I had Greg as a local resource and I really liked him.

Richard and IBM PC

Richard writing with his IBM PC, image by Gary Sharp

Writing with my computer

Once I got set up using my new computer one of the first things I did was a lot of enthusiastic writing on what it was like to write with a computer.

whole earth software reviewsoftalk for IBM PC

I did a piece for The Whole Earth Software Review, Issue #1, Spring, 1984: Word Processing Computers as Remedial Writing Tools. I also did a piece for the June, 1984 issue of Softalk for the IBM PC Personal Computer: Bridge to Clarity, the computer as a compensatory writing tool. And I did various software review pieces for Greg and Julia’s magazine, Programmer’s Journal reviewing various writing and editing software for the IBM PC.

I did a lot of other writing as well, some of which was published in both tech and learning related magazines I’ve long since forgotten.

Here are two later pieces that were posted online describing that early process:

Tools for People With Writing Problems

How computers change the writing process for People with Learning Disabilities

Greg was a member of the Eugene IBM PC user’s group (he may have started it) and I joined up for a while as well.

During this time a woman named Norma Fuller who lived near Anchorage, Alaska read one of my pieces and called me up to see about bringing me up to Alaska to do a series of workshops for a group of dyslexic adults there. I taught there numerous times and made a great connection with her and others in Alaska (that will be another post with more scanned slides).

During the first few years I got involved with computers I was not only writing about my experience as a dyslexic writing with a computer, I was also trying out lots of writing and spelling/grammar support software which was pretty crude in those days compared with what it’s like now. During one of my trips to a computer store in Eugene, I got to play around with Apple’s new Lisa computer. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it but it was definitely interesting. At $10,000 it was far out of my reach but it did get me thinking about another way of using these new tools.

IBM PC to Macintosh

In mid-1984, Greg and I decided to go down to San Francisco to attend the West Coast Computer Faire. Greg was trying to drum up new subscribers to Programmer’s Journal and I was always up for a trip to San Francisco and I’d never been to a computer trade show which were relatively new.

I don’t remember much about the trade show except that at some point I lost Greg and stumbled into Apple Computer, Inc’s booth which consisted of a fifteen foot 128K Macintosh with a projector in it such that a person operating a real Macintosh on a podium off to the side could demonstrate on it. The Macintosh had recently been introduced so it was new but the booth, amazingly, wasn’t all that crowded.

The person running the demo was Andy Hertzfeld and much of the first Macintosh team was hanging out in the booth, including Steve Jobs who I recognized immediately.

I watched the demo for a bit, then I walked up to Jobs and told him I was planning another trip to Alaska to work with adults with learning disabilities, I was taking twenty Compaq computers and I thought it would be great to have a Macintosh along so that we could see what LD adults could do with its mouse and graphical user interface.

Jobs loved the idea, called Mike Murray over (Murray was the first marketing manager for the Macintosh at Apple) and told him to send me a Macintosh immediately. Jobs gave me his card (with AppleLink email address) and told me to get back to him with whatever happened in Alaska.

I eventually found Greg and told him what had happened. In those days it was still possible to meet Steve Jobs in an Apple trade show booth and while it sounds amazing in retrospect, I did have small a sense of how important that encounter was. But, I had no sense of what was to come: my eventual migration from PC to Mac, starting the Eugene Macintosh User’s Group, presenting at numerous conferences for Apple on the Macintosh and LD in the next 6 months, moving to Connecticut to start the first Mac lab in the country for dyslexic high school students (with Apple’s backing), writing, editing, and publishing The Macintosh Lab Monitor with international circulation (also with Apple’s backing), meeting my wife at that school, continued consulting for Apple for the next twenty years, a few more meetings with Steve Jobs, many hundreds of workshops and presentations on the Macintosh in education all over the world, and much more.

Julia King, Richard Wanderman

Julia and Richard after the Rooster Rock climb.


Looking at these pictures of Julia and me on that climb brings back a flood of memories and what’s almost telescopic about it all is that the tool I’m writing this on and viewing the digital images on (a computer) is one that she helped lead me to and one that she and Greg were very early adopters of. They were both out in front of the digital revolution. I caught up fast but these two people were my introduction.

Julia also taught me how to make “sherpa tea” (she guided treks in Nepal before we met) and to this day I think of her when I make it. Of course, like many things, she was out in front of the wave: now chai is everywhere but back then…

Wherever you are Julia, thank you. You too Greg.

Susan Kare, iconographer

Susan Kare, Iconographer (EG8) from EG Conference on Vimeo.

Designer Susan Kare does a presentation at a conference. She’s a brilliant designer and I’ve been looking at her work since 1984 (the first Mac).

May: 2014, Susan Kare walks us through some key points regarding the design of icons and symbols. Kare is an artist and designer and pioneer of pixel art; she created many of the graphical interface elements for the original Apple Macintosh in the 1980s as a key member of the Mac software design team, and continued to work as Creative Director at NeXT for Steve Jobs.

Europe in 8 Bits

Europe In 8 Bits – Opening Titles from Device on Vimeo.

Europe in 8 Bits is a documentary that explores the world of chip music, a new musical trend that is growing exponentially throughout Europe. The stars of this musical movement reveal to us how to reuse old video games hardware like Nintendo’s GameBoy, NES, Atari ST, Amiga and the Commodore 64 to turn them into a tool capable of creating a new sound, a modern tempo and an innovative musical style. This is a new way of interpreting music performed by a great many artists who show their skills in turning these “limited” machines designed for leisure in the 80’s into surprising musical instruments and graphical tools. It will leave nobody indifferent.

[via Devour]

Craig Hickman

The Macintosh computer is 30 years old today and Apple has some great images and stories up at their web site commemorating this birthday: Macintosh at 30.

My old friend and colleague Craig Hickman who’s a professor in the digital arts program at the University of Oregon (where I taught) and wrote the popular program Kid Pix, was featured today on the Apple web site as an important contributor to the Macintosh’s evolution.

Making art kid-friendly

Kid Pix was and remains incredible, but Craig wrote lots of software including an amazing virtual camera that ran on the 128K Mac. Here’s Craig’s online version of Virtual Camera.

For more on the evolution of Kid Pix check out: Kid Pix – The Early Years.

Congratulations Craig.

iPad Air

A little over a week ago I wrote a speculative piece on Personal disruption. This post is a continuation of that thinking.

First, let me say that I’m known for getting a bug in my head, buying something, then getting a gut feeling its not working out, changing my mind, and returning it. This is true with hiking boots, packs, computers, cameras, clothing, and anything that I use daily and means something to me. Things that I’ve kept too long to return I sell on Amazon or give away. I don’t like to put up with things that don’t absolutely please me. My wife thinks I’m borderline (or not so borderline) OCD because I like some silverware better than some other silverware in our silverware drawer but the fact is, we have a bit of Dansk silverware mixed in with other stuff and it has a better feel to my hand, so I choose it.

The short of it is, I notice details and I’m picky.

Lest you think the Dansk name drop makes me a brand snob, my favorite butter knife is an old tarnished piece of plated silverware I got at a tag sale for ten cents twenty years ago; it’s less about brand, more about feel and usability but in fact, some brands (Dansk, Patagonia, Apple) combine great feel and usability with great design. Doesn’t mean they can’t flop and I don’t like everything Patagonia makes, but I do have the sense that they care about design and usability.

iPad mini
After using the $299 16GB iPad mini exclusively for a week (avoiding my iPad 3) I decided that the weight of earlier full-size iPads was affecting the way I used them: less weight=more use and the size of the mini (in addition to its light weight) was affecting how I carried it around and used it.

By the way, this has proved true with cameras for me too, my current camera of choice is a compact Ricoh GR and I use it for everything having unloaded my entire DSLR rig over a year ago. Too much weight, no matter how good the images, means less use.

I wasn’t sure I’d be comfortable reading everything I like to read on the iPad mini’s screen, some web sites are too small on that screen to be fully accessible, even when opened in Safari directly in landscape and when scanning sites that open up in windows on top of Tweetbot, Twitterific, Reeder, Mr. Reeder or Feedly, accessibility in iOS and on a small screen becomes near impossible.

There is an interesting relationship between size/weight and readability and as one gets older and one’s eyes get weaker, readability starts to trump size and weight. A retina screen can only go so far in making very small text readable or a very small button on screen pushable.

But, even though I wasn’t sure about the mini (because of a few instances of tough readability) I decided to go ahead and recycle my iPad 3 as there was no going back; it felt like a brick compared with the mini and my future was either a mini or a new Air.

I set up the recycling of the iPad 3 with Apple, reset it and put it aside with cable and charger.

I noted that even with the small, 16GB mini I could get all of my various apps, a bit of music, a few pictures and four ripped DVDs on it which is more than enough to fly across the country with. So, I was content to sit tight with the “old” mini, maybe skipping the new iPad Air and the upcoming retina iPad mini but certainly in no rush to buy anything right now.

I’m writing this on a MacBook Pro and no matter what kind of iPad I ended up with I like a hardware keyboard for this type of writing so any iPad I get doesn’t have to do this job, although any iPad could do this job.

It felt good to have made this kind of decision although my wife kept waiting for me to change my mind, sell the mini and regret recycling the iPad 3. I didn’t turn the iPad 3 back on, however, I did have second thoughts about the mini as I ran into readability issues and watched a part of a movie on it and noticed that I missed the bigger screen for movie watching.

iPad Air
There I sat for most of last week and while I didn’t lose any sleep over this decision, I knew I had to at least get my hands on an iPad Air to see what they were like.

Anne and I planned a shopping trip to Trader Joe’s and Costco in Danbury and since the Danbury Mall is close, we decided to stop into the small Apple store there and check out the iPad Air together.

By this time my iPad 3 was on its way back to Apple and I had about $200 left on an Apple gift card from recycling my iPhone 4S a while back. I decided even if I wanted the Air, I’d wait until the iPad 3 cleared so I could apply that gift card to a new purchase. In other words, I went into the store attempting to not buy anything, just to get a sense of what the iPad Air was all about.

Before we went I used Apple’s online tool to make sure the Danbury Apple store had what I might want in stock: 64GB “space gray” iPad Air. They did.

We walked into the store, some nice Apple sales people directed us to a table of iPad Airs and we each parked in front of one. I picked it up, looked at Anne and she looked at me and we knew Apple had hit a sweet spot with this version of the iPad. It was less a matter of weight relative to anything else, it was more a matter of the feel of it. I hadn’t even turned it on yet but I could tell immediately that this thing had the right feel.

The iPad Air looks and feels like a big iPad mini. If you like the mini you owe it to yourself to experience the Air before buying a retina mini. It’s about the same height as other full size iPads and a bit narrower and quite a bit thinner. The edges and bezels feel great in hand, just like a mini (which feels great in hand).

Before I actually used the Air, I pulled out my mini (with a third party cover on it) and held it in one hand, the Air in the other. The weight difference was negligible. I gave the mini to Anne and she agreed. Yes, the size of the Air affects how it feels: holding it in a corner as you might a book will put more weight away from your hand relative to the smaller mini but compared with the older iPads this is much less of a problem.

Anne ran the Maps app, got into satellite mode and started panning around. She was amazed at how fast the Air processed information.

I ran Safari, went to this web site and read some text in both the body and the sidebar. Then I went to other sites I browse daily to see how readable the text would be for me. This is all with no changes in the OS, just as-is on the Apple display table.

I’ve noticed that the iPhone 5S is incredibly fast relative to the 4S I had before. The 4S was totally fine, a great phone and mine got a lot of use but when you know a tool will bog down in certain places you avoid going to those places. The iPhone 5S doesn’t bog down anywhere and neither does the iPad Air. They both share the same A7 processor and it’s a significant improvement in Apple’s new iOS devices.

I used as many of the demo apps as I could, opened a lot of web pages, turned the Air off completely and booted it up and within five (5!) minutes I knew I’d be walking out with one.

I looked at Anne and she agreed, it was a no-brainer, not even close.

Since Apple has retail stores in Connecticut there’s no reason to avoid buying something like this locally, there’s no way to avoid sales tax and they had the configuration I wanted in stock.

I waved an Apple sales person over, told him I wanted a 64GB space gray iPad Air with AppleCare and a black Smart Case (the full cover case). He got the boxes, scanned my gift card off of Passbook (we should have used the Apple retail app which I also have), ran my credit card for the balance and we were out of the store.

The entire store experience was about ten minutes, maybe twelve but not much more.

We got home, I got the Air set up and started a sync to load it up with my stuff and I went out to work on leaves (my least favorite chore, even with a backpack blower). When I got back inside and showered I put the Smart Cover on and made sure all of my stuff had synced over.

First, the Smart Cover is absolutely fantastic. If you have an iPhone 5S and have experienced Apple’s leather case for it (Anne and I love the iPhone case) then you’ll appreciate what Apple has done with this Smart Cover. It fits like a glove, protects the back, has a decent hinge, and the cover can act as a stand. It’s expensive relative to third party options but I have no regrets, it feels great and doesn’t add much to the size and weight of the iPad Air.

The iPad Air itself really is everything I experienced in the Apple store: it’s fast, it’s light, and it feels of a piece. The retina screen is incredible, seemingly better than my retina iPad 3. Not only do I have no regrets about having made this extremely fast and seemingly impulsive decision, I’ve already reset the mini and its on its way back to Apple through their recycling program.

The mini showed me that my older iPad was a brick and I wasn’t using it as much as I could because of this. But, the older mini still used the same older processor that the iPad 3 and 4 used and while its fast enough, it’s slow compared with an iPad Air or the newer retina mini coming out soon. So, while the mini is a great size for travel and I considered keeping it in addition to the Air, I have a most excellent iPhone 5S that can be used on trains and other places where any iPad would be too big or non-cellular iPads would be unconnected.

When Apple released the first iPad it was apparent that this tool was going to be disruptive but because it was a new way to work for many of us who are serious computer users we may have been considering it as an iPod-like appendage. As Apple has slimmed it down, added a retina screen, and upgraded its processor and speed, the disruption has continued apace. The iPad Air certainly tips the iPad into complete computer replacement for many people. This is significant.

I’ve now had the iPad Air for three days and have absolutely no regrets at all. I’m glad I bought a mini and set it up to see how it would affect my work patterns as it led me directly to the Air. I might have bought an Air otherwise considering it’s a natural upgrade from an iPad 3 but the mini was an itch I had to scratch and I’m glad I did.

Looking at spec sheets on weight and size and online unboxing videos doesn’t do it. If you’re an iPad user you really need to get your hands on the iPad Air. I’d go further: with Apple’s 14 day no-questions asked return policy, just buy one, sync your stuff onto it and try it out for real. My guess is you won’t be returning it.

The Computer Backup Rule of Three

The Computer Backup Rule of Three

Scott Hanselman’s rationale is excellent. I don’t follow all of it but the post and the comments following are all worth reading.

If you don’t back up your computer or your mobile devices you’re looking for trouble, simple as that. Hard disks fail and short of that, operating systems fail.

What I do:

1. I have two external bus-powered, small, portable LaCie firewire 800 drives that I use SuperDuper! with to back up my entire computer.

On day 1 I use SuperDuper! back up to drive 1 and put it in a fireproof box in our basement.

On day 2 I use SuperDuper! to back up to drive 2 and when it’s done I take it to the basement and swap it with drive 1 which comes back up stairs and goes in my desk drawer.

On day 3 I back up over drive 1 (using SuperDuper!’s “smart backup” to just update the new stuff, etc.), then take it to the basement and swap it with drive 2 in the fireproof box.

I repeat this daily, even if I don’t use my computer for anything significant. This way I don’t think about what’s backed up when, I just know that the most I could lose is a day of work.

2. At the same time I’m doing my SuperDuper! backups I’m doing twice a day Time Machine backups onto another LaCie external hard disk (a bigger one to hold the growing Time Machine collection of days).

3. The only cloud backup I have isn’t really backup, it’s iCloud and it’s just my contacts, my email, my calendar, and a few other things. I use gmail (cloud based) and have a .me mail account (cloud based) so my email lives outside of my house.

I’ve been using this method for years and it’s saved my bacon numerous times.

The important thing to consider in both backing up and in deciding which methods you want to use is this: If your computer dies or is stolen, how fast can you be back up and in business. My SuperDuper! cloned backups will boot any modern Macintosh and so, all I have to do is boot my wife’s MacBook Pro with the most recent of my backup drives and that computer is essentially mine with all of my stuff exactly the way it was when I backed it up. Then, I can go to an Apple store, buy a new MacBook Pro (or have mine fixed if it’s fixable) and use SuperDuper! to backup back over it, or, leave the new native system on it and migrate all of my stuff back.

There is no perfect method for doing this stuff, the important thing is to do it and work out a method that works for you and that you’ll use on a regular basis.

Mountain Lion’s new document model explained

The Very Model of a Modern Mountain Lion Document

Matt Neuburg does an outstanding job of describing Apple’s new document model in Mountain Lion, how it improves upon Lion and how both of them are vastly different from document models in earlier versions of Mac OS.

I’ve been struggling with “Save,” Save As…” and auto save since the Lion upgrade and while I’m not completely comfortable with the new model in Mountain Lion, reading Matt’s piece enabled me to make the changes in my System Preferences General Pane that I need to to feel comfortable, for the time being.

All of this is OS X being influenced by iOS, for better, worse, or who knows?

These are the details that Mac and to a lesser extent iOS users sweat over and I’m glad of that. Apple sweats over them too and that’s what makes this stuff work so well.

Fascinating time to be using these tools.