Never Too Old For A Mac

My parents have been staying with us for the last 10 days which has given me the chance to see my dad and his PowerBook in use close up!

Long before I bought the PowerBook for myself I used to go to the Apple store in Tampa every time I was over visiting my parents, and I couldn’t help noticing that my father, a lifetime reluctant shopper, not only enjoyed going, but couldn’t stop talking about the whole Apple experience. During one of our visits he even bought an iPod for my Mum, who now has a 3G iPod and a 2G iPod Shuffle.

I am not sure who was the most excited when I opened the PowerBook for the first time, but I did have a suspicion that one day he might be doing it himself.

Roll forward 20 months and I have been proven right! 4 months ago he bought my PowerBook from me and I bought a second Mac mini and a MacBook. He even flew over from the UK for 3 days to have some lessons and get used to it. Back home I have heard hardly a peep from him support wise (not something I can say about his Window using days I can assure you) and he very quickly hooked it up to his 42″ screen in the lounge to view his pictures.

A month ago he bought one of the Mac mini’s off me and he now has that set up as a dedicated media hub connected to his 42″ screen, controlled by the Apple Remote (using Mira) and using the wireless Mighty Mouse and Apple keyboard. He picks up his data off the PowerBook over his wireless network, and with the aid of the iSight we iChat over video pretty much every day. I have lost track of the amount of times he has called to show his friends how it all works. And you know what I don’t mind at all!

This trip he has fallen in love with the dual screen concept so is taking back with him a spare connector so that he can hook up an old VGA screen to his PowerBook. Oh yes, he has also bought my old Camcorder off me and has been playing around with iMovie. It has been great to see, and he is thoroughly loving it all. He even told me how excited he was unpacking the Mac mini, keyboard and mighty mouse!!!

Must be that “Mac thing” but I am as proud as it is possible to be of the way at the age of 74 he has embraced this and how much satisfaction it gives him – thanks Apple!

50 thoughts on “Never Too Old For A Mac

  1. Danny

    Your never too young either πŸ˜‰
    Any of you tried going back to windows recently? You really see why its easier for guys not so computer literate to use a mac.

  2. Dunks

    I get to sit in my classroom and stare at 31 Dells running XP all day every day – still, sat in prime location on my desk is the beautiful silver laptop, apple logo glowing away.

    My parents are both looking at upgrading their computers and I am working hard to convince them to go apple. My sister has them now so I am using that as a bargaining tool.

  3. Danny

    Ive tried the parents but theyre not having any of it. My dad is an accountant (*yawn*) and this therefore means he lives and breathes Excel (I swear he isnt really that dull). Ive tried every angle (including the bootcamp and parallels attack) as well as dragging him into an Apple store!
    Looks like a mac only household just aint gonna happen.

  4. Dunks

    Only ever had the joy of this once – did an upgrade but very seriously thinking of doing a clean install this time round as a way of decluttering etc, only reinstalling apps I really want etc. If I could get some cheap RAM I’d do the upgrade there as well. As I said, old Powerbook is starting to creak a little.

  5. Danny

    Il have it πŸ˜‰ been meaning to get the MacBook up to 2GB. Its sitting at 1.25GB at the mo. Could always use more RAM πŸ˜€

  6. Danny

    Hmm I would say whoever needs it more. I dont want to take away from a mac user in need!
    How much RAM are you running Dunks?

  7. Gary

    > the question is are you a upgrade person or a clean install person?

    Clean install – no question. Yes it takes a bit longer, but it’s just so much “safer”. And, as noted, you get the chance to do a good “house cleaning” while you’re at it.

    @Danny – I wonder if the PowerBook G4 RAM would work in the newer MacBook? I don’t think so… Check it out here for PowerBooks and here for MacBooks.

  8. Danny

    @Gary – Id imagine theyde both be the standard 667 MGHz, but hey well see, if Dunks is interested before I chase further πŸ˜‰

  9. Danny

    Chris your site is now clearly an eBay competitor aswell as a Facebook!! Your rich!! :p

  10. Dunks

    @Danny: Check out if it will fit your Macbook – if so go for it Danny. If not, I’ll chat to Chris.

    @Chris: Ta for the offer – see above!

    @All: Can you mix RAM safely, eg: I currently have 2 x 512Mb. Back in the day you had to be careful on PC to put matching sizes in eg: 2 x 1Gb etc. Would a Powerbook run ok on 1 x 1Gb & 1 x 512Mb?

  11. Danny

    Supposedly you suffer a loss in speed with miss-matched RAM but my MacBook is currently on 1x 1GB and 1x 256MB. It runs absolutely fine.
    Will check the specs πŸ˜€

  12. Dunks

    @Gary: Interesting to see someone else see the potential benefits of clean install.

    My biggest worry last time was not having all my serial numbers to hand so risking loosing software. I grabbed a copy of wallet recently and spent a while getting all my usernames, serial numbers, passwords etc secured away in it in case of a situation like this or a major crash etc.

  13. Dunks

    @Chris & Danny: My powerbook takes DDR SDRAM PC2700. Not sure how this pans out with what Chris has/Danny can take etc.

  14. Chris Marshall Post author

    What I have is a 1GB DDR2 533 SO-DIMM CL4 that used to work just fine in my G4 PowerBook purchased in January 2006.

    Just let me know πŸ™‚

    I would normally go with the clean install everytime but having just cleaned up all the Macs and in the interests of time and ease I could be tempted by an upgrade. I guess I will start with the upgrade option on the Mac mini (10.5) and Mac Book (pre release Leopard) and see how that goes!

  15. Dunks

    I think that counts me out as yours is DDR2 – came on the last iteration of the Powerbook I believe but thanks for the offer.

    As someone who normally goes for a clean install, how do you manage all your serials etc for your downloaded software etc & do you follow any sort of system for undertaking the clean install?

    BTW – sorry this thread seems to have gone way off topic!

  16. Danny

    It has indeed,
    I think its incompatible with my macbook as well. Oh well.

  17. Chris Marshall Post author

    Thread not a problem.

    Shame about the RAM

    As I do so many application reviews I am really organised with all my seriel numbers. I keep them all in VodooPad with a ‘tab’ for each Mac as that way I know what I have active on each Mac and then I have a tab for reviewed apps that I currently don’t use.

  18. Danny

    Im a LicenseKeeper user myself. Fantastic solution. Not sure how it compares to Wallet though.

  19. Wayne LeFevre

    Would like to see a comparison to different serial apps. I currently use Yojimbo myself.

    As for original topic, while I was on holiday last week I convinced my mom to buy an iMac. Totally a impulse buy. Of course, she doesn’t have the time to actually sit down and learn the thing, (she’s a heart and lung transplant liaison,) so now I’m getting the odd call every now and again asking how to do something.

    Smartest thing to do when getting someone new, and perhaps a bit older, to the Mac is introduce them to the Genius Bar and Apple Care!

  20. Dunks

    I’ve just started using Yojimbo more seriously to manage notes in meetings and resources for lessons I teach. I noticed the serial number aspect – should take a look. How do you find it Wayne?

  21. Wayne LeFevre


    I think it’s great for pretty much everything I throw at it. It doesn’t have the pretty interface of some other apps, but it does work pretty slick. You get a serial in an e-mail, highlight and copy, hit F8, type in the name of the app and your done.

    The only fault I see in it is the ability to easily print out a list of your serials, which is really handy if you live in a multi-Mac household and not worried about physical security. To print, you have to:

    Create a new folder in the Finder;
    Select all the serial numbers in Yojimbo;
    Drag them to the new folder;
    (this created a bunch of clipping files in the Finder)
    Make a new document in TextWrangler;
    Drag all the clippings into the TextWrangler window;

    Pain, but other than that, quite happy with it.

  22. Danny

    Ive been looking to get into Yojimbo. Might grab a review copy and blog it.
    Its been done to death on MacReviewCast I think, but not on MacApper – brilliant!
    What do most people use it for?

  23. Wayne LeFevre

    I’m afraid I don’t use Quicksilver. I’ve never been much of a keyboard only type of guy. (Mostly, though, it’s because I can’t remember what a certain app is called, but I know it when I see it!)

    @Danny Γ’β‚¬β€œ I use Yojimbo a lot for serials, of course. I also use it to archive notes and web pages. It shines when tagging and grouping collections by tags. I used to use it for archiving PDFs, but not so much now that I use Yep.

  24. Mac Sokulski

    I’ve been using Yojimbo for a long time for pretty much everything. Serial numbers, confidential notes/passwords which can be locked. There are a lot of strengths in Yojimbo not found in other programs. Sync with .Mac is a life saver. I have mine sync with my system at home and my work laptop. Great as a back up, and I always have my yojimbo database handy. Also it will sync my Palm Memo with Yojimbo. Of course I don’t sync my whole database, but a certain portion. Very slick. Over all I must say that Yojimbo although not as pretty, beats any similar app in my view. Don’t get me started with quicksilver and yojimbo …. i get goose bumps of pleasure πŸ™‚

  25. Dunks

    Go for it Chris – I’ve been through a period of trying various GTD and ‘Storing Information’ apps to try and sort a slick workflow.

    Despite some wonderful eye candy on my adventures through them all, I always come back to Yojimbo & iGTD as a combination although I am still a bit of a novice at both.

  26. Danny

    Ive never got into GTD apps. I really should use them considering how busy I am. But I always feel them a waste of time as you have to spend so much time adding tasks, and keeping them updated.
    (yojimbo license request in the pipeline)

  27. Dunks

    I have always struggled with them but am ‘training’ myself to be efficient.

    I am in a very email driven environment in my new school and have tasks and deadlines thrown at me constantly. I needed to get organised fast and find a way of not drowning in the email noise.

    I also wanted a way to plan my lessons and take notes in meetings which is easily searchable. I am constantly grabbing weblinks for resources, jotting down quick reviews on lessons etc.

    I’ve found forcing myself into using iGTD has definitely made me more organised but in part this is down to following a routine with it and I guess it’s the process rather than the software that makes it work.

    Yojimbo is great as I throw notes, websites, images etc at it and have been careful to tag them all making searching very quick. Again, however, planning the tags first has helped a lot by giving me a scaffold to work with.

  28. Danny

    Well my tasks, although related dont mix too well together (you would think otherwise).
    When I blog it means Im reviewing something usually, which means I need to take the time to get the feel of the app, draft the review, redraft, post etc
    Same for a podcast segment.
    But developing is completely different. Yet more time consuming. What I mean here is that I cant do both at the same time.
    Therefore I really need to be organised.
    Who wants to help?! πŸ˜€

  29. Chris Marshall Post author

    My advice for what it is worth – don’t force these type of things. If it isn’t immediately obvious how it will benefit you then don’t try and force yourself to use it.

    Personally I am organised enough that I tend to find these things just one more step in the process rather than reducing the steps. Mind you I am not exactky rushed off my feet, and I do like iGTD.

    Looks like the race is on Danny!!!!

  30. Danny

    Nuts! I havnt heard back from them at all.
    I even went down the MacApper + mac review cast line!
    Ah well, the master wins again πŸ˜‰

  31. Chris Marshall Post author

    Just what I need – haven’t even looked at yet and getting dragged into the hacking game already.

    Talking of which a little bird tells me one of our regular shouters is jailbreaking a iPod Touch as we ‘speak’!

  32. Chris Marshall Post author

    No problem, todays temptations now include:

    – tripods
    – camera cases
    – iPod Touch
    – Jax
    – Yojimbo

    Think I need to go take a lie down!!!!

  33. jeremy

    I remember you telling Tim V on his podcast that you’d bought a new video camera. Which one did you get? Was it one of the Panasonic SD memory card models?

  34. Chris Marshall Post author

    I got the JVC Everio GZ-MG130 based on some readers advice here and I have to say I love it! It has both a hard drive and a SD card. I got a 8GB SD card and that gives me a couple of hours recording, and iMovie imports direct from the card so for me it is proving to be pretty perfect.

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