no pics lately

My camera is sitting on my shelf with weeks worth of photos on it because my hard drive is almost full! I have to find some time to do some serious memory cleanup on my Mac and on my externals (I have 3!) I never did get into online storage yet (except for all the photos on Shutterfly) but that will probably be a possibility soon… Dropbox, iCloud, Mozy, what else is out there?

And I’m trying out a new theme on this blog – what do you think? WordPress has so many lovely themes! It’s a brighter theme to get us through the long, dark of Moria winter.

Apple Fan

I love Apple. I am not ashamed to admit that I am pro-Apple products and software. They really do make my life easier.

Except when they don’t work. Or work very, very slowly… We’ve had an iMac since 2008, so 3 years. That’s getting on in the computing world. And for the last year, this computer has been slow. Not just a little slow. Old PC slow. The spinning beach ball was starting to get more screen time than anything else. I do a lot of stuff on my computer – email, web browsing, photo editing, downloading music and videos, word processing, spreadsheets, you name it. We have all of our digital life on this little machine. And I spend so much time on it that the slowness of it was becoming a problem. Not just a little problem – a BIG problem. I spent half my time on the computer just waiting. For programs to load, things to save, web pages to refresh, emails to pop up. It was painful.

Last week or so my iPhone updated to the new iOS 5 software which includes iCloud. I had already been intrigued by iCloud and the new OSX for my desktop, Lion. I was considering buying it but was waiting for some time to sit down and research it. I played around with iCloud and decided I liked it. So I went to the Mac App store to purchase Lion.

I couldn’t buy it. I needed 2GB of RAM. My computer only has 1. ONE! Uno. Solo.

Could that be the reason for the slowness? I started to research in my web browsing way. And lo and behold, this iMac is capable of 4GB. It has 2 RAM slots which can handle 2GB each. Well I’ll be! I started to research some more and found a Canadian online company, CanadaRAM, with very good reviews. They sell RAM for this Mac (Apple doesn’t, it’s too old!). They also have a quote system whereby you tell them what you have and what you want, they quote what you need and then guarantee that what they quote will work. If not, you return it. No problems.

So I ordered 4 GB on Wednesday. IT CAME IN THE MAIL THE NEXT MORNING! Seriously! That was fast. So I installed it before dinner and now my tired old iMac has a new speedy lease on life. Applications load in a snap. Multiple programs run without crashing. Application switching is lightning fast. My iSight doesn’t have a lag. It’s almost miraculous.

I even took pictures of changing the RAM so I could post a little tutorial. But really, it’s super-easy. Let’s upgrade!

 

Image

Very carefully lay your baby iMac screen side down onto a clean soft towel. This will protect the monitor from scratching and give you access to and visual of the memory compartment. Notice the lovely diagram printed on the base, detailing how to do EXACTLY WHAT I’M ABOUT TO TELL YOU.

 

Image

Locate the memory compartment by gently lifting the stand. Be careful because it only pivots just enough for you to get at the compartment. Notice all of the dust and vow to clean your office more often. Or at least once.

 

Image

The instructions (on page 33 of your “Everything Mac” guide) tell you to use a #2 screwdriver. I used a 3mm Phillips from my handy-dandy mini screwdriver set.

 

Image

The cover is pretty easy to remove as it’s only held with one screw.

 

Image

You’ll see two memory slots each with a black plastic tab tucked over them. As you can see, only the right slot has a card in it. Untuck the tabs…

 

Image

And pull on the tab with the card. I had to give this a good tug with both hands. The card contacts are very tight.

 

Image

The card will pop part way out so you can slide it the rest of the way. Slide it out and keep it facing the same way so you can match up the new card(s).

 

Image

These are my new 2GB cards. Here you can see all the fancy numbers and stuff. But notice that they are the wrong way up.

 

For some reason this pic is a different size. Oh well, it’s fitting as the old card is smaller than the new cards. I’m boosting my RAM 400% from 1GB to 4GB.

 

Image

Slide the new cards in and give each one a good push until it “clicks” in. I had to push pretty hard. At first I wasn’t sure they were going to go in, but eventually they did.

 

Remember to tuck in your tabs. Screw the cover back on, stand ‘er up, plug ‘er in, turn ‘er on, and fire ‘er up! I noticed a difference right away.

Happy Mac-ing!

Disclaimer: **This is shameless Apple love but it is only because I really like Apple. I haven’t been paid or anything for this write-up. I am also not a tech expert, just a geek who does this kind of stuff for fun. If you need help, call your IT guy or visit an Apple Store.**

Driving Across Canada – the Plan

Cape Spear, Newfoundland

Welcome to Travel Thursdays! Whether it’s a great destination, tips for travelling with kids, photos of places we’ve been, books and sites that offer great information and deals, or chronicling our cross-Canada adventure, I hope that each week you’ll find something useful!

And now the time has come for us to actually start planning The Big One – the cross-Canada road trip. It would be nice if we could just pack up and go and meander wherever we want, but since J has to plan meetings in advance I’ve got to be super organized. Plus I don’t want to leave a city and then find out that it’s 22 hours to the next one. I need to plan in the sleeping, eating, exercise and fun stops too. So the first step is to pick a planner.

I’m looking into using an online planner to map out and time our driving and stops but there are so many sites out there and I haven’t used any of them before. We’ve booked hotels, airfare, show tickets, even restaurant reservations online, and researched cities, inns, attractions, and weather. But now we have to put it all together.

Just by Googling “online Canada road trip planner”:

And so it’s question period:

Have you used an online travel planner before? Which one(s) do you recommend and why?

I am very interested in your ideas and tips!