Friday, November 15, 2013

Evanston: worms; pig at sea; diminished list

        I spent most of yesterday sorting out a new MacBook Air.
        There were worms in my Apples, and the transfer of data from my 2010 15” MacBook Pro did not go smoothly for reasons that will never be known. 
        I spent more than an hour on the telephone in the morning with two men at Apple support.  
        I’ve owned Apple laptops since an early PowerBook bought in 1992 that had 4 megabytes of RAM and a 40 megabyte hard drive.  I italicize the ‘mega’ because that hardly seems believable.  It was the second most expensive computer I’ve ever owned, after the MacBook Pro which I maxed out, including installing an SSD myself, and the longest lived.  I used it for five years and wrote two books on it.
        While Apple hardware is excellent, support is even better.  With AppleCare, I don’t know of any other product that is supported as well.
        The conclusion reached after my time with Apple support was that the problem was in my data rather than the hardware, so I transferred manually from one computer to another, with the probable culprit being a third party plugin to iTunes; and by 5 p.m. all was well.
        I had waited until last month’s refresh of MacBook Pros before deciding whether to buy a 13” Pro or Air.  My 15” Pro was too big, too heavy, and most of all too power hungry for GANNET.  One of the primary virtues of the current generation of Intel’s Haswell chips is power savings.
        I have read reviews that say the Pro, costing little more than the Air, with a Retina display, and only 1/2 pound heavier, is the better value.  I agree, but ultimately ordered an Air because it’s battery life is longer than the Pros while using a smaller battery, 54 watt hours compared to the 13” Pro’s 71.8.  For those charging from the grid, this is insignificant.  Following a succession of cloudy days on GANNET, it may not be.

        Yesterday Larry sent me a link to a news item about a giant ice berg, 21 by 12 miles/35 by 20 kilometers, breaking off Antarctica’s  Pine Island Glacier, naturally abbreviated as PIG.  
        I wrote back thanking him for the link and noting that it might be fortunate that GANNET will not be in the Southern Ocean until two years from now, if then.
        Larry replied that the ice berg will undoubtedly still be in those waters in two years.
        It would be an ironic way to die:  running into something that fell off a PIG.


        Here is GANNET’s diminished to do/buy list.

            forward hatch emergency cover
            Jordan drogue and bridle
            reef point lines
            haul out:  inspect rudder and bearings; antifoul
            lines v-berth
            Spade anchor
            snorkel, fins, mask, wet suit
            waterproof bags and boxes
            electronic charts
            chaffing gear for anchor rode and drogue

            install bilge pump?

        Many of these are obvious.
        The forward hatch cover will be a piece of plywood that can be bolted over the opening in the unlikely event the hatch fails.
        The lines in the v-berth are to run through the eye-bolts I installed in an effort to keep things stowed there from all sliding to the lee side while underway.
        While I don’t want to overload GANNET, I think two anchors are a minimum for voyaging, and so will spend the small fortune and buy a 10 pound Spade.
        I have not yet decided about those with question marks.
        I think it unlikely I will spend $2000 on a hand power desalinator.
        GANNET came with a hand bilge pump that has never been installed.  I haven’t been able either to find a place where it can be operated and still not be in the way when it’s not needed.  
        I do have a second small pump similar to the one I used to get the water out of THE HAWKE OF TUONELA’s shallow bilge.
        The Yellowbrick is the tracking device I will buy, if I buy one.