Aug 282011

Yesterday we tackled a problem that has been bothering us for a while, remounting our flat screen TVs in both the living room and bedroom.

The folks at RV Renovators in Mesa, Arizona did a good job of rebuilding our TV cabinets last winter, but after the job was done, we realized that we needed to shim the top of both TVs to give them a slight downward tilt, because the LED TVs were giving us dark shadow areas in their display when mounted flat. If we were standing up and watching them at eye level, the picture was fine, but sitting down we were looking at an angle that gave us the shadow effect. It was even worse when laying in bed.

So we bought some longer mounting screws and washers to use as shims. I held the TVs in place while Miss Terry replaced the screws, and it was a bit of a hassle to get the four screws for each TV lined up through the holes on the cabinet doors and threaded into the back of the TVs. But eventually we got it all done, and the results were worth the effort.

While we were working on the bedroom TV, our pal Al Hesselbart from the RV Hall of Fame Museum came by, but we never heard him knock, and did not even realize he had been here until an hour or so later, when we went outside and found his card in the door. I called Al, told him we were headed for the local Chinese buffet, and he said he’d meet us there in ten minutes.

We had a nice dinner, and enjoyed talking about the RV lifestyle, happenings at the RV Museum, and life in general. A couple of years ago Al was invited to China to speak at a trade show for the Chinese RV industry, which is just now starting to grow, and we enjoyed hearing about his experiences there, as well as the fifteen hour flight each way. I think we’ll confine our traveling to places where we can go in our motorhome. 🙂

The RV lifestyle is not limited just to couples. We know many solo RVers, both men and women, who travel fulltime, or seasonally as snowbirds, and have a wonderful time. But traveling alone does present challenges that are sometimes different than what couples deal with. My friends Jaimie Hall Bruzenak and Alice Zyetz have a new version of their book The Woman’s Guide to Solo RVing available for reading on Kindles, Nooks, iPads, and iPhones. Follow this link to purchase online, and enter coupon code HG30 at the time of checkout. And while you’re at their RV Lifestyle Experts website, take some time to check it out. Jaimie and Alice have a tremendous amount of valuable information available that any RVer, whether a seasoned road warrior or a newbie, will appreciate.

Note to self – always carry a flashlight after dark. My dad used to tell me that I should consider a career working in a pillow factory, because I was always doing something stupid and getting banged up. I was born clumsy, and that has not improved over time. Last night I walked over to visit some folks at the other end of the RV park, and coming back, I stumbled and took a nasty fall. I threw out my arms to try and break my fall, and came down on my left arm, really jamming it from the wrist to the shoulder. A couple of Advil, and a generous amount of liniment rubbed in by Miss Terry took the worst of the edge off, but I suspect that I’ll really feel it today.  

I mentioned a couple of days ago that my Dell computer is on its last legs, and I have really been thinking about moving to a Mac when I replace it. I’ve always used Windows based computers, but there is a reason most newspapers use Macs. One of the fellows here at Elkhart Campground has an iMac G7, and I spent some time checking it out, and was really impressed. Macs cost a lot more than the HPs and Dells I have been using, but it seems like every three years or so, I have to replace or upgrade my computer. For what I’ve spent, I could have bought a nice Mac, and the folks who have them all tell me I’d have been a lot happier. We may wander over to the Apple Store in Mishawaka and check them out.     

Bad Nick got a bit of news yesterday that he just had to comment on, and I think once you read his new Bad Nick Blog post, titled Pass The Gas, you will agree that the inmates definitely are running the asylum. Check it out and leave a comment.

Thought For The Day – Brain cells come and brain cells go, but fat cells live forever.

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Nick Russell

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  19 Responses to “Is There A Mac In My Future?”

  1. Nick,

    Definitely upgrade to a Mac… I guarantee you won’t regret it. They are beautiful high-quality machines. My wife and I switched from using Winows based PC’s a few years ago and love our MacBook Pro laptops. We also have iPads. I use mine to read your blogs and the digital edition of the Gypsy Journal). Everything just works!

    A important benefit to keep in mind is that you can still run Windows on your Mac (if you have to) by using Apple’s Bootcamp or either VMware Fusion or Parallels virtualization software. I run Winows 7 with Fusion on my Mac so I can use Quicken to manage our finances.

    Have fun!


  2. Once you go Mac you never go back! 8^)
    Seriously, you’ll love it.

    — jc

  3. Excellent decision on a Mac Nick. You will need to buy the Mac version of whatever package you put the paper together with of course, but the amount of time you spend dealing with computer issues will go waaaaay down and you’ll be happier and more productive to boot. You mint want tp consider the 13 inch Air and an external monitor and more drive space (or even the MacBook Pro) instead of just an iMac. That way you get e benefits of a portable as well as the drive and screen space of the desktop. Your existing monitor and external drives and other peripherals arecmost likely usable without replacement.

  4. This might be a dupe . . .had trouble posting it from my iPad.

    Having read a lot of stories here about your computer trials and tribulations I think the Mac would be a great decision for you. You’ll be more productive, it will last longer before needing replacement, the user experience and build quality are just better than the cheaper Dells, etc you could get (although the more expensive models do close the quality gap considerably you don’t get the cheaper prices if you get the same build quality) . . .and most important the amount of time you spend chasing computer issues will go waaaay down.

    You might want to consider a Macbook Air or Pro instead of the iMac though . . .although the built in drive space is more limited than the desktops you can easily hook up your existing monitor, external drives, and peripherals to it . . .and that way you get the benefits of a portable as well as the benefits of a desktop. If max portability is important . . .the Air has plenty of power to lay out the paper. If portability is good but you need the most powerful portable you can get then the Pro is the way to go. You’ll need some adapters to hook up any peripherals (although USB and Firewire are built in) and you’ll obviously need a Mac version of whatever you lay the paper out in but beyond that you can pretty much use the included apps for almost everything. If you have any Adobe applications . . .you can convert the Windows license into a Macintosh license by contacting Adobe.

    I was a windows system admin in my former life (been retired a month now and we’re in the planning stages of becoming full timers) and all I’ve ever had at home was a Mac . . .after wrangling computer issues all day at work when I get home all I want it to do is work.

  5. I agree…once you go Mac….

    I would also say that about my IPAD. Love it.

  6. Our 7 year old laptop was on its last legs and we went to look at a Mac. Ended up buying an all in one desktop. Space in our bus is at a premium so we thought we were stuck with laptops but this is working out real well so far. Have had to do a few things a little differently but is worth it. I doubt we would ever go back either.

  7. I have a MAC and will not go back to a Windows based PC. I say that but I have a program on my MAC “Parallels” that allows me to have both MAC programs and load Windows onto my MACBook. It is faster in Windows than any Windows based machine I have had in the past.

  8. We agree with the above comments. We’ll never go back to a PC! In fact, we bought a new MAC Pro at the Mishawaka Apple store while we were there two months ago and they were very nice to work with…..highly recommend them although we’ve found all MAC stores are helpful. One suggestion is ‘do buy their 3 year protection plan and their one-to-one program……both are GREAT! It takes a little getting used to after many years of being a PC user but overall very easy to switch over.

  9. I had Macs for many years, went to PCs for several years, and now I’m going back to Mac. Macs are far superior and less problem-prone. You will not be sorry — and you will never go back to a PC. For me an iMac and iPad are the perfect combo.

  10. Bought a MAC Book Pro after using a Windows based PC for 20 plus years. The techy that supported 130 Window PC’s at work recommended the move to a MAC. I’m not a techy and moved to MAC because you don’t need a techy to upgrade to new software or try and keep the PC running. After 5 plus years my MAC is still fast and reliable. I recommend buying the fastest and most memory you can afford, that way there is no need to replace the MAC every couple of years, you will save money in the long run. Once you try MAC you will never go back.

  11. I also have a Mac with Parallels installed so I can run Delorme Street Atlas USA on my Mac. My Mac is Dave’s old one so it is about 4 1/2 years old and still going strong. I have had both Macs and PCs over the years but I much prefer Macs now that I have Parallels. I would still have a PC without Parallels, though, since there is no good trip planning software for the Mac yet.

  12. I have also been a MAC convert since 2009. A big learning curve but very well worth it. Great support from Apple and they even speak English from here in America! Try to break totally free from PC. Any software product worth its salt will have a MAC version if they want to stay alive. This is just the beginning: the best is yet to come with iCloud just around the corner.

  13. I migrated to Mac after using PC’s for 30 years because they treat my digital Photos much kinder.
    The downsides I have found so far are the iMac I bought 3 years ago will only allow 4 GB of memory and that is not enough to work with the newer programs. Tip; make sure whatever you get will allow 3x the memory you now think you need. The other is everything in the OS is backwards from Windows, so plan on spending time with the user interface getting comfortable.
    All my best in whatever direction you head.

  14. Nick, I agree with what other have said here. I’ve helped four friends through the Windows-to-Mac transition in the past few years, and all of them are very pleased–their only regret is that they didn’t do it sooner.

    One thing that made a big difference for my friends was David Pogue’s book “Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual”. Here’s a link to the Snow Leopard edition (many Macs are still running this recent OS version):

    …and here’s a link to the not-yet-released Lion edition (new Macs ship with this latest OS version):

    I use a 27″ iMac in my rig, and couldn’t be happier with it; it’s not only my computer, but my DVD player and (with the aid of al Elgato USB tuner module) my TV set as well.

  15. People, people… It’s “Mac”, not “MAC”. MAC is an acronym that stands for Machine Access Control. It is a unique address given to every machine that has networking circuitry inside it. They (the addresses) are assigned by the manufacturer of each machine. “Mac” is short for Macintosh. It’s a nickname that does not call for all caps.

  16. I have an iMac, MacBook Pro, iPad and at least 4 different iPods and they all have allways worked flawlessly. Get Parallels and you will see Windows run better than it ever did on a pc, just upgrade the RAM to at least 4 (super easy and much cheaper to do it yourself than through Apple). Good luck!

  17. Since it is time for a new computer anyway, a Mac might be a good choice.
    Macs are wonderful computers and if I know you, you will probably really like one with the big pretty display.
    The transition to a Mac for a PC user can be an ordeal. As long as you go into it with eyes wide open, you will not have any real problems. There is a learning curve, regardless of what you may hear. You will need to learn the Apple way of doing things. Support is not as readily available as with PCs with the exception of the excellent Apple stores, mostly because the majority of people use PCs.
    Do read the book by David Pogue.

    I expect my next new computer will be a MacBook Pro. I’m saving my nickels and dimes.

  18. Eldy and I both have Macs and are really happy with them…I was a PC user for years and the switch was not hard. Lots less problems with them and there are more Apple stores coming all the time. The Apple stores are amazing in their service and assistance when you walk in.

  19. Nick,

    No rush, but sometime could you tell me what brand and model LCD TVs you got. Also, did you inquire about whether they can withstand freezing weather as I understand some LCD don’t withstand freezing very well and we sometimes store in New Jersey winter.

    Keep up the good work and thanks

    Chuck Feller

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