Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

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Pete visited yesterday and left a comment on “MacHeadache,” apparently in the wee hours of Tuesday morning (hard to tell, since iWeb has come unstuck in time…it no longer knows what time it really is). I started to respond to his, which only just appeared, in a comment of my own and then realized I was going on at enough length to create a new post.

Here’s what Pete observed:

It does seem supremely lame that Apple migrated you to MobileMe without being sure you had a system that was compatible. I don’t know if .Mac is (was) technically aware on an ongoing basis what version of Mac OS you use, but it stands to reason, and they could have been smart enough not to migrate anyone who would break without warning. I’m not sure what the alternative would be, but they could at least have given you a chance to migrate elsewhere if you needed to.

But the rest of this stuff? Having a computer is just about the opposite of simplicity and frugality. In fact, to achieve anything resembling computing peace of mind, simplicity and frugality need to go right out the window. Here are a couple of examples:

Broadband would make those system updates download in a reasonable amount of time. Windows wouldn’t be any better in this respect. For that matter, neither would Linux. All the major operating systems are pushing big updates out to the installed base on a regular basis.

Panther is two major versions of the operating system behind. I realize you’re not the sort who gets jollies from a computer for its own sake, and that’s fine, but in general you would experience fewer crises of this magnitude if you were to keep up with the Joneses. Running Panther today is like running Windows 2000.

As far as iWeb goes, well, given that you’re aware of its limitations, I’m not sure why you torture yourself with it when there are so many free blog publishing solutions out there on the web

My response:

Functionality! Pete, yours is the first comment that has posted in over a week. Yesterday, if you had hit the “Add Comments” link, you would have seen an ad for MobileMe

I downloaded all the most current software, for which I had to pay at a time that was WILDLY inconvenient for me. Even though the Apple store’s manager gave me a 50% discount (turns out that’s fairly common-others have had the same experience), it still put my budget, which had barely recovered from the staggering expense of caring for a dying pet, back in the red. Eventually I would have bought the most recent OS, but when I could afford it, not when Apple ordered me to.

Yes, I know DSL is slower than broadband. I can’t afford broadband. In these parts it’s expensive, and I work for a university…by definition that means you don’t earn much unless you’re a football coach, a full bull in business or engineering, or an upper-level administrator. The cheapest cell phone I could get from Qwest — which I subscribed to only because pay phones are a thing of the past and I have to commute on a freeway that takes me a long, long way from home and from the car mechanic — is a stretch for me. I miss having a phone bill that is not a stinging hit each month.

All the rest of my software is up-to-date. The package that includes iWeb, called iLife, is the 2008 edition. I have followed all of the instructions sent by Apple’s support team. My son, who is a great deal more techie than I am, has also tried to make the system work. So far, nothing has succeeded

That you were able to post a comment suggests some functionality may be returning. However, it remains true that iWeb, while it has some attractive features, doesn’t have the interesting features supported by WordPress. I should be able to enter a StumbleUpon button, I should be able to subscribe to Feedburner, I should be able to register with Technorati, I should be able to register with Google, I should be able to ping other blogs. None of these things appear to be possible with iWeb.

I started Funny about Money in iWeb because I had never done a blog before and I doubted much would come of this one. Apple touted its user-friendly simplicity, and it looked like a way to play at blogging without having to put out much effort. I was already paying for Mac.com, which provided an extra e-mail account and which alleged (wrongly, I’m now told) to provide off-site storage space for Quicken backups. Since I didn’t expect Funny would go anywhere, I figured it wasn’t worth the learning curve involved in developing a website on more serious blogging software.

Now I figure Funny does have the potential to draw readers, and it’s kind of taken on a proverbial life of its own. Had I known it could be even mildly successful, I would have started the blog in WordPress, following Jim’s very cogent advice at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.

It’s way past time to move Funny to WordPress. It’s going to lose most of its archive, but frankly, little of that is worth storing for the electronic ages. I’ll migrate the key posts first and then the ones I think are the best I’ve done so far. With any luck, once I get the blog on the new platform it will be even better and will have more opportunities to find new readers.

LOL! Yes, computers are the opposite of simplicity and frugality! But they are a part of our daily life. Just as you can’t get by without a cell phone, you can’t live a fully engaged life in America (or the world) today without a computer system and an online connection. It’s just the way things are.

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