Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for December 9th, 2020

The deadliest days in US history

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Today (Wednesday, December 9) more than 3,034 deaths from coronavirus were reported across the US, according to Johns Hopkins. That’s more than the death toll from 9/11. The daily death toll from Covid-19 is likely to increase as the illness progresses in those who were infected at Thanksgiving gatherings.

And the President is completely ignoring this disaster and instead is spending his time trying to overturn an election he lost, an election whose results have been certified after being checked and double-checked.

Written by Leisureguy

9 December 2020 at 8:39 pm

Computer tsuris, happily resolved and some lessons learned

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Late last Friday afternoon, I turned on my computer and the screen instantly showed the above display. Appropriate to the season, my computer was, like old Marley, dead as a doornail. Though sudden, its demise was not unexpected: it was 6 1/2 years old. I kept putting off replacement because (a) money and (b) technology.

And I was lucky. Just a couple of weeks before the computer’s giving up the cost — on 17 November — Apple announceed its new models. Not only do these come with the Big Sur OS installed (I was warned that Big Sur would brick a MacBook Pro from mid-2014, the very model I had), they also use Apple’s M1 sytem-on-a-chip (SoC) instead of the Intel chips previously used.

The M1 is amazing. From the excellent Medium article “Who Really Needs 16GB In Their M1 Mac?” by Dan Hanson:

In their The NEW M1 Macs — Should You Get The 8GB or 16GB Version? video, Created Labs puts an 8GB M1 Macbook Air through a series of tests including 4K video editing and rendering, productivity application, multitasking, gaming, and photo editing:

… moving on to multitasking, 8 gigabytes is more than enough for all your needs. Even if you are a hardcore Chrome user who often has 50+tabs open, the Mac will handle it easily. …I opened 20 to 30 tabs in Chrome while using Photoshop, Word, Excel, playing Spotify and 4K videos in the background, and the 8 gigabyte Macs don’t even bat an eye.

I’m an old-school Intel user, and I have always thought that one could not have too much RAM. I would get 64GB if I could, but the above article (and some others — “Why Is Apple’s M1 Chip So Fast?” is excellent and detailed) convinced me to go with 8GB RAM. That article begins:

On Youtube I watched a Mac user who had bought an iMac last year. It was maxed out with 40 GB of RAM costing him about $4000. He watched in disbelief how his hyper expensive iMac was being demolished by his new M1 Mac Mini, which he had paid a measly $700 for.

So “faster, better, cheaper” lives on.

UPDATE 21 Dec 2020 — after some more experience, I would say that I think 16GB would in fact have been better. I generally have 6-8 programs active, and in my Chrome-based browser, I generally have 35-45 tabs open. That all uses a lot of memory, which the M1 8GB handles with grace, making swaps pretty quickly, but still I often notice a pause of a beat or two as I move from window to window. 16GB would probably not have that problem. /update

I ordered a MacBook Air Friday evening (8GB RAM, 512GB hard drive). It arrived Monday, but I wanted them to install the backup, remove nonperforming apps (those unable to operate on Big Sur), and so on. Just this evening I picked up the computer.

One good aspect of being without a computer is that I was forced to learn my iPhone beyond how to make phone calls and send text messages (along with various little apps: pedometer, chess game, go problems, shopping list, etc.) — essentially, I had to learn to use Safari on the iPhone.

One discovery when I tried to sign in to various sites: I use LastPass to track my passwords, and I have very long and complex master password for that program, one I cannot possible remember. Fortunately, I kept a copy in a file. One my computer… oh! I will now change my master password something long and complicated and that I can remember.

It’s good to be back. I have a list of catch-up posts, so tomorrow will be a busy day: recipes, health discovery, shave-of-the-day posts, and more.

Written by Leisureguy

9 December 2020 at 8:35 pm

Posted in Daily life, Technology

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