Monday, November 23, 2009

Computers do, and don't do, the darnedest things

All in one day I learned that the title is true, not that I didn't know it before.

It started with my appointment at the "Genius Bar" at one of the local Apple Stores. I had several nagging problems, one that I thought would need repair services and I wanted to confirm that before making a technician come all the way to my office. Did you know that only the very newest Mac laptops have a "right click" function? The thing where you highlight some text then right click on the bar below the track pad to get a drop down box so you can cut, copy, paste, etc. I thought the laptop had been broken since I got it a couple of months back. Nope. On a Mac, you highlight text by holding the bar and swiping the track pad, then you lift your fingers and then mash Control and the bar at the same time, or something like that, and that drops down the box. I'm going to have to unlearn 20 years of right clicking. And, I'm going to have to be an ambi-clicker: If you use a mouse, which I do on the office Mac, the mouse does the normal right click thing.

Right after my humiliation before the Apple Genius guy, I read that Google had magnanimously made its Google Navigator available as a download for all smart phones using its Android operating system, including my G1. A minute or so later, I had, from what I can tell from a bit of playing with it, a fully functional GPS driving directions machine in my phone, pretty much just like a Garmin or TomTom device. The difference? Mine's free. The voice is annoying though, just like a GPS that you pay for.

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