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Things I don’t expect to hear from passersby

As a nerd, and particularly as a Mac nerd, there are certain things I don’t expect the average person I meet to comment on. When a decent portion of your week is spent explaining that wireless internet isn’t actually magical, and that it’s basically the same as the cordless phones they’ve had in their homes for years, you start to work with the assumption that the general population needs a good decade or so to get up to speed. That said, the people I’ve bumped into lately have had a curious awareness of tech.

Oh wow, is that the nano?

After the first few years of “what’s that?” … “an iPod” … “a what?” … “it’s like a walkman for MP3s” … “oh, OK” I lost the expectation that anyone should know what an iPod is. I guess with the batshit-fucking-crazy iPod explosion of ‘aught four I should know better now, but it’s still a little odd to have someone like my uncle —a man who feels the switch from Internet Explorer to Firefox would be too steep a learning curve for him to handle— should know about some gadget that was released two weeks ago.

So I wanted to talk to you about this VOIP thing

My grandfather. Yow. A man in his seventies who I’ve recently declared I can’t support over the phone anymore because it’s impossible to navigate him around Windows verbally (and will instead be looking into VPN solutions, eg- Copilot), and he’s buying VOIP hardware. Bought VOIP hardware.

Hey, that’s a rather minimalist dock.

You’d grant UWA’s Computer Science staff a clue when it comes to computers, but it’s such an embittered-Linux-nerd culture there that I’d sooner expect the “Macintoshes are toys” speech than an I-wonder-what-apps-this-guy-is-using glance over the shoulder. But hey — some guy knew.

Actually, looking at my dock, I suppose it is kind of spartan these days. Speaking with Richard after his interview with David Allen, I became convinced that Mail and NetNewsWire (not to mention IM) were distracting me constantly. It was the urgency of “crap, there are three unread news items, better stop what I’m doing and read them!” that cut into my day, and now that I’ve cut my formerly quite zealous dock use down to just the Finder and Safari —launching others only as required— I feel much better. Liberated, even.

Holy Crusader Against Windows, eh? …So does that make you a Mac person or a Linux person?

There’s something you don’t expect a bartender to ask you. Then again, I used to be a bartender, and if I was serving a bunch of bloggers —one of whom clutching an amusing Award— I would’ve asked the same thing. Strange times we live in.