My OS needs an upgrade

I seem to spend most of my life these days gambling. That is how it feels when I upgrade the software on my phone or watch. It feels much worse when I have to upgrade the OS on my laptops. If my phone upgrade fails it is fully recoverable from the cloud. Ditto the watch. I think so anyway. The laptops are a different kettle of fish. I have two. One is 7 years old and the other barely a toddler of two. I used to use something called Time Machine to back them up regularly but I have so many external hard drives now I haven’t plugged in the back up drive for yonks. Last weekend though I started to get threatening messages warning me things wouldn’t work if I didn’t upgrade. In such dire circumstances the first recourse is always to find a child. The child in question was 38 but she assured me it was a painless experience. Took me ten minutes, she asserted.
At about 4.30pm on Saturday I pressed the button to start the upgrade. It downloaded in about 18m. Ready to install, it announced. And then it did nothing. I waited. And waited. Nothing happened. Eventually as there was no child available I called Apple Care. A very helpful chap called Julius asked me the first question: have you backed everything up? Well, I said, maybe. Some of it yes, some of it possibly not. Or rather, to be precise, no. I presume the sound at the other end was the pre-scripted Apple reaction for ‘another idiot’ – ok, let’s not panic he said. That gave me immense comfort.
Let’s put you into safe mode he said. That didn’t sound attractive. He asked if we could screen share and I said yes but then we had to shut down and I was flying solo. Do you think, he asked with a warranted degree of skepticism, you could press the SHIFT key and the ‘on’ button at the same time? I was up for this and said I jolly well thought I could. Much to my amazement and probably Julius’ complete disbelief, I managed to do it and from then on the upgrade proceeded painlessly. I am now on Monterey. I will need some considerable time before I risk doing the older laptop but that isn’t important – it only has work related stuff on it.
I confidently skipped all the ‘what’s new’ junk and ploughed ahead. Until today it went smoothly. I was shooting some high ISO photos and wanted to run them through the de-noise software I have. It didn’t work. Each time I launched it it shut down. I tried all sorts of things and each time it thumbed its nose at me, farted in my general direction and shut down again. I have been toying for a while with the idea of buying the super-duper Artificially Intelligent DxO software but the cost put me off. Almost any cost puts me off. I am pathologically against any form of unnecessary expenditure. The biggest scam yet perpetrated on a highly suspecting world is the idea of Software as a Service where we have to hand over monthly or annual payments to keep what we already have just in case they decide to upgrade the software. Perpetual licences are out, licensed bandits are in.
Happily the DxO software is available for a free trial and I am about 3 hours in. It most certainly seems to do a good job. But yikes, yarroo and shiver me timbers, the file sizes! My old files were about 55mb and the DxO processed DNG files are about 3-4x that size. My 5TB external HD is going to fill up very quickly. So if anybody has a better suggestion for first rate (cheapish) de-noise software please leave a comment.
Today is the Winter Solstice and the family will gather this evening to celebrate. Assuming we all survive, tomorrow I shall be back in the gym being knocked into shape by my trainer, Miss Whiplash. I’m convinced she has a dungeon somewhere and if I can’t do my push-ups I will be thrown in chains until I cheer up.
Now I need a photo to go with this so I thought I would kill one bird with two stones. Technology and software.

Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron trying to listen to the radio
Black-crowned Night Heron trying to upgrade his operating software

This is of course a juvenile so should be perfectly at ease with technology. Me, I’m off to renew my Apple Care contract.

20 thoughts on “My OS needs an upgrade

  1. Oh dear, oh dear. All of the tech knowledge is far and away over my little ole one track brain. Since I am not into photoshopping and all that jazz I don’t have too much to worry about. When I need things done, I pay my friend’s son who is a computer science expert (who taught in colleges, etc.) to fix things for me, upgrade, and apply security protection to hopefully keep my computer/s free of all the bad stuff that can invade a computer. He has my Windows 10 laptop now to see about upgrading and adding storage. For some reason, I bought a HP not that long ago that has very little storage. I am still trying to figure out how that happened. Here’s hoping all your computer and tech problems will melt away this Christmas. Wishing you and Shirley and the family a most happy holiday season and a healthy and safe new year.

  2. I don’t even know what de-noise software is so you’re way ahead of me. When I phone my go to help child I’m positive I can hear her eyes rolling when she realises what I’m about to say. Happy Christmas to you!

    • It removes what is called digital noise from the image – the dots that look like grain on an old film photograph. You should end up with a smoother image. You get them on shots taken at high ISO where the sensor is being asked to capture things in poorer light. Our child-expert is very understanding but I’m sure she also thinks we are a bit weak in the head sometimes. Christmas greetings warmly returned.

  3. All of this is much beyond me, as I’ve barely opened the door to the Apple universe, and don’t mess with any fancy processing software. I do have an iPad — and more recently an iPhone — but I’ve stayed with a PC at home. So far I’ve been able to deal with its issues fairly well, apart from the complexities of getting Apple and the PC to talk to one another. Example: there seems to be no way to update iTunes on my Win10 PC, even using the workarounds that Apple recommends. Who knows? Some day when I’m completely out of other things to do, I may take on that little project. Or not.

    In the meantime, best wishes to you for a Merry Christmas and a happy and stress-free computing year!

    • I left the Windows-sphere many years ago but my wife still has it on one of her older laptops. I have just got used to using Apple products and would dread having to relearn all the MS products again. I think Apple support is usually first rate. I don’t have an iPad except a work one which is mandatory. The laptop and phone combo is more than enough for my own use. Have a lovely tech-free Christmas and a healthy 2022.

    • Many thanks Yvonne. Humour is important especially now. I shall pass on your appreciation to the Night Heron. A very happy Christmas to you.

  4. Absolutely no idea. That’s why I married my IT husband. Not really, but he’s certainly useful and if he doesn’t know, he can Google with the best of them and actually have some idea what the information he finds means. But I love your photos and I wish you a blessed and tech-hassle-free Christmas and 2022.


  5. Aaargh! Upgrading to Sierra was enough of an experience. My desktop Apple is a great-grandfather and my laptop… well, menopausal I guess. Everything is still more or less working, so I’ll hobble along for the time being. Love the photo and the laugh!

    • I no longer have a desktop, Hilary. Not even in the office I visit once a week. Too difficult to carry around. I suppose they are better in some ways but I just like the convenience of laptops. But then Apple removed all the old USB ports and the inbuilt card reader. Technology is wonderful but it isn’t designed for the late middle-aged. Happy Christmas, Hilary.

  6. You really made me chuckle with this. My toddler 2yr-old Mac was also threatening to quit functioning if I didn’t press the update button. My go-to child fled to the northern reaches of Wisconsin some years ago, and I’m afraid I’ve alienated the Apple technicians permanently with some sharp comments I may have made, so I was on my own. gulp. I THINK I’m on Monterey now…but who really knows for sure? I keep stumbling over things that don’t work anymore.

    I was absolutely tickled by the photo you shared!

    • What annoys me is that the reason for upgrades is usually said to be security. Why wasn’t it secure in the first place? That of course is a ruse to make you afraid. I now have VPNs, password vaults, two factor authentication and a host of other things. I even have an email filter which removes trackers before mail reaches me. But why isn’t it more user friendly? Why do I need a child? I am licenced to drive a 300kph car so why is my computer so difficult. I’m sorry. I need a rest (again). Happy Christmas Melissa.

      • I’m right there with you, Andrew! We should not require the supervision of a child to operate our personal computers! If we weren’t all so tired, we could arrange an uprising of the grey-hairs. Maybe after a nap.
        Yesterday I was in a Dr.’s office and the subject of Apple came up. He was extremely enthusiastic, saying instead of bothering to update my security, why don’t I participate in the buy-back program and get a brand new Mac?! He is much younger, of course. Practically a child.

  7. Non sei l’unico ad avere problemi con la tecnologia ed i vari aggiornamenti.
    Piano piano ce la faremo, forza !!!
    Buon Natale a te e ai tuoi cari.
    Ciao, Pat

  8. I guess you articulate the problem all of us slightly older citizens face. Problem is, the younger generation don’t have the patience to sit with us throughout the process so we’ll never really learn. However there are times when young-uns need our help such as”Dad, do you have…” and its usually a specialist tool, which I usually have, or a large garden, which I do have, to set up a giant tracking satellite disc. Dads always do that without losing patience! Happy Christmas all Dads.

    • So true. But I watch Leia’s comfort level with gadgets at the age of 3. It’s amazing. I hope we get a garden back soon. And +1 to the Happy Christmas all Dads.

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