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