Being Without My Mac

I’ve enjoyed having a Mac, ever since I made the switch. Now, though, my Mac is unwell. I’ve booked in at the Apple store to take it in – I think it needs a new hard drive. Until then, though, I only have my old Windows XP Tablet PC. It’s quite old, and slow, with a small screen, and no access to any of the data on my Mac’s hard drive, or any of the external drives I used.

So. How’s that working out for me?

Surprisingly well, really. It’s not pleasant, but it’s usable for a while. I think I miss the hardware more than the software, though I certainly prefer Mac OS to Windows XP. The screen is so small and so low down that I’m feeling the risk of neck ache, and it doesn’t feel good for my eyes. I’ve been spoiled with that 24″ screen, though!

One of the first things I did was to install ResophNotes, which gives me access to my writing and ‘thinking’ space – the same data I’d normally access through Notational Velocidy on the Mac. I have DropBox, so many of my current files are still available. Although I use Apple’s Mail app for my email, it’s all stored in Gmail, so I can just open a browser tab and I have my email all up to date. I’m a little in limbo at the moment for calendars, but Google Calendar is currently my ‘master’, so I have that available.

I keep my notes in Evernote, so I just updated that to the latest version and let it sync. I’m using the web version of Twitter instead of the Tweetie (or Twitter official) client. My tasks are all in Remember The Milk, so they’re online anyway.

I had access to all of my most important data very quickly.

I’m still missing all the data on my external drives. Windows would be able to access them if they weren’t in Mac OS Extended format, but that would mean I wouldn’t be able to use Time Machine to keep them backed up. And since it’s Time Machine that means I’ll be able to bring my Mac home with a new hard drive and get it back up and running to pretty much where I was, I’m happy with the trade-off.