Big Mac Attack

I hadn’t meant to take off quite this long from blogging. I guess it has been a combination of work (where I have been busy cataloging) and play (where I have been spending way too much time in Second Life). I have also been considering making some changes here but that will be the subject of another post. For now, I want to focus on my latest purchase: a mid-level (aka white) “MacBook(MacBook)”: I don’t remember exactly the first time I ever used a Mac, but I am fairly sure it was in the University Center at the University of South Florida around 1990. The Student Government had a lab that was actually networked so that any workstation could print to the dot-matrix printers behind the counter. It seems primitive now, but it did have certain advantages over the 6-year-old Commodore 128 I was using back at my apartment. Later on, I found a basement lab that had a mix of PCs running Windows and Macs and got relatively proficient with both. In March 1994, I accepted a position running another Mac networked lab. I had 23 workstations, a server with a whopping 1 GB of storage and a massive 1.3 GB external drive, and a coaxial-cabled token ring network that made life interesting at times. After three years of that, I moved into a Media Specialist position where I had two or three Macs to use. But in all that time, I never really considered owning one. They were always too expensive, both in terms of hardware and software replacement. But for me, this all changed with recent developments. As Steve Gillmor likes to say, Office is pretty much dead to me. I use it at work for projects, but never at home anymore. I do intend to install NeoOffice when it gets to a more stable release. Other software is pretty much the same. I have been able to find free or open source versions of everything I think I need. I will still have an AMD64/NVIDIA-powered XP desktop at home for gaming and other apps. Between USB drives and web-based accounts, I feel I could easily “pull a Mark Pilgrim(Openness and the Longevity of My Bits)”: someday and move to Linux. But for right now, I am quite excited at being able to say I am a Macintosh owner.

Posted by Michael K Pate

Michael K. Pate tends to spend a great deal time of time around computers. He has been a Librarian since 1997. Michael was born in Avon Park, Florida in 1966. Except for a couple of brief periods in his life (once in Tampa and once in Winter Haven/Haines City), he has been a life-long resident. Originally, he planned on a career as a Computer Programmer and therefore graduate from Webber College with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems in 1988. However, unhappy with career opportunities at the time, he soon returned to school and received a BS in Social Science Education from the University of South Florida. He began his career in education at Avon Elementary and later Avon Park Middle working as a Computer Lab Coordinator. While technological challenges were interesting, he found himself more and more interested in becoming a Media Specialist. He began work on his MLS in 1995. However, a summer internship at the Sebring Public Library in 1996 soon made him reconsider just what his career should be. Upon graduation in 1997, he secured a position as a Media Specialist at Eastside Elementary in Haines City. Eventually, the position he was looking for opened up and he returned to SPL as Reference Librarian in 1999. In 2003, he became Assistant Director of the Highlands County Library System, serving in that role until the position was eliminated during a late round of budget cuts in 2010. Since then, he has been the Computer Support Specialist for the Heartland Library Cooperative. In 2011, he began serving on the Board of Directors of the Tampa Bay Library Consortium.