Many Reasons for Giving Thanks This Year

Thursday is Thanksgiving Day here in the States, our once-a-year day dedicated to looking back at all the good things that have happened. We’ll be spending the next week with family, so this is the last new column we’re posting until next Wednesday.

Mac OS X 10.4 TigerLow End Mac has had four of its best traffic months ever this year, averaging over 50,000 page views per day from March through June. And our 2002 Mirrored Drive Doors Power Mac continues to work reliably with Mac OS X 10.4.10 Tiger and Classic mode. It’s fully supported under OS X 10.5 Leopard, which we hope to pick up before the end of the year.

The Mac OS X 10.4.10 update caused a fair number of problems, as a lot of software that had to run on something higher than 10.4.1 saw the “1” after the last period and assumed it was 10.4.1, not 10.4.10. Here at Low End Mac HQ, our Brother laser printer stopped printing over the network after we installed that update. Oddly, the Mac sees it as a Bonjour printer, but it can’t connect to it.

We’re holding off on installing 10.4.11 until after Thanksgiving. We’ll look over the user reports and probably install it next week.

eMacOver the past year, my now-wife had her 200 MHz Windows Me system give up the ghost. Unemployed at the time, and thus unable to buy a computer, she became a Mac user when I brought a 1.25 GHz eMac to her apartment. It took some getting used to, but she really likes it – especially iTunes and iPhoto.

We had two eMac failures this year: One just got flaky and began to lock up randomly, and then the other one lost its display. I played Dr. Frankenstein and got the working parts from both together, creating one working eMac and one lifeless hulk.

Mac OS X Leopard shipped at the end of October, and users quickly discovered ways to install it on Macs that Apple didn’t support, including Sawtooth Power Macs, 700 MHz eMacs, and even Pismo PowerBooks with G4 upgrades. (See our article about Unsupported Leopard Installation for more details and lots of reader input.)

I’ve worked with a MacBook Pro, love its performance, discovered that SheepShaver really does work (it’s a Mac emulator that lets you use Classic on Intel Macs), but working with Classic mode on a PowerPC Mac is a much better solution, so I’m sticking with my Power Mac for the foreseeable future. At some point I plan to buy a copy of Windows XP so I can try virtualization, make sure our site works in Internet Explorer, and let Waverly keep her Windows skills.

We celebrated Low End Mac’s 10th anniversary in April, and earlier this month we looked back on ten years since the first G3 Macs were introduced. This week we adopted a new slogan: Long Live Macs!

We’ve added several new columnists this year, along with The iNews Review, our weekly roundup of iPhone, iPod, and Apple TV news – plus whatever other consumer technology Apple might come up with.

Two of our columnists have spread their wings, launching the SiliconUser website (since discontinued), where they wrote about technology history. Their historical articles published on Low End Mac have been among our most popular ever.

Personal Life

Four years ago my life went into a tailspin as my first marriage turned to separation, which totally devastated me, moved Low End Mac to a Monday/Wednesday/Friday publishing schedule, and forced me to examine my life, deal with my issues, and reinvent myself. I reconnected with church and, more importantly, God. I found a peace my life had never known, one that didn’t depend on another human being for its identity. My divorce was finalized three years ago.

Almost two years ago, I met my second wife, an amazing woman who blew me away from the moment we met. She’d been through her own trials, found a similar path, and we quickly became best friends. We were engaged in February, one year after our first meeting, and we married at the end of June. Neither of us has ever been this happy, and we’re hoping to reach at least 50 years together, although we’ll both be nearing the century mark at that point.

This past year I’ve been involved in two musicals at church, something I’d never done before. I’ve made new friends and reconnected with some old ones. And I’ve discovered that even when finances are tight, I’m rich in all the ways that really matter.

I hope all of you have as much to be thankful for.

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