Monday, August 28, 2006


After a summer of being able to blissfully ignore my "to-do" list, classes have begun and the maelstrom of details and deadlines has started.

Alas, we have come to rely on our to accomplish our deeds.

Lately it seems some of my helpers are out to get me...

  • I'm about to post my syllabus on the website when Adobe Acrobat (which has worked faithfully for years) suddenly locks up my computer.
  • iCal dropped a bunch of of recital hall reservations creating double bookings
  • MS Word crashes about once each work session (I've learned to hit Ctrl-S after about every sentence)
  • I get 20 - 30 spams a day (Boy, no matter how many times I give them my my social security number they still say my credit union account needs updating).
  • Just as I'm about to really get something done on the computer, Windows announces everything must stop for an update, (or McAfee).
  • When I plug in my iPod for an update it takes about 5 minutes for iTunes to open and begin the update
  • Even my login to got messed up for a while.
It amazes me how much time is spent just trying to help our "helpers" to help us.

And thus, I have a new term:

Unproductive Because Of Technology

(a.k.a. "Where did that last hour go???")

I do have some "star" programs that have chugged away reliably and thus deserve credit:

The PBOT list:
  • Finale 2006. Just got it and love it. Never crashes.
  • Dreamweaver MX. I use it for BoneZone. Fantastic. So good I can't see why I need to ever update the software.
  • Eudora. Trusty, simple, it does the gig although I don't venture into spam filtering (yet).
  • Palm Desktop. Synchs beautifully with the Palm Pilot. The desktop app. is missing some features I'd love to see but, hey, it works day in day out. However, thumbs down to the "Documents to Go" app that synchs MS Word docs with the PDA.
  • CGoban (from Java). My addiction is playing the game of GO online. The applet from the Kiseido Go Server is a faithful friend.
Hmm, look at that list. Anything from Microsoft? Nope.

Not really a trombone posting but, regardless of our specialty, we all increasingly rely on these machines to achieve our goals.