tech dilemma

A while back I mentioned that I had finally managed to organise myself with regard to my tax returns. The result of all that came to a conclusion last Friday when I discovered that a nice amount had been credited to my account from the tax office. All paperwork is done for 7 years of returns, including 2011/12, so I am completely up to date as far as taxes are concerned and the return was within the ballpark of expectation.

Priority number one is new hearing aids. I inherited my current pair from my dad and they’re about 10 years old now – that’s a reasonable life span for a pair of hearing aids. There have been substantial developments in hearing aid technology and the aids themselves are now smaller and lighter – I can even get them in red! The other step is to look at what sort of options are available with regard to hearing aid support and sound systems. My current TV doesn’t have great sound and there are options for systems that can pipe directly to the hearing aids via a combination of bluetooth and the traditional hearing aid loops. I don’t even have a stereo anymore as I tend to listen to music via my ipod with a decent pair of headphones. I am reluctant to make any move in that direction til I have the new hearing aids.

The other area I’m looking at is computer stuff. When I changed back to public sector, a mate gave me his old Mac Pro which continues to serve me well and has even converted me a little to Mac though mac stuff annoys me at times. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support the new Mac OS, Mountain Lion. Other than that it works well and I’m loving that it has unix underneath with easy shell access. On Windows machines, which I also love, I usually had to install cygwin or run it as a dual boot with linux to get the functionality I wanted. Things I love about windows most are text handling ie keyboard shortcuts for manipulating text and moving the cursor around – that would be the primary point of friction in my mac conversion.

Now I’m looking at options for the home. A part of me is tempted to return, in a sense, to what I had when working for Gale: a good laptop that I took everywhere and connected to a decent monitor at home. I had hoped that the ASUS Transformer Prime would fill this gap and it does somewhat but it lacks the true multi-tasking ability of a laptop eg the ability to edit multiple documents at once (it might and I may need to explore that more).

For home at least, I reckon a dedicated server/tower should suffice and the Mac Pro is doing ok though I’m tempted by moving to either a mac mini or a windows based tower. I remain ever tempted by the Mac Air (11″); the air continues to be sexy and interesting. Mostly, I need to work out what my needs are, keeping in mind some of the unique issues of my needs – hearing being a big one.

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