Tuesday, January 05, 2010

It's harder than it used to be

Blogging, that is. And dealing with changes, too.

My retirement gift to myself was a new computer. Having nearly pulled my hair out over repeated virus problems at home and at work, I took my daughter Kim's advice and bought an iMac. I'm very satisfied with the computer itself, but what I failed to realize was that some of my favorite software isn't available for Mac systems.

I like to write my blog posts in a word-processing program (where editing is easier) and transfer them to Blogger for posting. There used to be a version of WordPerfect (my old favorite word-processing standby) for Mac, but there isn't anymore. When I bought the new computer, I had to decide between Pages and Microsoft Word. I knew I wasn't nuts about Word, so I chose the less expensive Pages. So far I've been able to do everything I've needed in Pages, but it's always taken longer than it would have in WordPerfect. (Maybe I need to read that manual I bought instead of relying on the trial-and-error method.)

Also, the little keyboard that comes with iMac, streamlined and quiet as it is, isn't as comfortable for me as an older style keyboard. The keys are full-sized on the new keyboard, but they're closer together, too. The problems were worse because the arthritis in my right hand has increased during the last year. When I hold my hand flat and try to put my fingers together, there's a distinct "V" space between my middle finger and ring finger from the fingertips to the second joint. That made it very easy to type a semi-colon instead of an "l" on the closely spaced keys. For example, if I'd had the holiday spirit, I might have typed: "Deck the ha;;s with boughs of ho;;y; fa ;a ;a ;a ;a ;a ;a ;a ;a!" Fortunately, Kim came up with a spare, older-model keyboard that has made it much easier to keep my fingers where they're supposed to be.

Today I decided to do a little blog housekeeping and clean up the sidebar. Much to my surprise, somebody apparently broke Blogger while I was gone. The "drag and drop" page elements neither drag nor drop. I was able to edit existing elements, but I couldn't add anything to the sidebar, and I couldn't move anything from one spot to the other.

Have you experienced this problem, too? Do you know of other things that have changed about Blogger in the last year? Any good new features I might enjoy? Or bad things I may not have discovered yet?

Any tips will be appreciated.