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Travel travails, and a tale of two icons



There’s been a slight hiatus in blog postings as I transferred from Corfu to London.
The process was less than pleasant due to many hours of delay at Athens airport while the backlog of fog-delayed flights into London gradually cleared.
The delay induced the strong possibility that the Olympic flight might not take off at all, as the crew needed to be sure that there would be enough time to turn the plane around at Heathrow, so that they could be back in Athens before midnight in order to go on strike…….
Olympic staff are demoralised beyond words of course, and who can blame them?
The firm is bankrupt and has been for many years, limping along on government subsidies that are ruled as being illegal by the superstate bureaucrats in Brussels. The crunch seems inevitable, and the Greek flagship airline with its distinctive logo is likely to be consigned to history. So it’s not too surprising that the staff are surly and uncommunicative as they face unemployment in a pretty desperate economic climate.
There’s also a nostalgic echo about the possible closure, as many years ago Alkmini worked for the airline as a ground-hostess, both in London and Corfu, and she’ll be sad to see the firm close down.
So the wait in Athens was horrible, but since I reached London things have gone more smoothly, largely due to a gloriously uplifting visit to Apple’s cathedral-like megastore in Regent Street.
My session at the Genius Bar was almost spiritual, as I communed with a geek who really understood, and was able to iron out the quirks and idiosyncracies of my Macbook Pro, nudging the silver beauty towards even greater efficiency.
My backup Mac went into rehab for the weekend, as its’ memory was on the blink. Once corrected it will return with me to Greece to start a new life as Alkmini’s surfing companion, as her antique Macbook (all of 5 years old) retires, with its keyboard letters virtually smudged to nothing.
Incidentally I find it fascinating that I can type on its’ blank keyboard with 90% of the keys being located correctly!
But what is it about Apple, and the hoards of like-minded devotees who scrummage outside the store every single morning for its’ 10am opening? There are the shoppers of course, but most people just move serenely from area to area, playing with the hundreds of computers, iPhones and iPods of all colours and sizes; or who commute to higher level where the Genius bar, and the iPod bars are located, for one-on-one guidance into the mysteries of these technological marvels…..or they just sit in quite reflection in the mini-theater as incomprehensibly complicated usages are explained by what appear to be overgrown schoolkids.

You might have gathered that I like Macs!
And you won’t be surprised to know that this is accompanied by an almost visceral dislike of clunky steam-driven PCs and the hideous operating systems they mainly carry (although Word is passable). It’s all very hard to explain, and difficult to rationalise, but quite common with anyone whose been around Macs for any length of time.

Next week, back at the cathedral, when collecting my revitalised reserve Mac, I will investigate the new paper-thin version, and who knows, my Macs and I might have company when we travel back to Corfu in March!

I’ll try to return to wider topics next time, but I can’t promise……

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