The Treacherous Trip from Leopard to Lion: A Digital Fable
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
About a month ago, I awoke to find that I could no longer view videos on my computer. Was it a nightmare or was I really awake to this horror. I would receive indications on e-mails, on social media comments, on blog posts, it seemed like everywhere. The reason I knew they were videos hidden from sight was because I was constantly plagued by the sign of the black rectangle.
Often there was a chilling warning, taunting me in written in bold letters across the rectangular black void, as if I had committed the terrible sin because my Flash player was out of date. The feeling of commencing a treacherous journey, one I had taken before, began to overshadow me. The difference from other times was that this time I was surrounded by nothing but black, rectangular mine fields. Friends would say to me, “Oh did you see that video I sent you?” and I would have to answer in the negative, confessing that I had not.
It had become quite embarrassing, almost humiliating. I was functioning at a technical level lower than and inferior to just about everyone. How did it happen? And literally over night, too? I went from being a Steve Job’s products devotee to being an Apple flunky. The was my biggest humiliation. Most of the people who questioned me were ardent PC users, not even MAC loyalists. And I, the great proponent of Apple superiority, was having to admit that I could NOT even view videos. The black rectangle loomed larger and larger like a scarlet letter.
OUTDATED FLASH PLAYER
It got to the point where I could not take it any more. Every time I attempted to open a video, I got the message that the Flash Player I was using was out of date and that I needed to download a higher version. No biggie to them, the messengers inside my computer. But for me, it was mortifying. It was as if I was being told to run as fast everyone else but I had a broken leg. “I am going as fast as I can”, I found myself shouting back at the Flash message every time it appeared. It got to the point where I had to admit, even to myself, ‘I can’t do this anymore. I have gone as fast and as far as I can with my Leopard. It is outdated and I can not use the higher level of Flash. I surrender. The black triangle has won’.
MY LEOPARD HAD FAILED ME
The Leopard, that had been my faithful digital companion for over five years, finally had failed me. I had no choice but to go to the Lions. Somehow though, the pain I had already suffered made this transition, as treacherous as I knew it would be, less daunting since I had experienced similar trips in the past.
The address books, the years of methodical bookmarking and endless organizational hours would all have to go down the drain. “Wait a minute”, one might say. “Can’t you ‘migrate’ these things from your Leopard to your new Lion?” Once again, the blushing humiliation set it. “No, you can not”, the MAC salesman confessed. My 10.4.11 Leopard was just too old to do any of the necessary tricks to make the leap to a 10.7.2 Lion. Nothing less than a complete start over would suffice.
So here I am, three days after purchase, in the midst of my safari. Yes, perhaps one might consider me brave or perhaps a fool. But I am still porting from Leopard to Lion.
By the way, if you have been through this nightmare and have any suggestions, tips or similar stories, please let me know. Just contact me through the comments section at the end of this story.