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ATPM 12.04
April 2006



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Segments: Slices from the Macintosh Life

by Heather Isaacson,

Building a Web Site

It’s been a few years since you’ve heard from me in the backwoods of the Canadian Rockies.

When I was online years ago, I gobbled up every ATPM. When my old Mac refused to connect to the Internet, I went offline and put my dreams on hold. While I was offline, I was developing my skills as a graphic artist on my old Mac by painting a lot of murals and signs. I was paying printing companies to publish paintings into products. I was doing the odd order for business cards and letterhead designs. I was also producing a lot of paintings. My old dream of selling my art products (bookmarks, note cards, posters, prints, sculptures, paintings) on a Web site was put off.

The printing companies and table sales at fairs, through cost of gasoline time and energy, were gobbling up the money. It cost so much that it looked like a hobby. One day, I decided to quit and re-examine my strategy. I quit printing stuff and started saving that money. I quit going to table sales and started saving that money, too. My thought was that I would like to buy a new Mac. I consulted with my neighbors and started to visit the Mac sites online to check out what I would like to do with a new Mac.

I could not do on my old Mac (a Performa 2500) my old dream of selling my artwork over the Internet. I’m a bit slow sometimes to figure out when to go ahead. I need a tragedy to wake me up. One day, in the middle of an order of designing some stickers for a customer, it happened. My Mac Performa died, or so I thought. It was time for me to change to a new Mac. I went to the nearest Mac dealer and told the consultant what I wanted to do with my new Mac.

I wanted:

  1. to be able to read all my old files so I could keep my old small-order customers.
  2. to have fast access to the Internet.
  3. to replace the printing companies’ cost and be able to manufacture my own bookmarks, note cards, and prints.
  4. a large-format scanner to be able to scan larger paintings, smaller paintings, photos, slides, and negatives to be used for the Web site or for manufacturing the products.
  5. enough memory to run many graphics programs at once without crashing.
  6. to build Web pages.
  7. to burn CDs instead of saving files on many small floppy disks.
  8. a better record-keeping system that would not take hours of my time from producing art.
  9. to be able to have e-mail access with a better program than I had.
  10. to explore archiving of photos because my first love is photography.

I went way beyond my saved amount, but I got what I needed at the end of December 2005. I will be able to do all of the above, I hope. I ordered a whole package:

And I got it all for CAD$3,800. Plus, I invested $1,200 more on software. It’s a good setup for the money. Another month and it will pay for itself. Bonus: the Apple guys included fixing my old Mac, which only needed a new battery (I didn’t even know it had a battery), and it could be put to work again.

The new computer is so fast that I was able to do numbers 1–3 within a week and try out all the little programs and stuff that came with my computer.

I was also able to remove all my stuff from the old Mac and find all of those cute CD-ROMs that came with my Performa, such as Nicolia’s trains, Leonardo da Vinci, Dinosaurs, and Kid Works, making it into the grandchildren’s computer. I’m still waiting for the large scanner. I took a night-school course in January to learn QuickBooks. I also switched to cable Internet.

I was well underway by the end of January with numbers 5 and 7–10. In February, I wrote a rough outline for a book including pictures and photos, and have not even burned a CD yet.

March is here and I’ve decided to learn how to set up and run a Web site. I started with no knowledge at all.

It’s only March 3, and I’ve learned a lot. Not enough yet, but some archived ATPM articles on what not to do on a Web site have been very helpful. I have a lot to catch up on, and now that I have the right Mac, I can do all I dreamed of doing. I’m so excited! There is no danger of me running out of things to do, as I’m already underway to setting up a shop to do welding and metal sculptures as well.

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Reader Comments (1)

Trixie McGuire · April 3, 2006 - 01:06 EST #1
A Macintosh person in the Canadian outdoors - How delightful !

Enjoyed your read - We truly have tons in common - and - I live in SLC, UT !

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