Mac, Under the Hood

The Desk/Golf Connection

Corrections or additions?

This article by Kathleen McGinn Spring was prepared for the July 3, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Upgrade to Windows XP (And Keep Your Sanity)

After Microsoft came out with its new — reportedly

more stable — operating system, many users wanted to upgrade.

Some, as reported in any number of newspaper articles, ran into problems.

It is a fair guess that many more, terrified with tinkering with their

machines, nevertheless long for that added stability, and for XP’s

other cool features, including a more effortless Internet interface.

But they just have not had the nerve to trade up.

On Monday, July 8, at 7:30 p.m. at the Mercer County Library in Lawrence,

the Princeton PC Users Group provides guidance. Paul Kurivchack

and Victor Laurie, two PC pros, demonstrate how to accomplish

the upgrade with a minimum of angst. The two speak from experience;

they have done it themselves. They address differences between Home

and Pro versions of the operating system, consider whether the FAT

or NTFS file system is better, and give an overview of security options.

Neophytes, be assured, all questions are welcome. Call 609-520-9024.

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Mac, Under the Hood

Macintosh is wooing you. Longtime, probably lifetime,

PC owners are the targets of a new series of Mac advertisements showing

new Mac owners talking about how happy they are with their decision

to switch. The Wall Street Journal has weighed in, running an article

on the pros and cons of trading in a PC for a Mac. There are plenty

of good reasons to consider a Mac, the article concluded, including

excellent tools for making movies, transferring music, and editing

videos.

None of this is news, of course, to Mac faithfuls. Local Mac addicts,

otherwise known as PMUG, or the Princeton Macintosh Users Group, meet

on Tuesday, July 9, at 7 p.m. at Jadwin Hall, Princeton University.

Call 609-924-3851. The topic for this meeting is "Maintenance

and Repair of Macintosh Computers." Speakers are Jeff Gorman

and Jack Nelson from Creative Computing at 221 Witherspoon Street.

They address a range of issues, including diagnostics of non-working

computers, when to upgrade a Mac, home networking, and installation

of a second hard drive. There will be a video camera projection so

the audience can see the installation of the second hard drive. As

always, Beginners’ and Special Interest Groups (SIG) meets before

the general meeting, from 6 to 7:15 p.m.

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The Desk/Golf Connection

Moving around wisely during the work day will make you

a better golfer. This according to chiropractor Edward Feldman,

a man who golfs on weekends, does not practice or frequent driving

ranges, uses decades-old wooden clubs, and yet hits three wood shots

240 yards with ease.

Feldman leads a two-hour golf clinic on Tuesday, July 9, at 7 p.m.

at his office at 4418 Route 27 in Kingston. Cost: $25. Call 609-252-1766.

Pre-registration is required.

Feldman draws on more than chiropractic medicine in his work, his

golf, and his life. A graduate of New York Chiropractic, he began

practice in Boston, and practiced in New York before opening his Kingston

practice nine years ago. Soon after he began seeing patients, he noticed

that individuals came back with the same complaint again and again.

The problem, he intuited, went beyond a chronically sore shoulder

or lower back. He guessed that there was some mind body connection,

linked, perhaps with bad habits.

He sought out further education, and found Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais,

the engineer, scientist, and physicist who is the founder of the Feldenkrais

Method. This method, to quote a website devoted to the subject (www.feldenkrais.com),

"is an unusual melding of motor development, bio-mechanics, psychology,

and martial arts. It is recognized for its demonstrated ability to

improve posture, flexibility, coordination, self-image, and to alleviate

muscular tension and pain."

Feldman studied with Feldenkrais for four summers. He also studied

— and continues to study and teach — martial arts Tai Chi

and Qi Keng. But what does any of his have to do with golf?

Plenty it turns out. Office workers, Feldman points out, sit still

all day, "drawn inward, toward the computer." Not a pretty

picture, that, but undoubtedly accurate. In assuming this posture,

desk jockeys underuse their large muscles, which were designed to

work hard day in and day out. These muscles include those attached

to the pelvis, the very muscles that need to rotate smoothly if one

is to achieve a Tiger Woods-like swing, or anything approaching same.

At the same time, says Feldman, constant weekday computer work, writing,

and phone clutching overuses more delicate muscles, especially in

the hands and in the neck.

Out on the golf course, in a setting a little more like that in which

early man spent his days — but with tidy greens and without mastodons

— the big muscles come into play again. Used to inactivity from

Monday through Friday, they are prone to injury when over-eager week-end

warriors try to fit in 27 holes before dark. Likewise, those overused

hand and neck muscles may rebel from the extra load.

Not only are necks and arms overused in the office, but, he says,

they are asked to carry way too much of the load on the golf course

as well.

"The problem with most golfers," says Feldman, "is they

use a lot of arm strength. They try to muscle the ball. They’re not

using the large muscles attached to the waist and pelvis." Results

range from ungainly shots to injuries.

Professional golfers, Feldman points out, do not swing the way most

week-end golfers do. The form the pros use, and the form his training

in mindful whole-body movement suggests, goes something like this:

Spiral into the ground. Feet are elevated in martial arts.

Feldman uses a tree root analogy to explain their importance. Golfers

seeking a smooth, powerful, unified swing must start from the ground

up. Be aware of the feet, move them, mentally imagine them spiraling

deep into the ground. This is the solid base from which the best golf

swings emanate.

Move that pelvis. Elvis knew the importance of moving

his pelvis, and golfers need to discover it. A good swing takes shape

when a grounded golfer powers his shots by rotating from his pelvis.

Let those arms float. Root the feet, rotate the pelvis,

and arms become incredibly light, Feldman says. Given a strong, yet

fluid, base, the arms do not need to work hard. "If you touch

them, you should feel no tension," says Feldman. The swing should

be smooth, and the ball should go the maximum distance the club allows.

Feldman’s upcoming workshop is meant to be an introduction to

mindful golf. It should get golfers thinking, evaluating their swings.

In the beginning, though, he says, "there are so many things to

think about." The switch to another style of golf will not be

automatic. Anyone interested enough to want to gravitate toward a

whole-body approach to golf might need a series of private or group

lessons — perhaps half a dozen to ten.

Results of the training have the most impact when it is not applied

only to golf, but also to daily habits, like that frozen-in-front-of-the-computer

pose. Feldman, and other practitioners of the Feldenkrais Method and

martial arts, have suggestions for movements that can break the pose,

and can also be practiced behind the wheel, and during breaks in Golf

Channel broadcasts.

The result could be not only a mind-body connection but also an office-golf

connection, making days more comfortable and productive — whether

they are spent at the desk or on the links.


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