For the past several days, the trackpad problem with the computer (which I mentioned here had reached a critical stage; it got to the point where I could hardly get anything done at all on here. The increased level of frustration made for an awful way to start the day, and productivity was truly suffering (and the iPhone wasn't always a good substitute; trying to copy and past multiple links into my web-based school email took a good ten minutes this morning).
This whole time, I was really hoping that the problem was strictly with the trackpad and would thus be solved by simply obtaining a mouse. Thankfully, I was correct. Having both a little bit of time and money, I headed to the Giant Corporate Electronics Concern and Tech Geek's Nirvana Spot Which Shares Its Name with a Futurama Character after rehearsal tonight and parted with a mere 13 simoleons, acquiring a perfectly serviceable USB mouse in the process. (As convenient as a wireless mouse would be, I can't part with that kind of money during the holidays, and as much as I'd like to stay all-Apple, all the time with the MacBook, I knew that such things weren't a requirement.)
Sure enough, I got home, plugged it in, and the problems of the past several weeks vanished right away. (Do I really need to download software from the manufacturer, as the installation instructions suggest? It appears to work fine as it is, and I don't need to do anything fancy like programming the buttons to do special things.) I still have a few small things to work out, such as the lack of USB ports (since I'm also running a peripheral keyboard--yes, this laptop is acting more and more like a desktop these days--and my speakers, and I'm trying to find a way to use all three simultaneously without messing with the extra wires and cables of the old powered USB hub left over from my old iMac), but it's nice to be able to do things on here on demand again. I can feel the wave of relaxation settling in already.
I'll try to use some of the next few days to get caught up on old posts and the like. As always (how many times have I said this during this semester alone?), thanks for your patience.