Tuesday, May 15, 2007

wherein we speak of apples and windows


Well, my introduction to the Mac has been up-and-down. For starters, when I took it out of the box on Saturday, turned it on and was directed through the setup process, somehow I goofed in setting up my password – this being THE PASSWORD – the password that I need to input every time I turn on the computer, every time I try to load new software. Basically it’s the key to the computer. ARGH! So all weekend I simmered over that (you know the feeling you got when you were given a new toy and in taking it out of the box, you dinged it, so that ever after when you looked at it, you felt bad – that feeling).

Monday saw that problem solved - and a couple of new ones created. For once I reset the password, my 30-day trial of Office for Mac was no longer recognized, and other programs (like email and the web browser) asked me for the password and when I didn’t give the one they expected (the original one which I typoed), kept slapping my hand with denials. I did finally get them straightened out.

Another matter which still isn’t solved is how I’ll get my writing files transferred over to the new machine. It’s my fault, since I’ve used WordPerfect software for years (preferring it to Word, which I also have on my old Windows machine). When I transferred some files via CD, the Word files opened just fine but the Mac couldn’t decipher anything WordPerfect. In sleuthing around on the internet, I read that the Mac version of Word doesn’t support conversion from WordPerfect to Word, as the Windows version of Word does. So this means I’ll be spending a fair few hours converting files from WP to Word on my old machine before moving them to the new.

As for the move – I was hoping a memory stick would be my moving van. But it seems probably not. For the ancient Windows program I’ve been using needs a driver to download onto such a device. I’ve tried downloading the appropriate driver from the internet from at least two different places and it downloads as a Word file! (It’s probably in a zip-type file format that’s way too hip for my ancient machine to recognize.)

All that to say, the transition isn't going to be without its bumps. But yesterday I did manage to get the printer installed on the Mac and today I bought an extra long printer cable and another cable connection. Then I rearranged my office for the long haul so that both machines can be accessed comfortably, using the same printer and plugged interchangeably into the one cable connection by me simply crawling under my desk and unplugging/plugging in the cable (instead of moving the one cable from machine to machine). That way I can break in on the new machine slowly while being able to efficiently do the stuff I need to on my old clunker because it’s still in service.

The Mac is elegant and zippy. It’s also super quiet. As for having to shut down and boot up again because of some problem (which happens on average about once a day with the Windows machine) – it hasn’t happened yet. I can leave it on all the time. It just goes to sleep - in fact it’s sleeping quietly on the desk behind me as I type.

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