Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Switching from the Darkside or to the Darkside?

Yes, this is my new "toy". It is not a photo of my new MacBook Pro however. For some reason, unfathomable to me, my photo is uploading here sideways, so I cannot use it nor rectify it for the moment. I had to nick one from the internet and it is not exactly the same but you get the idea.

So since last Thursday I have been tearing my hair out as I try to master the OS X operating system which I have been told is intuitive. It seems all my intuition has been educated out of me or maybe I never had any but it is not as easy as everyone tries to tell you.

We actually went to buy a new high end PC laptop from the local huge electronic store which sells both PCs and Macs. The first salesperson was useless and did not convince us that anything was right for my needs. But we were hanging around discussing the situation when another salesperson came along. Miss Powerhouse. Obviously very knowledgeable and enthusiastic and she had just about convinced us to buy a Sony Vaio when we started to talk about her own computers. Yes her two Macs. She had switched some time ago. A very good salesperson and some thousands of dollars poorer we walked out with a 15 inch MacBook Pro.

Now of course one can return it up until Jan 5th, after putting it through its paces. So that is what I have been doing. Sort of. Naturally you want to connect to the Internet and I downloaded Firefox for Mac. No problems there. I am sure Safari is fine but I like Firefox so that was my choice. Mmm. The colours on this screen are a bit pale. My poor blog looks quite washed out. You must be able to change this somehow. But how?

I downloaded and printed out the manual which I have to tell you is terrible. Not only is it for the previous MacBook Pro but it keeps referring you to the help section online. Not good Apple. Some people are book people and want to turn from page to page and not cruise around the internet, getting totally lost. I have ordered a fat book, Switching to the Mac: the Missing Manual but unfortunately it has not yet arrived. So I am floundering around.

Of course I also downloaded Second Life immediately. With the help of several friends in SL who are Mac users I have tweaked a few things to make it better but I am a little disappointed that it is not vastly better, considering this is much more powerful machine than my Dell and considering it cost a small fortune. But it could be the limitations of Second Life. Who knows?

Today I went to the Genius Bar in the local Apple store for a consultation. I found a very helpful chap, who sorted out my screen problems in a flash, showing me where to change the settings to my liking and answered the questions I had written down in a long list to ask. I'm still a PC person, wanting to know how to do the same things on Mac. Actually I was very happy with my current system except for the keyboard not working, but I have to say I got my money's worth from it. I hope I will be able to say the same thing from this one. So probably I won't be switching totally to or from the darkside, depending on your point of view, but running both systems, at least for a while.

Today I signed up for what I think is quite a good deal. $99 (plus taxes) for a once a week one-on-one tutoring session for one year, which also includes transferring files from the old computer to the new one. Of course I will be away for a month in Australia during that time and the cost of parking downtown once a week will soon make it not such a bargain. But I still think it is a good idea.

After a few hours I go back to my old Dell laptop, with its clunky external keyboard and find it very relaxing in comparison. It is not a pleasant experience to feel so ignorant again. But I look forward to it as a new challenge. Something to keep the old brain cells firing on all cylinders. Well that's what I tell myself.

OK, I promise not to turn into one of those awful smug Mac people who harangue you about how great a Mac is and how you should switch. But did I tell you how much I love my iPods? My old mini and my new iTouch. Now they are brilliant and you should definitely not muck around with anything other than an iPod. Just saying!


Ellee Seymour said...

Hi JMB, I know you will love this little beauty. I have a MacBook and I find it a dream, though I still use WindowsVista on my Dell desktop. What you said about Apple staff being helpful is so true. I've never found a more customer friendly organisation. I pay £79 per year and for this little amount I can have one hours personal tuition on my MacBookfor each week of the year.
I am changing to the iPhone when my mobile contract runs out next month and I will be going there for lessons on how to use it and download lots of extra features.

Happy New Year JMB. I'm still really very busy, but look forward to blogging again soon.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Very nice toy!

Happy New Year!

May you be blessed much happiness and many joys in 2009!

Mar said...

Good luck with the Mac. You are very brave to change!!

Dropping by to wish a very Happy New Year and all the best for 2009!
And hugs.

CherryPie said...

Sounds complicated to me...

Vijay said...

I'm so jealous I almost didn't want to comment here. An MBP for a newbie! While I, who consider myself a seasoned Mac user have to make do with an iBook G4!!

Congrats Joan. I'm sure you'll grow to love the MBP as much as your iPod & iTouch :)

Vijay said...

oops, like you I almost forgot.

Happy New Year to you, the 'old scientist,' your daughter, her hubby & your delightful grand daughter :)

jams o donnell said...

I'm sure you will get to love your Mac jmb. In the meantime I hope you and yours have a happy new year

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

It looks very smart and I'm sure you'll figure it all out soon! HAPPY NEW YEAR from Sicily xx woof!

Smalltown RN said...

Well Kudos to you JMB for taking on the challenge...I know what you mean about challenging our grey matter....but I am so technologically challenged it would take forever...thank goodness for my hubby....I have never owned an iPod...and I know nothing about iTunes.....if I want music, I just down load it off of the computer store it in my music file and play it when I want it....you see I don't go to the gym...so I am not one of those people you see with their iPods plugged in....I run....and I would never run with music in my ears...for me I find that to dangerous....I personally would like to take in the sounds around me as I run....especially in my area where eagles and numerous birds fly overhead.

I think that is wise of you to take the once a week course....a tad pricey yes...but if you get what you need out of the course then it is worth it.

Happy New Years my friend!!!

Dr.John said...

I guess I will stick with my Pc. It is the part about loads of money that convinced me that I don't want a Mac.

Cathy said...

It sounds wonderful Joan. I want to go Mac but like you I am so use to my pc that I doubt I could ever learn how to use it. I'm scared to even go to an iphone yet. I stick with just a camera phone.

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

Wow! Brave of you to switch. I have a couple of friends who swear by Apple. When I have used their machines I have thought I might swear too! I guess maybe it is what you are used to. I think i will stick to the laptop for the moment. Upgrade not in my plans.

I love Firefox I wouldn't want to loose it either. Good you can have it on the Mac.

I recently got a high end Apple product. I figure it is just as well that it quite easy to pick up, once you get where they are coming from. The manual is non existent, not even a diagram. the phone helpline when you do get through I found the line of little practical use and gave up maybe it was the phones. I don't like, or get on with the online help. If you have got part of the problem on your screen then keep switching from the help to the problem is not much fun. If their laptop is the same they need to work on it.

Maybe they figure they can make plenty out of younger trendier media types.