26 November 2005

Mac Attack!

I am officially a Mac user again!! Who knew a computer could be so fun & so cute?

The unnamed male relative is in town for Thanksgiving to dump some of his 'old' Apple hardware on me & the parents. Mom & Dad got a very attractive iMac to replace their early Triassic (and semi-functional) Gateway beast; I got a cuddly cute Mac mini (since I had an extra monitor & mouse in the closet).

The conversion of Windows-heads to Mac-brains has been slightly stressful, as the UMR has been working hard to convince us to go cold turkey on habits that we have picked up over some 20 years of PC use. I have only once had to remind him who was the first person in the family to own a Mac (me).

That was back in the mid-'80s, back when a Mac was a sort of bulky extra-large Kleenex box with a floppy slot on the front. Back then, PC meant DOS -- EEK. I was upgrading from an Apple II+, so the Mac seemed a logical step.

I don't remember how/why I ended up with PCs, but I donated the Mac many years ago to the UMR for his 'museum.'

Anyway, the re-education of Windows users has been a learning experience for the UMR, who is a trainer at the Unnamed Manufacturer of Cute Computers. It's a holiday weekend, so I will not type that my dad is a troglodyte, but if I did, it would not be too far off the truth. "I want it to work just like (name of Windows application)," he keeps saying, and to give the UMR credit, he is trying to make it so -- through gritted teeth.

Mom is more relaxed about it, open to learning a new way to read her mail, edit her pictures and generally work with a computer.

I'm a little of both. I don't take well to instruction; I like to fiddle with things & see how they work, then bend them to my will ;) For example, the UMR suggested that "Real Mac Users" don't need no stinkin' scroll thingie or multiple buttons on their mouses, but (whew) my three-button/scroll wheel mousie does retain its functionality on the Mac. I remember when I first got the scroll wheel, thinking, "Who needs this nonsense?" but now I can't imagine computing without it. Interestingly, the 'End' key on the keyboard does not function as expected, so I'll have to learn a workaround for that habit as well. There are also some issues with the way that I want to use iPhoto; he grits his teeth & says, "Well, you CAN do that but..." so I will try to be open-minded about different ways to organize my 'stuff.'

Some of my mission-critical software only runs in Windows, but my ancient printers may create the ultimate block to being able to go totally Windows-free. Two of the three are from an ancient culture that used parallel ports for printing; the third also pre-dates OS X and does not wish to work across a network with a Mac. I believe direct connection to the Mac could make it work, but I worry, then, that the Mac may not want to share that resource ;)

Time will tell. For now, it's just fun to fiddle with stuff. And the mini is cute as a button. I just want to cuddle it. I'd show a picture but I haven't had time to get my camera to talk to the Mac yet ;)

1 comment:

Patrick said...

Congratulations on going back to Mac!

I've always been a Mac user...although I am loathe to admit that my first computer was made by Atari! Ugg...

Anyhow, I wised up after that experience and got an Apple IIc, and have been with Apple ever since. We use PCs at work, and I honestly don't see why people are so quick to swear by PCs...my Apple is much more stable and viruses and spyware are almost never written for Macs since so many people have PCs.

I'm sure that it won't take long at all for your parents to fall head over heels for their new machine! :)