It’s Back

I used to be a Mac fan, but had to abandon Apple when I found little inconsistencies with my computer system at work. (Little boxes and odd symbols would pop up in word processing documents, for example.) Well, it seems that Apple has ironed it all out, so…I’m going all Mac tomorrow morning, when my friend PJ comes over to help me to install my new 15″ Powerbook with 1GB of RAM and the Airport Express wi-fi system, and to migrate all of my data and settings from my generally reliable (but slow and sometimes too complicated) Dell system. I’ll also be installing a Maxtor One-Touch backup system (which I did buy from Dell).

I guess that my iPod 60GB was the first taste of an old addiction. In addition to putting on and enjoying lots of music, I’ve listened to a number of books and am going through Russian vocabulary and grammar with several different CD-based Russian courses that I’ve converted to the iPod format. (I’ve also benefited from German programs that I’ve put on, to keep my German fresh, and have made some feeble attempts — but it’s a hard language to get, for me at least — to review Arabic conversational skills.)

Update: Well, what I thought would be a few hours of transferring documents, settings, and the like turned into an all day experience. The Move2Mac program I bought moved most stuff, but didn’t move my Outlook Calendar or email files in a format that we could get the Mac to recognize. One would think … well, it will take a bit more time. On the good side, I did manage to transfer and organize all my photos, music, lectures, and so on without any serious problems. Whew. PJ has a computer programmer’s determination and took the Mac (onto which we — ok, he — managed to transfer various formats of the calendar and email files, but not to import them successfully into the Mac’s programs) home to figure it out and seamlessly import the relevant files. Then I’ve got to get my Dell Axim to synchronize with the Mac. Whew. After PJ gets that set up, I’ll get the new wi-fi system running. Then the backup system, so when I take the Powerbook with me, I’ll still have the files backed up in case anything happens to it. Despite a rather disappointing day (the transfer from Outlook was the biggest problem), I’m still eager to get working on my Mac.

6 Responses to “Upgrade”

  1. Tom, Welcome back to the Mac world. Nothing computer related ends up quite as simple as one would expect, especialy data transfer. After the iTunes experience with music, I wonder if you’ll feel the same when it comes to iPhoto in terms of organizing your photos – this application rocks! Email programs that work great on the Mac include the default Mail app, as well as Thunderbird and Eudora. Opera 8.5 and Firefox complement the default Safari browser, and Microsoft’s great Office suite should handle all your documents.

  2. Quick list of applications to supplant the standard Mac ones:

    Browser–replace Safari with Firefox.
    Mail–I recommend Thunderbird, but it doesn’t have the nice features Outlook does.

    Actually, that’s it. Everything else is pretty solid.

    Oh, and have fun hitting F12 repeatedly to bring up the widgets and then send them back at lightning speed.

    Widgets on…widgets off…widgets on…widgets off…on…off…on…off…onoffonoffonoffonoff….

  3. Tom G. Palmer

    I thank you. My data thank you.

    PJ did a brilliant job with 99.9 percent of my files and is hacking away at converting my Outlook data into a format that will be acceptable to the Mac programs. He had a few choice words for the difficulties in making the transition. What was remarkable was to watch him work through solutions, write Unix code, get two steps closer to a solution, reconsider, then come at the problem from another angle. I gained new respect for computer experts. (Not that it was lacking in the past, mind you!)

  4. Yes….!

    I do everything on my 15″ and transfer it to all of the Windows machines at my school. Every template we use is done on my laptop and none has ever failed to work on any other computer.

    Congratulations and welcome back!

  5. PJ is good at what he does. Incidentally, post here about how the Mac interacts with your work product. I have thought about going back to Mac, but have been reluctant becuase I need to be sure that work documents and Mac documents interact seemlessly. If I work on a word document at home, then it needs to convert easily to the Microsoft version at work.

  6. Incidentally, the Economist has an interesting article in a recent issue about the problem of archiving documents on computer systems. It turns out that paper and pen are far more permanent than various computer formats, which can be obsolete within a decade.