Monday, December 24, 2007

The Apple turnover saga...

Yet more adventures in my move from Windows PC's to Macs.
  • I added a MacBook to round out our set of computers. Once again the lack of a two-button mouse was irritating so I added a small Bluetooth mouse for it just like my iMac. Prob solved.
  • I tried all day Sunday to get USFR to play on both iMacs without success. It seemed to almost work, but neither loading Windows Media Player 9 for Mac nor the plug-ins to make the files play on Quicktime produced results. Until this morning. (Don't ask me!) Seriously, I tried again this morning and the shows loaded and ran fine on QT with the plug-ins. Still not going perfectly on Jan's machine, but I can see progress.
  • I added a 160GB USB hard drives to each computer for backup with Time Machine. After years of semi-successful preventative efforts, finally one that works. The drives were recognized immediately, the Mac asked if I wanted them to be the Time Machines and that was it. The slickest backup setup I've ever seen - and not a minute too soon. I was finishing up my budget (cashflow) spreadsheet for my annual bank visit when I stupidly erased some off-the-edge formulas and numbers that I though were no longer needed. Buried in amongst them was a crucial reference that caused references all over the sheet to fail. Worse still, for some reason the "undo" didn't save me. I went to Time Machine, found the file as it was less than an hour ago, and restored it instantly, with only a few changes that had to be repeated. Love it!
  • Jan fooled around with Garage Band to make podcasts for her gardening broadcasts. Not only is it simple, the quality is very good. You can even add a sound track behind the talking that mutes automatically to match the vocal track. Also you can insert photos as well. We're just starting to fool around with this, but this tool has promise.
  • Jan is learning to use Pages and Keynote - the Apple versions of Word and PowerPoint - because MS Office won't let her run any programs while I'm using any MS programs. (I loaded both computers with the same copy of Office savagely violating the MS copyrights. Another friendly MS gesture. Hey Bill, how 'bout this gesture?
After two weeks a solid approval from both Jan and I. I don't think I'll miss Microsoft.


MGA said...

I don't understand your statements about "lack of a two-button mouse" with your iMAC. I purchased an iMAC about 6 months ago and although the mouse doesn't appear to have two buttons it functions as a two-button mouse. I can both right and left click just like any other mouse.

John Phipps said...


How embarrassing - I only recently discovered how to "tip" the mouse to "right-click". I was trying to push the little panel on the right side or something.

It still seems weird to me, so I use a Kensington Bluetooth model instead.

And as for the laptop, I never have gotten comfortable with touchpads.

Old dogs, new tricks...