Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My first week as a Macbook owner....

....was not an auspicious one. I had Parallels pre-installed so I could run some of my old Windows based programs. Some do not have Mac equivalents and some, well... just call me cheap. The new Macbook Pro is a beautiful, shiny, lightweight piece of technology. It runs quiet and cool. The first thing I tried to do was set up email. I decided that I really did not want to learn another new program so I installed my trusty Thunderbird email client. No problems getting it to work,, however, I wanted to migrate over all my old email and the files I had created. Not so easy. I dug into Google and could not find a definitive way of doing this. OK, so I knew I had a safety net at the Apple retail store. They have a "Genius" bar and they claim they will help you set up a new computer including migrating over files from your PC. GREAT! So I make an appointment and bring my two computers in. The "genius" said he knew how to do this but it would take time since I had 3 GIG worth of files.... 5 1/2 years worth of email. I had nothing better to do so I walked around the store and admired all the new toys while they made the transfer. Finally it was all done and the tech announced.... you know, I am really not suppose to do this... this is not a Mac supported program. HUH? So why do they advertise they will help you move stuff from your old PC to your new Mac? I thanked him for his time and went merrily home to tackle the next thing on my list. I turn on my computer and .... Thunderbird won't open. I keep getting a message that says there is an instance of Thunderbird already running.... WHERE??? I could't find it, I couldn't close it. Now I am getting pissed. These guys are suppose to know more than I do. It took me 2 hours to undo what this "genius" did. After doing much more research, it took me 6 hours to fix it and get the old files on the new machine. It was laborious.
So my next project was to install the FREE Lexmark printer that came with the laptop.I should also mention that the printer came with 1 3 color cartridge and no black cartridge although there is a slot for it. What do I want for free? They did toss in a printer cable as a gift! This should have been a piece of cake. The printer was functional... the Mac recognized it.... except there was no data transfer. I have installed lots of printers over the years but I decided that it was user error so I uninstalled all the programs and drivers on both sides (Mac and virtual Windows) and started over. Same thing.. I figured I missed something somewhere so started the process all over again. Still not data transfer. Sigh.... I guess I have to take them both back to the "geniuses". These guys weren't even born yet when I got my first computer in 1984. Did I mention that my trusty 2 year old HP printer bit the dust the same day?
Ok, so next up was installing my old copy of Office 2003. Not a big deal except the time it took. I had 6 years worth of updates to install as well. Next was my iphone and getting it to sync with the new machine.The itunes store makes it easy to install the apps and other data synced when I hooked it up. Not so my music library. I had to manually transfer via a thumb drive all the songs. This also took hours.
Next on the list was Picasa. I like the way the program works and I am used to it. iphoto is good for other things. 3 Gig worth of photos had to be transferred but the old program did not like my thumb drive. I had to back up all the photos onto a DVD and then restore them into the new program. How many hours? I lost track. I was finally done with all the housekeeping and I could now enjoy my new toy. ... but printerless.
Next question is which printer? Do I get the same type of HP which takes the Vivera ink cartridges I just replaced? Or, do I get an Epson? Decisions, decisions. I didn't think I was very hard on my printers but none of them seem to last more than 2 1/2 years.

It's a new week... maybe this one will be less "exciting".


Sue Andrus said...

You are much better than I am..... I would have given up and not been so persistent! I had enough trouble just getting things onto a PC laptop from my old desktop. (I learned way more than I thought I ever wanted to know about computers)

As for printers, I still love my Epsons with the DuraBright inks. I get from 2-3 yrs from each one, but I use them a LOT for printing fabric, note cards, and whatever I need to print. My latest- an NX200 was pretty inexpensive and it does a beautiful job.

Here's hoping a new printer won't give you more trouble.... Sounds like you have dealt with enough for a while.... :)

Norma Schlager said...

How frustrating! It sounds like you're rather computer savvy or you would have had more trouble. I've only had Macs so I can't relate. I think you will like it once you get everything straightened out.

Margaret McCarthy Hunt said...

i did see a $50 epson at walmart when i was shopping for the new kodak esp 7...i am tired of my epson eating cartridges like gum drops...if this kodak is half as good as the ads and half as good as PC mag says it is...it will be great...bytw pc mag rates it the best printer of the year...high praise...oh and its wireless...very cool...

Sherryl said...

Thanks all. I am about to plunge into the world of printers.
Norma, I have been using Macs off and on for years but never owned one. I never had to do the set up. This sure was a learning experience!
FWIW, my brother-n-law, who owns one of these computer trouble shooter companies says that they have the most complaints from people who have Epsons... go figure.

Rayna said...

My HP printers work just fine with my Mac, wirelessly. You should be ok with the HP.

Robbi Joy Eklow said...

We have HP printers, ink jet and laser all over our house. They all work well.

As to the genius not being able to support your move to Thunderbird on the mac: MY guess is that they can't support it because Thunderbird is not an APPLE application. Mail, that comes with the computer, is, and the guys are trained on that. I think they expect you to start using the applications that comes with the system software. They probably don't see Thunderbird on their own, and Apple probably doesn't train their people on other companies products, that's up to the publisher of Thunderbird. I could be wrong on that of course.

I've found, for me, this is just an opinion, that the applications that come on the Mac are pretty good, and I use those for a while before I go get something else. The one exception is that I have Firefox, the browser on my computer, because often Safari has glitches that don't appear with Firefox.

Anyway, I hope you fall in love with your mac. And I'm really glad your Macbookpro runs cool. Mine is a few years old and has always run hot. If I keep it on my lap, I get a hotflash!


Sherryl said...

Thanks Robbie and Rayna. With the purchase of a black cartridge and another call to Lexmark, the printer is working.. albeit only temporarily for the Mac side. When I upgrade to Snow Leopard, it will not work. Lexmark is not issuing an update because this is an older model... I will be calling the place I ordered the Mac from 2 weeks ago and have a little chat with them. It will continue to work through Windows.

As for the software that comes with the Mac, I opted to continue to use Thunderbird with is from the same company that issues Firefox which I have been using for at least 8 years. There was nothing wrong with it... I just wanted my old stuff off the PC and that is where the problems began.

I am probably going to replace my HP because it seems to be the only printer that is not exorbitant in price that comes with 6 ink cartridges. I will use the Lexmark to print text documents. My hubby can also use it.