July 10 2011

My First Full Week With the iMac

Magic MouseAs I’ve been telling all of you for the past few weeks, I am finally making the change from being primarily a Windows user to a Mac user. While the process has been fairly painless, there has been a hiccup here or there, and this week I hit a doozy.

On Monday the 4th, I finally moved the Windows monitor out of the primary desk position and moved the iMac over. That day being a holiday seemed to make sense as it would allow me a day to get comfortable with it before starting a full work day.  The first thing I noticed is while a 27-inch monitor is great to look at, it’s a heck of a lot of real estate to transverse with a mouse.  So, using a combination of the Magic Trackpad and the Microsoft mouse I planned to use, I’ve figured ut a pretty good system for getting around the screen.  (Trackpad for distance and simple tasks, mouse for tasks that require accuracy.)  I don’t blame the Mac OS for this issue, it’s just part of dealing with a screen of this size.

Tuesday started off well with no issues, and I was able to do all of my usual work without any issues.  (Note to Adobe: Why in the world does Photoshop hide the desktop on Windows, but it doesn’t on the Mac?  I constantly click out of the program by accident.)  However, towards the end of the day I was on a conference call where I needed to send someone a document, and I couldn’t.  The Mac was totally locked up.  I sent it from another computer and started trying to figure out the issue after the call.  I could get the Force Quit window to open, but I couldn’t click on anything with either the mouse or the Trackpad.

applecareI called AppleCare and they ran me through a bunch of different things to try.  We would reboot, it would work … then lockup.  We tried other things with the same result.  They wanted me to go to an Apple Store, but seeing as the closest is 180 miles away, that wasn’t happening.  They wondered if was my third-party apps, but I told them the exact same apps run on the MacBook Air I use for work/travel, and it has never had an issue.  They finally told me to reinstall the operating system, which, as a 25 year PC user, struck fear in my heart, but with the Mac OS it doesn’t mean reinstalling anything.  Huzzah!  I did it, the system ran, I shut down and went home for the night.

Tuesday morning I decide to come in early in case anything was wrong again.  Yep, it was locking up again.  Back to AppleCare I went.  This guy ran me through a bunch of stuff, issues persisted and I was beginning to think I was going to switch back to my Windows machine.  Finally we got it to boot without issues and we ended the call.

Now, here’s where all my computer experience comes in.  I decided to reboot again, and … lockdown.  Back to the phone I went.

This time I got an older sounding gentleman, and he read over the history of the case, and he goes, “What device are you using for a mouse?”  I told him the Microsoft mouse and the Magic Trackpad.  He told me to unplug the mouse and turn off the Trackpad.  And at that point I mention that if needed, I still had the Magic Mouse laying on my desk if he wanted me to try that.

After telling him everything the other two had me do, he just chuckled and said he believed in K.I.S.S. (Keep it Simple, Stupid).  And I have to agree.  I haven’t had one issue since he had me pull those batteries out.

Now, admittedly, I never told the other two about the Magic Mouse, but they also never asked me about my devices either.  All told, tech support guy #3 took less than 5 minutes from start to end, and he did have the leg up of seeing what the other two had done, but my gut tells me he still would have taken only five minutes from start to end.  There is certainly something to be said for age in situations like this.

Otherwise the week has gone swimmingly, although it is taking some getting used.  For instance, changing where my thumb goes for Copy and Paste keyboard shortcuts is driving me batty.  Command-C and Command-V are no where as physically comfortable as Control-C and Control-V on the PC.  Everything else is pretty much a learning curve, but after a quarter century of working with Microsoft-powered computers, I think that is to be expected.

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