Thursday, June 01, 2006

Macs
I'm torn when I read articles like this one, about a guy who's building a magic wand to control his Mac entirely with gestures. That is absolutely awesome, and I love the way cool things people are doing out there with Macs. And I love the interface. It's amazing.

But what good is all that if it doesn't fricking work? Christie got a MacBook Pro for work, and we're going on a week of virtually no productive time with it. It recognizes some of the files on the network, but not all of them. No idea why. When she first brought it home, it froze every five minutes or so when we were online, and if I hadn't had a PC on which to search the Internet for a solution, I'd probably still be wondering what the problem was. As it is, I just had to spend six hours trying different things. I never did get the wireless mouse to work, and I had to take the batteries in and out of the wireless keyboard five times before the damn thing would turn on.

And now it's freezing up again, and again we have no idea why. So the techies are working on it, reinstalling the operating system to see if that fixes it. The wonderful Mac operating system goes to such lengths to keep us at arm's length from the actual workings of the computer that it's a huge pain in the ass to diagnose and fix problems. Not to mention that Apple is so attached to the supposed wondrousness of their products that their support pages don't talk about any of the problems you might encounter.

Don't get me started about trying to run a simple relational database on it. Filemaker Pro claims to be able to handle multiple tables, but it does so only grudgingly. The documentation for it has more information on how to use the software to print invitations to a garden party than on how to use it to extract useful data.

First thing out of the box, I was seduced by the shininess, and started thinking that when I make the leap to laptop, maybe I'd get a Mac. Now I'm thinking I'll settle for something less shiny that actually works.

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