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Mac Day 6 – 8/30/09

OK, so how long will this journal go on? I think my initial goal of documenting the first week of the Mac experience is sufficient. I’ll probably post some more experiences as I get deeper into using some of the programs I’ve installed, and after I use the machine to perform specific tasks.

One thing I’d like to note is that I love the keyboard on this thing. Unlike most PC type laptops, where the edges of the keys run right to the edge of the next key, the MacBook keys have a small space around them. It is virtually impossible to mistype something by hitting multiple keys at once, and I find this spacing. The “delete” key is what most PC users know as a backspace key, which works well. There’s not a separate delete key to delete characters in front of the cursor, but that is a small quibble.

Had some audio files that I recorded on the Zoom that I wanted to quickly convert to MP3 and email to someone. Once again Cubase failed miserably at giving me the options I needed, so I just used Garage Band and was able to easily output the files.

Back to printing… After another hour or so of fiddling with printer settings, I decided it was time to just pull Apple in. I submitted the problem via their support website, and was pleasantly surprised to find they have a call back service available on Sundays. So within 15 minutes I had a phone call from a support representative after 6:00 pm. That was about where the good impression ended. The rep did not seem to have fully read through my detailed explanation of the issue. She thought I was still looking for a print driver, when I clearly indicated that I had a driver and was having connectivity issues. Once we got over that hurdle, she very arrogantly walked me through all of the steps that I had previously tried. Then when I explained the error message I was getting and offered to send her a screen shot, she told me that she could not accept email attachments.

The only help she gave was pointing to a possible configuration issue with my Linksys router, but since it is a Linksys router, and not an Apple product, the support pretty much ended there. But not before she made it a point to shove it in my face that if it was an Apple router it wouldn’t be a problem. This was unnecessary, and not very good customer service. Linksys makes some of the most popular routers and broadband modems. Apple should take that into account when porting their software, and make sure they are compatible. Customers should not have to get into pissing matches over brand loyalty with support people. Sure, I get the fact that Company A doesn’t support Company B’s products, but those companies have produced products that work together in some fashion, so there should be more leeway.

The error screen I am getting seems to indicate a port number that the MacBook is selecting to use for the connection to the printer. However, that port number is nowhere to be found on any of the MacBook setup screens, and apparently the port is not user configurable – only the IP address. So now I am left trying to get that port enabled via my router configuration. What the rep failed to understand today is that the port is being assigned by the Mac – so it IS a Mac issue. If Apple wanted to be truly user friendly in this area, they’d make the settings fully accessible to the user. It’s this tendency to oversimplify everything – to a fault – that may prove the biggest change for PC users working on Macs.

So for now, I still can’t print. Luckily, most of the work I am doing is web-based or in the audio domain. But it sure would be nice to be able to print tomorrow. We’ll see what happens.

Tomorrow will be one week… I’ll wrap this up and see if there are any reader responses. …


By jjdeprisco

Sonic explorer, sound artist, guitarist in Fricknadorable, software designer.