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Mac weekly update 9/4/09

One day when I sat down to our HP laptop (Audra’s main machine), I had a moment of confusion when the touch pad would not “click”. I’ve gotten used to this feature on the MacBook. Also, since I have not been using a mouse on the MacBook, it felt slightly strange using one again on the HP. This was my first real transition experience back to a PC laptop from the MacBook, and it felt odd. Not bad, just odd.

In the past, I’ve had several experiences of feeling somewhat lost on a Mac since it was not my primary platform. While I’m a strong PC user, and pick up software easily, it was just a matter of exposure. That “lost” feeling has all but dropped away completely, and did so rather quickly. I’ve gotten over the lack of the mouse for the MacBook, which was a conscious choice simply because I didn’t want to have any additional stuff to carry around.

The opposite feeling – coming back to a PC from a Mac – is interesting for me. I suppose I will either a) continue to have these blips when switching, or b) become integrated to the point where I can switch easily, becoming ambidextrous. That is my overall goal with this experiment, not so much a total switch to Mac.

I don’t think anyone would argue that there is a clear difference in how users perceive things based on their past experience. We are creatures of habit, and that applies just as easily to computer use as it does to anything else in our daily routine. Making the Mac part of my daily routine has been one of prioritization.

For example, I have a 12-song collection that is in the final stages of production, but it would not be efficient for me to move that material over to a Mac platform right now. So instead, I am looking at the MacBook as a fresh start for new material, and see it as a very useful tool for textual writing. I can’t get over the feel of this keyboard. Even the keyboard on our HP, which I grew used to, is not as comfortable. And when I look at how bulky a typical desktop PC keyboard is, I am starting to cringe. I can still use them of course, and have to for now, but it’s interesting to go back and forth and see how my hands and brain negotiate the change.

From a mobile perspective, I’ve successfully navigated the waters of using the MacBook on Bloomsburg University’s wireless. I was ambivalent about doing this because the BU Info Tech dept and their policies are so notoriously backwards and inefficient. (This is not just my opinion – I’ve heard this from many folks.) So, I just expected problems.

Luckily, most of my problems were not with the connection itself. Though there were more steps that I had hoped, the key (platform independent) issue was just getting my network password reset. BU recently converted to a Microsoft Live email system, which also changed our user IDs. Those same IDs are being used for the wireless network, but the passwords for both areas (wireless vs email) are different, at least until you synchronize them.

This is on top of a separate ID and password for Blackboard, and yet another for their terribly outdated Java-applet-based scheduling system. After going through all the trouble, I really don’t know how much on-campus browsing I will do. It’s nice to have, but I don’t typically have enough time on campus these days to do much. It’s pretty much park, class, work.

That’s about it for now. I ordered the Snow Leopard upgrade. From what I’ve read so far, it appears to be a good move. One person that I know has already done so and had no issues.


By jjdeprisco

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