December 8, 2009

Blue Christmas

I had to back up all of my data on my MacBook Pro and reinstall my old operating system, Leopard. Why? Because I broke my own rule against installing any program that ends in .0. I fell under the spell of Snow Leopard.

The result? It refused to recognize my printer driver. The rogue driver I found would only print text and only in color. Not good for someone who relies on graphics in her job. Also, the cursor took on a life of its own, zooming randomly all over the screen. The desktop got poltergeists, which arbitrarily shrank my icons and moved them around to wherever they liked. Commands in Appleworks—a native Apple program!—did not work. Working on my laptop was like dealing with a recalcitrant teenager. Enough.

Okay. I finally found everything I needed to execute the backup (another long story). Done. Reinstall Leopard: done—wait. The "save personal settings" box was ghosted. It wouldn't let me click it. So now I'm spending hours resetting preferences and  reinstalling all of my bookmarks, which I copied and pasted one by one into a Word doc in November. (I'm learning.)

I suggest to Mac owners that you avoid the Snow until spring at least. Let them work the bugs out.


On Sunday afternoon, when the work day was over, my colleague Alice and I were winding down and I decided to open up iTunes and play a little music.

"I have a playlist of Christmas music. Let me—OH. MY. GOSH. There are FIVE FILES* in here. WHERE ARE THE OTHER TWO THOUSAND?!"

I turned to see Alice quietly climbing under her desk.

"What are you doing?"

"I want to avoid any flying missiles," she called out from under.

After reassurances from me, she climbed back out. She has been the greatest source of laughter for me, and that is important. If you can't have fun, what's the point? She agrees.

It seems that the joy has gone out of the job for her (coordinator of church school volunteers), and she has turned in her resignation. She will finish out the year on Sunday mornings and then I will be alone in the office until we find a replacement. It is a stressful job, making sure that all volunteer posts are filled each Sunday. We need over 30 people every Sunday on hand for the children.

Alice will still be here, as the workroom assistant. She's good, she's fast, she's smart. But she's going to be sorely missed on Sunday mornings, for her laughter and wit and ability to think on her feet when something goes wrong. (And that happens on more Sunday mornings than not. Nature of the beast.)

I know she'll be happier and less stressed. But I miss her already.


Oh yeah. The computer. I have the songs backed up too. It won't accept them from my iPod. I'm hoping I can drag them from the backup hard drive and sneak them in the back door. I will have to steel myself for the job. But the cursor works! I can print graphics! Appleworks is cooperating! My teenage computer is back to happy compliance. For now.

*The five files it saw fit to save? Three Veggietales tunes (for the children) and two sermons, one of which was arbitrarily assigned a genre: "Blues." I sent a screen shot to my pastor.


A Lewis said...

Okay, so this sorta freaks me out. We have brand new Macbook Pros...end of October right after the Snow thing. Do we have the new operating system? Maybe that's why I've had trouble moving my iTunes from my old PC to the new one. And it's still not resolved.'re FAR smarter than I am.

Jeaux said...

Snow doesn’t have enough to lure me away from the previous Leopard, though the $39. upgrade is tempting. Like you I’m skeptical, and don’t usually upgrade until the O.S. is on the downslope toward the next version. I don’t keep any “files” on my desktop machine, just the operating system and programs. All else is on a peripheral, backed up on another. Keychain drives have enough storage now to do the same thing with a notebook. Safari and Firefox both let you export bookmarks, btw.

Veggietales, huh? An instructor once told me that computers are too dumb to make a mistake. I get that, but still...

R said...

Computer crisis. I don't like those. I hope everything gets fixed soon.

I was a Mac user/owner once. I wonder if I'll ever go back! :-)

Brian R said...

How terrible. I have used macs for personal use since about 1992 and have never had this type of ocurrence. Working with Pcs (when I am forced by employers) is a totally different matter but then I never try to understand them, just call in a technician.
However I only upgrade when I buy a new computer, don't need new whizgigs which is a sign of my age, and my laptop was bought in 07 and hopefully will last a few more years yet.

the hobbit said...

I've had the same issue in the past. I spent 60 days reassigning, track by track 80 GB of music. It sucked.

Blobby said...

Arnie - you probably have the Snow Leopard on yours. I do not, and opted not to upgrade UNTIL there was an upgraded model.

Normally, Apple does ok w/their OS stuff, but out of the gate I had heard iffy things about SL, so I'm glad I have not done a thing.

Sorry for your troubles Birdie. But as holiday music goes - there are only about 18 songs that are just done over and over and over.

Ur-spo said...

thank you for the warning.

David said...

I really need to get an external drive to back up my computer pronto.

Bear Me Out said...

You all are speaking in tongues to this poor PC boy. I know I'm going to lose some gay points, but I can't afford to change.

Rox said...

This reminds me that I need to backup my laptop. Now, before all hell breaks loose.

I hope you find a good replacement soon!