Tuesday, December 9, 2014

I have an Apple Mac headache

You know you are getting old when introduction to new technology gives you a headache, actually towards the end of my first day working on an Apple Mac I was feeling almost nauseous.

Don't get me wrong, I am not an applephobe. But I have worked in a Windows world exclusively for the best part of 18 years. Prior to that I did work in UNIX and .. dare I say it without giving away my age entirely, I actually worked with a Wang word processor - (I was very young then) and if you ever worked with a Wang, a MAC would actually appear quite easy, but not after 18 years of Windows.

I never realized how many of the shortcut key strokes I relied on, until I entered the MAC world and then it was just like when I tried to change trains in Paris - without a word of French. (See my book for that unfortunate escapade).

I got my MAC on Wednesday, continued working on my Windows 7 machine through to the weekend, mainly because it was one of those mad dashes to get it done, and mad dashes and a new MAC didn't seem to be compatible. Monday morning I knew it was now or never - no matter what urgency arose, I had to bite the proverbial bullet and make friends with my MAC.

Thank God for Google! And for my office mates, two young developers who both work on MACs and were so patient responding to my cries for help.

It all started when my boss decided that to be more productive I really did need a MAC, for reasons that are not really relevant to this story, but trust me, they were sound. For further (also unnecessary to the story) reasons, I had to travel to Dallas to get my MAC set up - along with one of our developers who was also moving to MAC - incidentally he didn't get a headache - he was already well versed in the ways of the Apple and happy to be moving.

MegaBus pickup point
In the interests of frugality, and not wishing to actually drive myself to Dallas and back in a day, I took advice and booked a bus, MegaBus to be exact up from Austin to Dallas in the morning - unfortunately the MegaBus schedule returning didn't work for us, so it was Greyhound back - however, if you know me, you will know that was very exciting. I had already driven a U-Haul, what was more symbolic of Americana than a Greyhound Bus! So, one way ticks on Megabus up, leaving from the UT campus area at 7.20 with a checkin time of 7.05 required a taxi from the office at 6.30. Return bus was 5.30 p.m. from downtown Dallas, arriving back in Austin at 8.35.

I reserved a yellow cab to pick us up from the office at 6.30 a.m (see my phobia about time here) and when he had not arrived at 6.35 I called. Guess what? they had no record of a reservation but would send a cab immediately. I was silently distraught (at least I think I was silent) until the taxi turned up at 6.55 a.m but you probably won't be surprised if you know my history, to discover we got to the bus exactly on time. The pickup point turned out to be a run down parking lot at the back of a shopping mall, checkin was not an option because all there was there was one security guard and a bunch of assorted people with suitcases and backpacks waiting for the bus. Somehow I imagined a shiny glass booth with an automated checkin, and my traveling companion actually expected a security check.

We arrived in Dallas at 10.30 as advertised, picked up a cab almost immediately and we were at the office by 11 a.m. It took the best part of 30 minutes to get us checked through security but our meeting with IT was for 12 noon, so all was good. One hour later we were in the huge Dallas style mall searching for food. Then back to the office to wait for a cab to bring us to the Greyhound terminal.

It is sufficient to say, I have been there and done that, and I might just travel by Greyhound again if the need arises, but it was definitely not as comfortable as Megabus - and to be fair, Megabus was mega .. it was a double decker bus complete with free wifi and you could reserve seating - for $5 each I reserved seats 1 & 2 on the upper deck at the front of the bus.

What still amazes me is that the taxi cab rides, to and from the office in Austin, and between the bus and the office in Dallas were each more expensive that the bus rides. The entire trip for two including lunch cost slightly over $200.  $60 of that covered both bus fares for both people.

I sure hope that my subconscious forgets the Windows shortcuts quickly. I would really like to enjoy this new MAC experience. And I need to gather some speed to get this work done.

Christmas tree at the Mall in Dallas. Huge Dallas Style!!!

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