Tag Archives: Mac OS

Transferring Files from Mac to PC

Transferring files. The only bad side to the switch thus far.

In order to make my computer worth having I needed to transfer all of my files over to it, but you knew that. This process was quite tedious and full of little road blocks.
The first problem was that my external hard drive was formatted to Mac and was also completely full, as was the hard drive on my computer. This meant I couldn’t dump the 480GB or so from my external hard drive onto my laptop, which only has a 150GB hard drive to begin with. I also couldn’t dump it onto my new computer without formatting it, but it needed to be empty before I formatted it so as to not lose any data.
The solution was a bit annoying. I dumped all the files on my external hard drive onto my work computer, then dumped the entire contents of my laptop’s hard drive onto my now empty external hard drive, then dumped the external hard drive again onto my work computer. I should mention that I share an office and a computer with two other people, but as many as ten or so have access to the machine. Here’s hoping none of them felt the need to look through the folder I marked with “DO NOT DELETE.”
Next I had to reverse the whole process. Format the external hard drive to be read by both Mac and PC, put as much on it from the work computer as possible, dump that on the new desktop I just build, then empty and format it again, bring it back to work, fill it up with the rest of the files, then dump those on my desktop. It took a long time and was tedious. Oh and also not entirely effective.
Probably after three weeks of using the new computer I was on iTunes, trying to pick a new song to listen to when I suddenly noticed that all of the music by artists after the letter N was just not there as well as select favorite albums of mine from other artists. I’m blaming my recent obsession with No Doubt for how long it took me to notice. I never had to scroll past N, because I was just listening to their new Push and Shove album over and over and over and over. And over. Or I was listening to other music on Spotify. I immediately panicked. I had already deleted everything off my laptop and the work computer. Luckily I had uploaded my music to Google Play and had been regularly updating it since maybe May or June. Even luckier, Google allows you to download your music off of Google Play twice. I downloaded everything just to be sure I didn’t miss anything. It took a long time, but now I have all of my music back. Thank goodness for the cloud. I thought Play was only useful because you could play your music on any machine without commercials, but it’s actually helpful for a lot more. Yay!
Other files turned out to be missing. For a project I was working on I needed to use the music I had recorded in High School with Garage Band and the on-board mic on our family’s Macbook Pro. All of the tracks were gone. I had just cataloged it before switching computers so I new that there were probably close to twenty different recordings, but only three of them that I had specifically chosen to use for the project prior to the switch had made it. The rest weren’t on my laptop, my external hard drive, or my computer. I immediately went about trying to recover files. I knew this was possible because our family had recovered files after a computer crash once. That’s the same crash that erased almost all pictures of nearly three years of my life. But that computer had been a PC. I wasn’t sure if you could do the same on a Mac.
I either looked it up on Google or Bing. Or maybe both! Anyways, it is possible, but it turns out that the longer you wait after losing the file the less likely it is to be recovered. This is true of both Macs and PCs. I downloaded a free trial of a program and had it scan my laptop. There wasn’t anything there. I had it scan deeper. Nothing. I had it scan my external hard drive, but of course it found nothing since I’d re-formatted that drive several times since the recordings were on it. So I scanned the work computer, but got nothing. I had it scan deeper. It took… a while. I left it running over night. When you do a really deep recovery scan, it can find files, but not the names of them. So, it was also lucky that I knew what kind of file the recordings were, otherwise it would’ve taken hours to look through every audio file it found. In the end I found the files! Success! For some reason the scan on that machine found files from two or three years ago. Amazing.
Another problem! Because the Mac version of Microsoft Office is so terrible, I’d been using Pages, the Apple equivalent of Word, for the last four years almost exclusively. All of my word processing files were .pages and thus useless on my new computer. Last Sunday I sat down and one by one, opened up each file on my laptop and saved it as a PDF. Pages has a really dumb way of doing this. You have to click Print and the in the Print menu dialog box go to the dropdown menu in the bottom left corner and click “Save as PDF.” It took two episodes of BBC’s Sherlock to finish that task or, in layman’s terms, 3 hours.
I’m hanging on to my laptop for a few reasons. So I can skype with people, since I don’t have a webcam or a microphone for the new computer. But mostly for these kinds of emergency situations when horrifying things happen.
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cold Feet. Will I Miss Mac OS?

Well, it just happened. I just got nervous. I’ll probably have my new computer all set up and ready for use by Wednesday. So far I’ve been hurling myself at this decision with nothing but excitement. But I just got scared.

I was just sitting there – well, let’s be honest – I was dancing to this song:

That’s what I was doing and I suddenly thought: What if this is a mistake? Not the dancing. That is never a mistake. What if this PC is a mistake? What if all of my researching and planning is going to turn out wrong in the end? What if I am a Mac person? What if this? What if that? What if.

I opened my computer and suddenly thought about how much I love being able to hide my dock. How much I love being able to sit on the couch when I type instead of on my hard desk chair. How much I love the ease of changing the language on my keyboard. How much I love the top toolbar with my Gmail, Evernote, volume, language, wifi, and music player one click away. How much I love the familiarity of all my applications, especially the expensive ones like Final Cut. How much I love the little stickers on my keyboard. How much I love all the things I’ve gotten used to about this little ol’ Macbook.

Will it be the same? Am I going to love this new computer as much as I loved this one for so long? Will we get along? Will it make sense to me? Am I about to have a lot of regrets?

I can’t answer these questions. So instead I’ll just try to ignore them and get some sleep. Mistake or not, this is happening. And I’m pretty sure it’s not a mistake. But what if?

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Why not get another Mac?

July of this year my 2008 Macbook was getting slow and irritating. The battery had been equating 1% with 1min for about a year. I’d had Apple Techs operate on it, bought a new battery, and bought a new charger, but to no avail. And now it was acting up in strange ways. Sometimes thinking it was asleep when it was open and awake when it was closed. Crashing applications unexpectedly. Loading every internet page very slowly. It was just dying the way computers die. Of old age and overuse.

I wanted a new computer. Naturally I went to the Apple website and saw that the cheapest laptop they have is $1200. I considered waiting to save up money so that it wouldn’t be as much of a hit on my finances. Then I thought I’d make a list.

Image

What about that warrants me spending $1200 on a computer? Not really anything. You could point at video editing, but I do that so rarely nowadays that it hardly counts.

Well, now I was at a crossroads. Dare I go back to “the dark side,” as Mac users call it?

My brother had always been adamantly pro-PC and I recalled conversations with him. He maintains that what people really want with a computer is customizability. Microsoft provides users the tools to customize their machines in any number of ways, Apple really doesn’t allow much of that. My Brother talked up the free support community that’s available for PCs. You can find all kinds of tutorials about applications or mechanical fixes online for PCs. That was an important draw for me.

I had also recently gotten my first smartphone, an Android (HTC One S). I love that phone. I spent a lot of time deciding if I wanted to go iPhone or Android and I know I made the right choice with Android.

I went online to find articles, videos, blogs, or anything where people had recorded their impressions when switching from Mac to PC. There was not much out there. The least helpful article was one from the early 2000’s that listed personality traits that defined the users of each operating system. All of the fun traits like “artistic, creative, free spirited” were listed for Mac users and all of the less fun traits like “organized and businessy” were listed for PC users. What a load of BS. People are not defined by the products they use. So, I started watching videos by Microsoft. Various press releases and conference presentations about Windows 8, Windows 7, and the Surface. I was very impressed. Don’t worry, I also watched videos posted by people who didn’t like Windows 8 at all.

Soon I was telling everyone how excited I was for Windows 8 to be released and how cool it was going to be. Luckily a friend had the beta version on one of his laptops and let me try it out. It was awesome. Definitely optimized for a tablet and thus a little strange to use with a mouse at times, but nothing that couldn’t be gotten used to. I wanted it. A lot.

I’d noticed by this time that a PC can be bought for half (or less than half) of the price of the equivalent Mac. I mean, what?! Why would anybody buy a Mac? You’re really paying for the aesthetics, the brand, and the customer service. Their customer service is great, but also stringent. With a PC I can open up my own computer and have at it. If I did that to my Macbook it would disqualify me from ever having an Apple Tech look at my machine again. Once my friend used compressed air on the inside of my laptop when the fan was being wonky. When I told the Apple Genius that he raised his eyebrows in shock and told me not to let people do that. Really? I can’t unscrew the bottom of my computer and blow on it?

So, it came down to freedom and customizability. I’d noticed that my Android was better at this than the iPhone. I remembered how I had used my family’s PCs and yeah, I felt like I did more real computer use with those than I ever had with my Macbook. I used to be good at fixing computer problems, but there’s no real way for a user to do that on Macs. That’s all closed off. They don’t want you tinkering. Being able to make my computer all mine was a big draw for me.

But what it really came down to was value. I could get something twenty times better than my current machine for half of what the new version cost. Now, that’s bang for your buck. And I like having my bucks. I also like explosions. Win-win!

 

Next! I’ll reveal my indecisiveness. Find out how I ended up deciding on a desktop.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A New Operating System

Soon I will get all of the parts for my brand new PC in the mail. A friend will help me put it together and Windows 7 will be installed on it. And I never ever thought this would happen.

Like most kids who grew up in the 90’s, my family always had PCs. The first computer I ever used ran Windows 95. My dad works with computers so of course we updated to Windows 98, 2000, and XP.

In fact I wasn’t even aware of Apple’s existence until 2002 when my sixth grade Social Studies classroom suddenly had two old Power Macs. These computers were extremely confusing. I mean, why didn’t the disc drive have an eject button? You mean I have to press eject on the computer screen? How does that make sense? I didn’t understand why there wasn’t a start button and how you were supposed to find programs without that. I tried using these machines once or twice then gave up entirely. I only went by the classroom computers one other time, when a friend and I doodled on the bottom of the table the computers were on.

All of my family’s computers would get extremely slow after a few years of use and they seemed to crash a lot. Several years of pictures are completely gone thanks to one of these crashes. I dare you to try to find pictures of me from ages 13-15. I dare you. So finally in 2007 my family gave up on Windows.

By this time I was the only one still living at home, my two sisters were in college with Macbooks and my brother didn’t own a computer. My parents and I got a Macbook Pro and I loved it. I could listen to music on iTunes with headphones anywhere I wanted. I could type papers late at night in my bedroom. I could edit videos with Final Cut Express. It ran so much faster than our old computer. It was shiny. It was pretty. It was new!

When I graduated in 2008 I got my own Macbook for college. There was no discussion about prices or what I intended to use it for. I wanted one because that’s what we had and I hadn’t had any of the traumatic experiences with it that I’d had as a child with slow PCs. My sisters had them. I had been told they were better and I believed it. I didn’t think of asking for evidence. I really believed Macs were better. Of course I’ve looked down at PC users since then. Almost every Mac user does, even if they don’t want to admit it. But the tables are turning again. I’m headed back to using a PC. And, boy, am I excited!

Stay tuned to find out why I’m so excited to make the switch!

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: