Sunday, January 3, 2010

Mac Attack

I can't believe that my first post of 2010 is going to be what amounts to a complaint. I really plan to be positive in my outlook for the new year. I know it is going to be a great year for many reasons.
However, for the moment, I have just wasted nearly two hours of my last day of "vacation" before J. heads back to work and O. starts the school schedule up again messing around with my computer and that makes me grumpy. I had meant to spend N's naptime working on my bible study homework, some reading I offered to do for a friend, and taking a shower. Then I got sidetracked by remembering that I wanted to try to figure out how to burn some photos to a CD. You know, start the new year off by being proactive and back up my photos.
I feel very fortunate to have gotten a Macbook for my birthday this year, and in many ways, really like it. But when people ask me about it, I find myself qualifying my love for it with a "but it's been a bit of a learning curve."
This is surprising to me, as I started off as a Mac girl, back when I got my Mac Classic as a freshman in college. Spent many an hour playing Tetris and watching flying toasters cross my screen when I wasn't typing up yet another English paper. I also worked on a Macintosh for about half of my time as a high school teacher. However, I've been working pretty exclusively on a PC for the last five years or so, and had gotten used to working through problems, error messages and viruses on that system.
There are many things about a Mac that are super-intuitive. All the things that a Windows machine, when it is working well, stole from Mac's operating system long ago. But, there are times when it seems as if Apple is trying to keep the casual user on the other side of the glass, and only offer a very simple "one size fits all" way to accomplish a task.
I love iPhoto as a way to organize and store my photos. I think it is excellent at editing for my purposes. And I've found that most places I where I want to upload photos have figured out how to work with iPhoto.
But this seemingly simple task of making some CDs of photos is proving to be FRUSTRATING.
There is a way to do it straight from iPhoto, but I had remembered reading somewhere that if I do it that way, the CD will be unreadable on a PC, or by a photo processing service. My husband still uses a PC, so if I want to share any of these photos with him, or if I ever have need to use the pictures straight from the CD, that is not an option.
Apple Help always seems to be a little less detailed than I'd like, so I usually end up googling my problem and finding an answer on a forum somewhere. This of course, usually ends up producing answers more detailed than I'd like, or having a lot of different solutions that may or may not work. Seems the answer is usually something like "I use this method, try it and see if it works."
When it comes to doing things with photos, that usually amounts to shuffling photos out of iPhoto into some other location. This seems really redundant to me.
There is a way to burn a CD straight from the desktop, but so far, it seems very difficult to find out how many photos I can actually fit on the CD. Once the CD is burned, there does not seem to be any way to add anymore. End result of my 2 hours of work? I now have one CD that has only 20 pictures on it, and a folder with over a gigabyte of images on it that I cannot fit onto one CD, but the computer won't let me start on one and finish on another. It just says to remove some images and try again. So, I'm in a position where I have to guess how many photos might fit on a CD.
There has to be some easier way, right?? And I know when I find it, I'll just adapt, and it will just be the way I do things. I'm just frustrated that it takes another couple of hours every time I have to figure something out on this computer. While I am an Apple fan, and think they do a lot of things right, the "wizards" on a Microsoft program seem to be more helpful in this sort of situation.
I know for many of my readers, what I've just written probably makes no sense. But I know I have some Mac user readers out there. Any thoughts and help for me?
In the meantime, I'm taking a break from high technology to go snack on some of the buffalo chicken dip I made in my brand new little crockpot. Low tech, high yum.


mep said...

I have no idea what to tell you, though I'd very much like the answer. My storage solution is to upload everything Kodak Gallery and periodically order discs from them (as well as make a yearly purchase to ensure that they keep storing my stuff remotely).

Now tell me more about this buffalo chicken dip. said...

Um, I'm sorry, but I totally spaced on this post. I was trying to digest it, I SWEAR, but computer lingo and such just doesn't absorb into my little female brain. (flutters eyelashes)

;) Hope you figure it out.

CaraBee said...

My dad is a Mac guy. As in, he has vanity license plate "Macdady." No lie. When you see a comment on my blog from Macdaddy. That's him. He's that serious. Me? I am completely lost on Macs. I appreciate their superiority but I'll stick to my pc. Thanks.

Good luck!