Friday, September 13, 2013

Details: Making Changes

Changing from years of PCs to Mac is not easy. Repeat: Not Easy. And it's costly, because of changing systems/programs and Time Involved.

The Situation preceding the change: My XPs (a Dell desktop and a Sony Vaio laptop) were great, but dying and something had to give. They were old friends, the Dell usually up in the morning and running most of the day. The Vaio used for travel and supplemental--and when I wanted to go somewhere away from my writing corner.

Getting a new PC would have easily worked. My programs would have transferred, especially my favorites: PageFour writing software for plotting, etc. and SiteSpinner, a website program, both dedicated PC programs. At this point, I am missing both greatly.

There's always a fix, right? Currently NoteSuite, an organizer is working well for transferring PageFour files into Folders, i.e.: characters, timeline, places, plot, etc. I think NoteSuite will be great for organizing contract, too, i.e. reversion clauses/dates, etc.  This Mac app currently cost 4.99 and is touted to be the replacement for Evernote. I looked at Evernote and passed. I looked at Scrivener, which is far more complicated than PageFour. In the Mac Apps store, there are a number of writing programs, and I did get Pages.

Sad to leave SiteSpinner by VirtualMechanics. But with a name domain, I can transfer my website and my blogger account to WordPress in one bundle. Wordpress Websites have a lot of plug-ins and for now, I'm looking at the template TwentyEleven for WordPress. My blogger posts will be transferred right in (they tell me:). I have yet to take this on, as I'm still transferring files.

How do you transfer PC files into Mac? you ask. Here's how I did: Packed up my dying desktop, took it to the store, and they shoveled the guts-files into a big fat folder, called Moved Files. This Folder has everything in it. Pictures, Downloads, everything... plus my writing stuff.

Why did I move from PC to Mac? you ask. Because I shopped long and hard. Every one of my machines has really put in the work for way over 28 years. I've had them configured. But when I went shopping, online and at stores, I was not happy. When I called the online sales, not happy with service.

I looked at i7s and i5s and ignored i3 Intels. With graphics as a goal, I wanted quadcore. I wanted a good screen. Note: If you ever want to test the coatings on a screen, turn it off and hold it up by a florescent tube. Most likely that reflected image is wavery. Then, most of the laptops in the stores heated up. Desktops usually have better fan systems than laptops, but that can be debated, and a fan riser can be added to a laptop. But. My personal preference: I don't want a machine that heats.

The most important thing about buying a machine is how you are going to use it. I create more on a desktop situation. However, laptops can be docked or hooked to a monitor, and I thought about that. Even with an external backup drive or the Cloud/Dropbox, whatever, I have never been comfortable with taking all my hard work traveling. However, people do it all the time.

I am not a fan of laptop keyboards, because they are not ergonomic. My old lumpy does miles and is good for my hands. Gosh, if you don't do anything else, get an ergonomic keyboard for the miles your fingers type. You can hook those to a laptop. Some people pack not only their laptop, but their keyboards, too, for extended stays.

I chose a desktop Mac after a huge amount of shopping time because it suits me now with a lot of graphics ahead of me. The service is great and local. "Local" is a big deal when you live remote.

The killer for Mac would have been--if my printers wouldn't work. Thankfully, HP keeps their drivers up to date.

Basically, when you make up your mind to be happy with an investment, you'd better make yourself happy.

Making yourself happy involves setting up a machine for your needs. That involves a lot of wiggles. Suggestion: Do not make major changes on deadline--unless you have to, such as in my case, a hard drive going out on an old, overused machine.

I'm still wading through this change. A program called Parallels, which I am not going to use, offers both PC and Mac in one unit. Thought about that. Dismissed it for now.

At this point, the wiggles are getting less and I'm getting the program preferences adjusted. I'm hoping this change is one time only.

And I'm never, ever going to let a machine get so old that it's dying before getting something newer.

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