Mac-Less Days 1 & 2

You never know how much you love/like/depend on something until they're gone. Man, that is so true! I dropped the Mac off Monday morning and thought I'd be ok with my only slightly older Windows desktop. Heck, last I saw it turned on (sometime in early 2010, maybe late 2009) it was running Windows 7, which everyone agrees is a step up from Vista. Granted it was the evaluation copy that expired 6 months ago, but how bad could it be? Pretty bad. The computer would restart on it's own as a way of getting me to purchase Windows 7. I wasn't about to buy Windows 7, but this couldn't continue so I had to find out how to downgrade back to Vista Home Professional. On a side note, I really hope Microsoft drops making what seems like 15 different versions of Windows, it's confusing and difficult to keep straight.


After some trickery in getting the computer to recognize the restore partition of the hard drive I was finally booting up into Windows VIsta, and instantly remembering why I hated Vista. It seems like a verification window comes up with every key press. "Did you mean to press 'a'?" "Did you mean to click 'ok' when verifying that you wanted to press 'a'?" Then the updates began. I don't have a problem with updates in general. And in a quickly moving field such as computer OS updates are something all platforms have to live with, but I was a little surprised that there were over 99 updates available for my computer. And so the downloads began. And the reboots. And a Blue Screen of Death that told me it restarted the machine so as to not let malicious software do bad things. I repeat, I was just downloading and installing Microsoft updates. Did Vista get so smart to realize that it was bad? Apparently not, as the updates kept coming. And coming. After more than 120 updates, various reboots, and some more crashes, I thought we were done, so I started trying to use Windows again.

If you're on any of my messaging lists you saw how well that was going. My Palm Pre was able to multi-task better than my computer. No, seriously. Browser windows, IM, music, and FB were all running just fine. Chrome, the first install, was having problems with GMail. And launching iTunes caused the system to sit still for 5 minutes before rebooting. Things were not looking good. After the reboot I look to see about updates. Yep, there were more. SP2 (which is like Vista.2) was available. And now things are able to work. Chrome can handle more than 1 tab and I've currently got Chrome, iTunes, TweetDeck, and a messenger app open and all living fairly happily. I should mention the PC isn't anywhere close to a power house. It's a dual core Pentium model at just under 2.0 ghz with a gig of memory shared between the system and it's anemic video chip. I had low expectations to begin with, but I figured the system came with Home Professional, so that must mean something.

So, in two days, I've spent a day and a half updating. Thankfully, with the help of XMarks all web related material has been synced up with Chrome and Firefox. As far as actually using Windows, I'm finding it's taking some time to re-adjust. The key combos for copy/paste and quitting apps aren't quite the same making it difficult to quickly do things. I don't have an office suite application on this computer and don't see myself downloading OpenOffice, and certainly not purchasing MS Office, so Google Docs is answer, which works fine since everything I had on the Mac was in GDocs anyway. Itunes is just plain ugly in Vista, which makes me wonder if that's a condition of running on Windows, or part of Apple's plan to get people to switch to Mac. Either way I can almost see why people like Windows Media Player. I will say I like Chrome 8 Dev for Windows over Mac. Seems quicker, with more options. But at the end of the day I feel like I'm being punished for some unknown offense by using Windows Vista.

As I finished writing this I was just informed that my Mac will be gone for a minimum 5 more days. This is going to be a long week.

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