{Mac Attack}

October 4, 1999

One of the reasons that I took this job was because it used both PC and Mac platforms regularly.

On my first day, I was inordinately excited to find a chunky PowerPC Mac sitting on my desk. I'd be able to use gasp BBEdit, and Photoshop and all sorts of other nifty products from Adobe. I'd finally get up to speed on the latest MacOS etc. etc.

What I didn't count on, was how rusty I'd be after a nearly five year absence from daily use of the Mac operating system. When I booted up, the familiar "happy Mac" face greeted me and I smiled, only to be stumped a few moments later by the toolbars spanning the top of the screen.

I've gotten too used to putting all of my most frequently used applications on the Start Menu in Windoze and lining it up on the right hand side of the screen to minimize wrist movement. Going last to Apple Menu and Desktop application navigation has required re-myelinating certain brain pathways.

Then I discovered, much to my annoyance, that there is only one licensed copy of Photoshop, so that I can't use it while the graphic designer has it open. We have to take turns. In order to get going on the various projects that I was being handed, I had to download a copy of Paint Shop Pro 6 to load onto the ailing Pentium, a machine that makes odd choking noises whenever a new application is loaded.

I also discovered that the monitor on the PC had serious issues and no matter how much I brightened the contrast, the view was murky at best, causing me to squint at the screen. The Mac's monitor also seemed to have some funkiness going in the view, so after getting PSP 6 comfy I turned my attention to the control panels on the Mac.

Gee. It's been a while. I spent a few minutes, scrolling through the various managers on the Apple Menu refamiliarizing myself with the layout and then dove into tweaking "Appearance" and "Monitors & Sound." A half hour later, the screen was considerably brighter, sharper and sporting a lovely new desktop theme: an image of an orange poppy in a green lastground. I played with the display fonts, tried out the display with and without font-smoothing on, twiddled the colors and generally amused myself with all of the little preferences boxes, including renaming the labels. Heh heh.

Now I remember why I'm such a Mac person. Owning a Mac is fun. Sure there are some things that PCs do better, but with a Mac, I feel like I have an old friend sitting on my desk.

Now I just have to figure out BBEdit and change some of its prefs so that I can clean code as quickly as I can in HomeSite. I hadn't realized how much more quickly I can code using an Editor until I had to go last to typing in every single tag. Don't get me wrong, I can hand-code just fine, but I don't mind some assistance to save ye olde wrists from RSI.

Thus far, I've managed to assign keys to drop in <P> tags, Bold, Itals and a number of other quick-select buttons that I'd gotten used to. Now I just need to figure out how to make a custom button that drops both <DIV ALIGN="center"><CENTER> and the closing tags in instead of just one or the other, though now I've got CTRL-CMD-C and SHIFT-CMD-C set up to do one of each. Whee!

I was also disappointed to find far less software than I'd hoped on this machine. I had to go get Fetch and a Telnet utility as well as some other support apps that I consider to be indispensable. Other than some slicker icons and smoother flow, the Mac hasn't changed that much since I stopped using my 520c laptop on a regular basis.

Just don't tell Sabs how much fun I was having changing the tone on my screen from "yellowish" to "bluish."

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