Land of McConfusion

Why do people place complicated orders at McDonald’s?  Frankly, I think its just asking for trouble if you go to Mickey D’s and ask for more than two things to be done to your sandwich.  No onions?  Fine.  No onions and extra pickles?  Okay.  No onions, extra pickles, and hold the mustard?  You’re playing with fire there, bub!

Case in point:  I was at a McDonald’s a few weeks ago standing in line behind a woman who was making a pretty intricate order.  I could tell the guy behind the register was having trouble keeping up.  Sure enough, after getting it all down, he would repeat the order to verify, but there was always something wrong with it, which resulted in them starting over.  To make matters worse, the woman was trying to tell the poor cashier how to fix it which only made him more confused.

Incidentally, telling ANYONE in any restaurant how to do their job is just asking to get the “special sauce.”

A second cashier noticed the delay and took my order.  I paid for it, got my food, filled my soda, grabbed some ketchup and napkins, sat down…and the woman was STILL at the register placing her order.

Sometimes you just have to let it go.  I’m not saying, I’m just saying!

Mac and Me – Networking

For the first time in awhile, I have two computers at home: my new iMac, and my HP Mini 1000.  In addition to being my “on the road” computer, the Mini comes in handy for when I want to do something PC-ish but don’t feel like waiting for the iMac to boot into Vista.  I have been using a 1GB SD card to transfer files from one to the other, which works okay, but I’d like to think I can improvise something better than the old “sneaker-net.”

Prior to obtaining the iMac, I made an observation to one of my Apple-loving friends that Apple had a tendency to “make the easy things easier, but the hard things harder.”  I had yet to experience this in my thus far, but it came out bright and clear when trying to get my PC and Mac to talk to each other over the network.

The Mini had been set up for sharing with the Gateway prior to its demise, and so I figured the Mac should be able to see it.  Of course, I had to be able to find the option to connect to another computer first.  This took much longer than it should have.  Going by my not-quite-eliminated Windows instincts, I went to System Preferences and selected “Network.”  I was then greeted with general network setttings, none of which I thought needed to poke at in order to get this to work.  I then figured I should use the Help facility to find out where the option was hiding.

My Google-fu is strong (or at least I like to think so), but  my Apple-fu is not.  After typing in quite a few search terms into Spotlight, I couldn’t get a satisfactory answer, so I found it on the tubes.  Curiously enough, the option was in the Finder, I guess I haven’t quite picked up on Apple’s moon-logic quite yet.

Once I typed in my PCs address, I could see its files.  It turns out that it was pretty simple after all, once I found the right option.

Getting the PC to see the Mac was another matter entirely.  I doubted that I would actually use it, but I was feeling good after getting the Mac side to work.

That small victory appeared to be a fluke as I tried to get Windows XP to see the Mac.  Everything LOOKED okay, but it just wasn’t working.  I Googled and Googled to no avail.  Apparently there used to be an “Allow Windows user to login from Windows” option that was removed somewhere down the way.  Yeah, thanks, Apple.

I was all but ready to throw in the towel and then I realized that XP was probably looking for a domain name and I had not set one up on the iMac.  Given Apple’s tendency to do everything for you, I figured it had been already set and thus I had to find it.  The “Network” option under System Preferences turned out to be what I was looking for, and after giving it my current domain name, my stubborn PC finally acknowledged the Mac’s presence.

While I was eventually able to get everything to work, it was certainly more trouble than I had anticipated.  Apple’s help (both local and online) proved to be pretty useless because I was not on the same frequency as they are.  Perhaps with time the Apple way of thinking will permeate my Windows-hardened skull, but for now I have to stumble along.

Mac and Me – Not Quite A Mighty Mouse

I like buttons.  They’re fun to push, and they usually make something that I want to happen, happen!  Heck, a standard keyboard (a standard PC keyboard anyway) has over 100 of them, whee!  Apple, on the other hand, does not like buttons.

Seriously;  the one button on the iMac is hidden in the back, the mouse that came with it does not appear to have any at all, and  I’m sure that somewhere within the bowels of Apple, some engineer is scratching their head trying to figure out a way to get rid of the single button on the iPhone’s face.

As I mentioned last week, the Mac’s Mighty Mouse (seriously, that’s what Apple calls it) is the one part of the Mac experience that irritates me the most.  It lacks a distinct right click button and refuses to acknowledge my futile attempts at right-clicking.  After another week of missed right-clicks and re-right-clicks I finally replaced it with a $20 Logitech wireless mouse.  Its colored black, so it ruins the aesthetic of my workspace somewhat, but I’ll gladly take functionality over fashion.  Actually, I’ll take anything over fashion, but that’s a discussion for another day.

I tossed the Mighty Mouse into my netbook bag where it will ruin the aesthetic of my HP Mini 1000, and thus, the balance of the universe is maintained!

Once I adjusted to the Logitech’s heft, all was well.  Now if I could just figure out a way to get my keyboard shortcuts back, everything would be PERFECT.  I may also give Safari another shot, I’m hearing good things about the beta.

It has been two weeks since I took the plunge and my Mac has been treating me pretty good so far.  I’ll boot into Vista occasionally to play a game or work with Microsoft Money, but otherwise all is well with Mac and Me!

Flu On You!

I have an tendency to catch colds frequently, so it came as no surprise to me when I started coming down with something a few Tuesdays ago.  I wasn’t running a fever, so I figured it was just a case of the sniffles that would go away after a few days.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case.  The bug hung around, and by Thursday I was feeling pretty crappy.  Not crappy enough to stay home from work, mind you, but certainly lousy enough to get the attention of my coworkers.  Sharing the same floor with former and current healthcare providers means I can’t be sick at work.  Coming in sick means getting no end of grief about how I should see a doctor, and questions about why am I at work instead of at home.

All that badgering usually results in me seeing a doctor and taking a day or two off from work.  This most recent bout was spiced up by the hype over the swine flu.  As I had been near the Mexican border recently for a family get-together, I figured that I should see the doctor and ensure I wouldn’t become San Antonio’s Patient Zero.

I had a feeling this visit was going to be extra fun when I shared the elevator ride with one of the nurses, and she made mention that they were all wearing masks at the doctor’s office.  I signed in at the doctor’s office, and was given a mask since I had flu-like symptoms.  It was a little uncomfortable, and started to smell kind of funky after a few sneezes and coughs, but hey, it was for the public good, so I rolled with it.

While waiting for the doctor, I got bored enough to snap a few pictures of myself with my cell phone camera, and was informed by the doctor that I had a sinus infection, and that I should take a few days off from work.  I was mildly disappointed, but I quickly got over that feeling as I spent the next few days hacking and coughing my guts out at home in bed.  Them’s the breaks, I guess!