Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hoist by my own petard

Grrrr! My own love of shininess has undermined me! And in trying to get ahead on a to-do list, I have ended up adding about fifty seven million additional tasks to get me to finish the original item! Argh!

Let me explain. I ... (breaks into a confession) I have been lusting in my heart after the shiny new mac computers for quite some time now. Drooling over them, clicking lovingly on all the icons and descriptions at the mac website, finding excuses to drop by the campus computer store and fondle some brushed chrome; it's sick, I know. I also know that I shouldn't buy a new computer now; can't afford it.

However, I did give in and buy the "new" OS, Leopard, because it has some shiny features and is much less of a hit to my checkbook. Er, credit card. Yes, I hang my head in shame. Apple isn't updating certain patches and problems on Tiger any more (yeah, my laptop isn't all that new) and I can't use a lot of programs and plug-ins that I "need" (big scare quotes there) and I could no longer use my itunes --- so basically, a lot of stuff that I'd like to use but that has no impact on dissertation/article writing was no longer working. So I should just let it alone and go back to work. But I upgraded. And then the saga began.

Last night I went to bed early rather than deal with the fact that the new OS would not recognize my printer; today I fix half of that problem only to learn that the new program has disabled Photoshop! Noooo! My printer of loveliness!

You see, when my old printer died (quite a while ago now) I went all-out and got one of those fancy multifunction dohickeys that scanned and copied as well. Oooooh! I love love love my printer. Seriously: being able to be at home and scan in and manipulate stuff for handouts or my research or powerpoints or whatever? Wonderful! And if you have a book out and want to just copy a couple pages before bringing it back to the library, you can do that too without having to wait to get into the campus copy room! And, if you are scanning and formatting and preparing class late into the night, you can just deal with all your printing/copying/scanning of handouts for class at home rather than get up extra early to fight with the lines of people who also need to copy their syllabi. But now, my printer will only print and not multitask. Argh!

A web search has confirmed that Leopard just doesn't support Photoshop 7 because it is too old. Too old?!?!?! I'm no pro photographer; why should I fork out 600 bucks to get the latest version of Photoshop when I could barely run all the bells and whistles I had? I despair.

But wait, someone helpfully points out on the web, you can upgrade the new version of Photoshop for just a hundred bucks and then you'll have a working, up-to-date copy! Ta-da!

Um, yes. ... Do you remember why the dudes in Hamlet were getting hoisted? That they were traitors, or saboteurs, or something or other evil, and in their plot to undermine someone else (literally) they destroy themselves? (I don't usually think of explosions as "hoisting" someone, but what the hell, it's Shakespeare; you can't argue with him)

Anywhoo, to download the upgrade you need to enter in the handy-dandy purchase-number- anti-piracy thingy to prove that it's yours. Um.

Look, doesn't it count for something that I was sleeping with the person who purchased said software? I know it's not marriage, but, California community property laws and all that? Eh? No? Damn.

Yeah, yeah ---- some gals amass a collection of guys' cute t-shirts, I burn their software and music collections. Geeky but true. It's a sign of affection, I swear.

Sigh. I was planning on prepping up a reader tonight and getting it all ready to send out to the printshop and now I have a big pile of anthologies sitting around that will need to be shlepped in to campus instead. Grumble. This calls for wine. I just hope I don't spill it all over my newly-upgraded laptop.


Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing your experience. This is always seen that whenever you are want to do any work there are many other works associated with it. It is just because of our nature. We always try to achieve all goals together and its makes things complex.

Anonymous said...

((Bypassing supportive comments to get right to my own shiney greedy needs.)) What kind of scanner/printer/copier do you have? I have been desperately wanting and needing one -- entirely too much time spent at my campus library scanning materials, etc. -- but haven't been able to find much information about which one of those expensive beasts actually works. I'd appreciate your recommendation (understanding that in the current circumstances your s/p/c isn't so happy -- and that it's not its fault.)

I shake my fist at Apple for always making such great stuff and then making it so damn hard to keep or use for more than a year.

Sisyphus said...

Well, I have a Brother MFC 8440 ---- it is huge and takes up a lot of space, though maybe not as much space as a separate printer and scanner would. It's a laser printer which for me is non-negotiable, so it was more pricey than the inkjets (which rip you off with the cost of ink, btw). I do have some complaints: it cannot do anything double-sided, and the beep whenever you open the printer drawer or run out of paper or do anything wrong is so incredibly loud it is obnoxious. Like I worry my neighbors will kill me obnoxious. It must be designed for being tucked into a corporate back copy room and be set loud enough to get the sec's attention. When you're standing over it trying to add more paper, though it is horrible. I'd suggest you ask to play with one at a store somewhere and check this, because it's the type of thing that isn't written down anywhere as a sales perk and it really affects your use of it.

Now, the scanning/ocr program that came with this basically does not work, and I don't know what you'd do with this scanner if you didn't have a working version of photoshop or the updated Adobe reader that lets you make your own pdfs (also a pricey program) so you'd want to go look into that too, or see if any friends or boyfriends have copies that are amenable to borrowing... not that I am suggesting anything mind you...

Sisyphus said...

Ooh, and I'd add that most of the fun is doing all the browsing and googling of best printers for macs search and then hunting around on all sorts of forums, so let me know if you find something even better!

kfluff said...

I'm feeling your pain. Unless you're buying an entirely new suite of things (computer, printer, software) all at the same time, it seems as if you're always in the position of limping along, trying to jerry-rig what you have to work together.

I had a very similar experience with the new time capsule, which I will spare you the details of...

Belle said...

What you need is the much cheaper Photoshop Elements, which even my pro photographer friends admit gives them more power than they usually need.

Ah yes, the temptations of the Apple... didn't Eve have problems with that too?

undine said...

Doesn't the printer come with some way of printing to .pdf without additional software? I have an HP all-in-one that isn't as fancy as this, but even it has this feature, although HP clearly wants to keep it a secret, judging by the number of screens I had to drill through to set it up.

ortho said...

Thanks for sharing!

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for providing the specs. I'll let you know if I stumble across anything better ... but I doubt it, loud warning beep and all.