20 December 2008

Mac Day 1

It arrived in a lowly brown box, dumped on the gravel street, pebbles still stuck to the tape. DHL had no idea what magic they were carrying in their hands. It didn't take me long to pull it out of the box and less to place it on the table, plug in the power cable, keyboard and mouse. I looked a few times in the box - no installation CDs, no motherboard software, no driver CDs, not even a warranty card... Strange. Only two manuals - 'Everything Mac' and 'Everything Else'.

The first delicious thing about setting it up is that it is only ONE piece. No desktop, monitor and one hundred dangling cables and figuring out which goes where. No wifi card, bluetooth dongle, nothing. ONE single masterpiece.

The second thing is ripping off the clear plastic that wraps everything and unveiling the black reflective apple logos embedded on the silky white.

By the time finger hits ON button, my heart is already racing.

Moment of truth. Push. And the universe leaps off the monitor. Ok I'm exaggerating. It's some kind of nebula or something captured by Hubble and stars are dancing all over the place flashing WELCOME in 10 languages or more, I can't remember. I hit BACK a few times just to watch the video and feel this tingling sensation sweep over me.. Magic washing over. Ok ok..

Now comes the wildly impossible experience(s).

I'm asked to key in my email and password - the one I used to buy this product online! This machine had traveled across the globe (from HK apparently) to one master and one master ONLY. It didn't have to spend a month configuring it till it becomes specially mine. It was MINE before it even met me. It was made for me. It's one mission is to serve me. My address and phone number appears instantly and I'm asked if anything should be changed and if there are any other users.

Then I'm told to sit in front of the Mac while it takes a picture of me (with the built-in cam) to get a profile pic without me having to hunt it down from some ancient snapshot on a faraway vacation. Nay.. 1 day old Mac wants to get a good look at his master. Pic taken, identity confirmed, it unfolds itself...

I'm trembling here. What comes next? Will the exciting welcome end here and the head-banging, hair-pulling, bug-fixing, system-crashing nightmare begin? I'm a wounded victim of years of Windows-abuse you see.. please be gentle on me. Before I hit a key, a screen pops up. GASP! It says, WiFi signal detected. Choose your router. Key in the WEP. You're connected!! What the... Was that all? No Wifi configuration, no PPP dialup codes, no nothing?? No way...

The bluetooth icon is hovering temptingly above. I click it. Detect devices. Sony Ericsson P1i detected. Paired. Ok.. not bad. Hang on, what's that? 3G Modem detected - use it to connect to Internet? Hell YES!! Maxis, WAP, Unet, etc........ CONNECTED. Oh my Gooooddd.... The Mac figured out how to get online through my 3G phone without me even asking it to! What took weeks of configuring and failed connections with the PC, ploughing through Mobile Networking Wizard and m-Router configurations took the Mac a total of 1 minute. WITHOUT any guidance from ME. This is like driving a car without every having to open the bonnet while using a PC is like keeping a trunk full of tools, spare radiator tubings, jumper cables and a few extra spark plugs just in case.

OK. Look here, Mr Cocky Mac. If there's one thing that will make you my best friend forever, is that you can SYNC with my Sony Ericsson P1i. All the forums I've read out there say SEP1i and you just don't get along. Not that you're hostile but the SEP1i is just plain Mac-dumb. Now can you do it?? Start iSync (used the Help to find it). Device detected. Device not compatible. Ok... How about a little help here? Sony Ericsson's website seems to have a plugin available. Download. Installed automatically. iSync again (without rebooting 10 times). Sudden flurry of activity. Synchronising.. it says.. Can this be true? I've been fooled by this endless 'synchronising' spinaround that gets zilch result. The first few times I did it with the PC it took me 2 days, a few meals, a few walks in the park. Don't give me that rotating two-arrow sign. I will not be deceived... What's that? DONE? Whaddya mean done. All 2530 contacts and 190 calendar events downloaded?? NO WAY. NO %^*&#^($#^( WAY. This is when I shudder. This is when a get golfballs in my throat. This is when I want to break into tears... IT IS FINISHED?? In 2 minutes??

I shake my head in disbelief. My jaw drops like my masseters were mush. I stare at all 20inches of messianic magic. Words fail me. There aren't adequate analogies or symbols for this kind of an experience. How can I describe it? It's like being given the keys to a Cadillac after 20 years of riding a beatup Proton that needed to be brought into the workshop every week, whose air conditioning fails in the hot sun, and power windows jam sequentially. It's like being told you never have to look into the engine, you can take off your grease-covered rags and wash off that rust - it's time you drove a real car now. You deserve it.

And this is just DAY 1. I'm just scratching the surface. I'm just playing with the tip of the iceberg. I'm ready to be wowed. I'm looking forward to a life time of pleasurable machine usage and not heart-wrenching disillusionment. Mr Mac. Don't let me down.

Things I would like to do in the coming weeks/months:
1. Get PARALLEL and run Windows apps on the Mac (better than a PC does I hear!)
2. Catalog all my digital photos (6 years worth, some 100gb of it)
3. Get my KORG 01/W hooked up by MIDI and play some serious music along with GarageBand
4. Edit my home and medical videos with speed and style
5. Organise my MP3s on iTunes
6. Discover everything else I didn't even know I could do, and do all the things I never knew I should be doing!

Ahhh... the dawn of a new era for me.

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