There hasn’t been a real post on “Olfactarama” this week. This is because I’ve been trying to do some New Stuff, and it hasn’t been going well.
A couple of months ago, my good ol’ trusty reconditioned laptop crashed. Fortune intervened, I got a free MacBook with all the bells and whistles, well most of them, through a contest. I became a MAC user.
And oh how sweet it was. Finally, I thought, a computer that works like I always imagined they world. Intuitive. Logical. No need for manuals. You just poke around until you get it to do whatever you need it to do. “I’m in love,” I said to friends. And I was. But, as in love, disillusionment has set in.
It appears that Apple’s software really doesn’t like to talk to anybody else’s. Like the Snide Young Dude in the commercials snickering over the bloated old unhip guy in the suit. They have software for everything, so why step outside the hallowed “campus?”
Except that they don’t.
I needed some really first-rate image editing software, capable of resizing and layering and guess what -- iPhoto doesn’t cut it. So off I went and got Photoshop MAC. That was when the fun began.
Finally, I thought, I can publish my own website featuring images of my art work. (Why not use FB or somebody? Well, because there are issues of intellectual property rights, and right now, this week anyway, the word is that one really should have one’s own domain name.) But -- oh joy -- the MAC didn’t understand the format I had originally shot the photos in. I changed them all, realized they were still too big, fixed and resized them again and finally got them into shape to publish, once I captioned them and...never mind. Finally, I was ready. Finger quivering, I clicked on “publish.”
Guess what -- “publish” takes you to Apple’s “MobileMe” suite, which, if you subscribe, takes over your computer, thus allowing you to sync your Ipod and Iphone and Calendar and Contacts and all this other stuff I don’t have or need to sync. I mean, they don’t even want to hear about any other web hosting service; in the Apple Universe, personfied by the Snide Young Dude, what kind of idiot would venture outside the campus?
Except that I don’t want Total Apple Control. Guess what. Just try to publish your iWeb-designed site somewhere else. (Possible, apparently. I think.) Or retain your own domain name on MobileMe. Or figure out whether a site designed on iWeb can be published anywhere else but MobileMe. Or move images between Photoshop and iPhoto, who don't speak. Or resize them using iPhoto (nope; need Photoshop for that). “Help” is a joke. And on and on and on.
The whole world wants my wallet. I feel like I’m walking through a souk in, say, Fez, all the vendors are screaming come-ons at me, and I know they're all crooks. It’s cybertribalism. It’s a whole lot of software designers, and, yeah, they’re probably more clever than me, and they’ve figured out a way to make us buy and buy and buy because, damn it, we just need to get something done.
They know that not everybody considers arguing with balky proprietary software to be a fun way to spend an afternoon. We just want to work, and record our work and maybe even show it to somebody else. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? It can be -- if you’re willing live your life inside those village walls.
Everybody’s in sales now. The guy who comes to service your furnace is really in the business of selling you duct cleaning. The vet insists that your (healthy, young) cat needs a complete (as in $200+) blood workup panel every year. You call to order a shirt and have to listen to endless “specials.”
Remember when only auto mechanics made you feel this way?
So, instead of sniffing, painting and writing, I’m tearing out my hair. I know I’m not the only one. At least I don’t think so. Bloggers, commenters, have you ever been here?
How did you deal with it?
(Back to perfume with the next post, I promise.)
Image courtesy of WikiMedia Commons.