Tuesday, July 07, 2009

An Unhappy Camper

Here’s a bit about how I spent my day.

Work as usual until a bit after ten this morning. At that point, ZoneAlarm told me for the third or fourth time that it had an update for me and I said download it, and since I forget these things, it told me, for the third or forth time that I have to have SP 1 for Windows installed to get this update.

So I messed around for a while and Microsoft finally said I could download SP 1 (I’m going to leave out a lot of the back story and the messing around, I was just pleased, for just a moment that I was to be allowed to download it a year after it came out).

I got back from lunch and it had finally downloaded. I hit install. It ground away for an hour and a half.

Then it stopped, frozen, with about two thirds of it not installed.

I used the Google phone to find out what the error code meant. I found a Microsoft site that had an identical problem responded to by an MS “MVP” team member who told the person to use System Restore.

Since my computer was frozen, that wasn’t an option. I did a hard shutdown and rebooted, choosing the option to restart after running the repair program. When I left the office, several hours later, the piece of #^%& was still repairing.

I think I’m ready for a Mac. Questions for you:

Can I run Office 2007 on it without Windows? If I can’t, will its office program read and manipulate the MS stuff?

Am I going to have a problem importing files (assuming the piece of #^%* Windows hasn’t destroyed them; and, if it has, can I get them from the external hard drive that tells me each day that it has backed them up)? I know you can’t answer the second question.

Can I get by with a Mac Mini? It seems to have enough guts for the mostly document/spreadsheet/online computing that I do.

Blogger says this is my 900th post. Cheers!


The Curmudgeon said...

I understand your unhappiness... but I salute your achievement.

Hedy said...

I'm gonna have Jim the IT guy help ya...I'll ask him to comment here. I've been on a mac for four years now and can still count on one hand how many times it's locked up forcing me to reboot. Happy times ahead.

Dave said...

Thanks for your sympathy and congratulation Curmudgeon. And thanks for the pressing of Jim into service Hedy: he doesn't have to - in the last couple of hours on a working computer, I've figured out that a Mac Mini will work for what I do; and, I can use Crossover 8.0 to run Office 2007, somewhat imperfectly. As to exporting/importing, Apple says I can just connect the external hard drive to the Mac and it will import. We'll see.

Anonymous said...

You certainly can run software to read and manipulate your office files on a Mac without Windows. You have several choices of the software to use to do this...

1. Office 2008 for Mac - $149 - http://www.microsoft.com/mac/products/Office2008/default.mspx
2. iWork 09 - $79 - http://www.apple.com/iwork
3. OpenOffice - Free - http://why.openoffice.org

If you are buying a new Mac, I say go with option #2.

You shouldn't have any issues importing your files from your external hard drive. Your new Mac will recognize the hard drive just like Windows.

The Mac mini is a great choice. You'll have more than enough power to do your document/spreadsheet/online computing.

Hope this helped and good luck with your new Mac!

Jim the IT guy

Anonymous said...

I forgot about Crossover, that's another good choice if you can't part with Office 2007.

Jim the IT guy

Dave said...

JimIT, it seems we were typing at the same time. Thanks for the tips. It's interesting that Office 2008 for a Mac is significantly cheaper than Office 2007 for Windows.
The Mac program is cheaper, $49, than you quote as OEM software.

Again, thanks.

Dr Jenn said...

Dave - if you follow the link on my blog to where the hell are my penguins, she can prolly help you, her hubby bought her a mac for x-mas and she LOVES it.

Happy 900th post! WOoohOOoo.

*just read the post from JIM IT* see... but you can still check out SV's blog. ;) Happy Wednesday.

fermicat said...

We already traded emails about this, but for the public record I can say that I have to spend tons more time dealing with stupid stuff on my PC than PDM has to do with his Mac. His occasional glitch isn't nearly as complicated as my near system failure type of episodes. And a lot of what I have to wrangle with manually happens automatically with his machine.

Dave said...

I hope. As I type, the new Mac mini is "installing" the extra applications disk at the office. I quite when it told me it would take another hour, after the hour it took to install the OS.

So far, things are going slowly. I assume they will pick up once I figure out what's what.