Macs From One Generation to the Next

A wonderful thing happened last weekend. My youngest daughter, Baby-Girl, and I met in town to do a bit of computer shopping. Her PC, for who knows what reasons, went belly up and it was time for a new one. After all, she’s heading into the 10th grade next year, and, as any 10th grader in 2007 can tell you, a computer is simply a necessary part of school now. Needless to say, I recommended a Mac.

The 17-inch iMac with 2.0 Ghz Intel Core 2 duo (Swedish price here) was exactly what this doctor (well, at least of the computers in my family) ordered. So off we went to inLife, a premium reseller of Apple products and services in Stockholm.

I have to tell you, I got a kick out the look of excitement in my little girl’s eyes as we walked into the inLife. Yes, it was a proud moment of, “There’s no doubt she is my daughter”. I could see that she, like most who enter an Apple store for the first time, was impressed by the design of the Macs and Apple monitors. Those well-designed shapes and sharp pictures are enough to weaken even the hardcore PC types out there. It was finally our turn to get a bit of help and I told the gentleman behind the counter what model we were interested in. He mad a few key strokes and checked the store’s stock then said, “I’m afraid that model is all sold out. The schools have been buying them all up”. Baby-Girl literally gasped. I told the gentleman I understood the reason for their popularity, thanked him for his help, and we headed out. I looked at my daughter and said, “Now for plan B”. She asked me what I meant. I told her, “Surely you know your dad has a backup plan”.

We then headed off to Macoteket. (NOTE or non-Swedish speakers: I have to clue you in on what a marvelous play on words this is. The Swedish name for drug store is Apoteket. Clever, eh?) We walked in, said hello, and I got right to the point with one of the sales persons (the very same guy my wife bought her MacBook from, mind you!). I told him what we were looking for and asked him if they had any in stock. He went in the back, called out the model, I confirmed that was the one, and he said, “Yep!” The young lady who gasped earlier, let out a victorious “Yes!” under her breath. The deed was done. I told Baby-Girl, who lives with her mom, to call me once her cousin, who has quite a bit of PC experience, was at her place.

Later in the evening the phone rang. I had little doubt who was on the other end. She told me that she had unpacked everything and set it up. The only thing left to do was to turn it on and get online. I told her to go ahead and hit the power button. The wonderful chime of successful Mac boot-up played, and then the Choose A Language screen appeared. The rest was, as all Mac users know, elementary. I basically listened to her select the necessary choices, fill in the required information, and then go online. This process took less than 15 minutes. The most complicated thing she had to do was choose a password and select the region we live in.

After she got online she was, as expected, prompted to update her Mac OS X software. She clicked once to start that process, and that was that.

Next, I had her do what I consider the most important thing during the installation of a Mac. I had her click on the Apple (top left corner of the screen), select System Preferences, then Sharing, and finally Firewall. Once she was in Firewall, I had her click start. Security was enabled. That was that.

I then sent her the link to download Adium so she could continue the all-important chat life of a 15 year-old (trust me folks, 15 year-olds chat more than you can possibly imagine). She was concerned because it wasn’t MSN Messenger. I let her know that it MSN, Yahoo!, AOL and more all rolled up into one wonderful package. I walked her through the extremely complicated (lots of irony here, folks) processes of installing applications on Macs:

Step 1) Double-click on the .dmg (disk image) file you downloaded
Step 2) Drag and drop the .app file into the Applications folder

or

Step 1) Double-click on the .dmg file you downloaded
Step 2) Double-click on .pkg icon

Yep. That’s it. She was quite delighted.

Next I had her install Skype. To my surprise, she didn’t know what Skype was. Needless to say, I sent her the link (via Adium now, mind you ;)), and it didn’t take her long to download and install it. Before you know it, she popped up on my screen, and I popped up on hers, and I heard her exclaim, “COOL!” Indeed. It was just that. And my guess is that Skype’s about to become a little more popular within her demographic.

All-all-folks, last Saturday was a lovely day. My daughter’s now a happy Mac user. What can one say? Oh, but it doesn’t end there.

Her cousin, who I mistakingly thought would be needed to help her install her iMac, checked her new gear out. Guess what? He wants a Mac now. But it doesn’t end there. His brother-in-law saw it and wants one as well. Both of these guys have been using PCs for years. Now, after seeing a Mac in action for themselves, they long for something better. No surprise to me.

Finally, for those of you out there wondering why I, a professional Telephone Technician and System Administrator, didn’t bother fixing my daughter’s old PC, I’ll tell you why; because I do exactly that for a living. However, when I get home, I want to be at home. I want to see, talk to, hug, and be with my family. I get to play with computers all day at work and it’s a great way to earn a living, but it is not the most important way to actually live. When I leave work I like to do just that: leave work. Besides, it wouldn’t have been the first time I had to fix it, or her cousin for that matter. It will be interesting to see how much time is needed for the upkeep and maintenance of her iMac. I will keep you all posted with the good and the bad. But my guess is maintenance time will decrease and the living, as I see it, will increase.

In the meantime, it’s actually supposed to get up to 28°C (82°F) today in Stockholm with blue skies. THAT is not so typical, so I plan on getting out there to enjoy it. I’m actually going to wear some shorts today! I love this global warming. 😉

Laterz.

and went to the Apple Store on Sveavägen (a main street in Stockholm). Unfortunately, the man behind the counter told us, “I’m sorryk,

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