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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Different Isn't Necessarily Better

Okay, so the whole "Macs just work" thing is an ugly lie. If Macs just work, then how come I just spent 30 minutes collating and stapling a document?

Let's back up.

I've written a lovely reference guide for my Introduction to Email & Calendar class. Used the same Word template I've been using for years, only now it's on a Mac.

First, the top grid line for the table refuses to print. Displays on the screen. Displays in the print preview. Does not print. No amount of turning on and off of the grid lines has fixed the problem. So all of my documents with a nice bounding box have a 3 sided box now and all the words can pour right out of the top of the page if someone holds it upside down. Well, okay, maybe not, but that's what it looks like visually.

Second, I put several reference graphics into the document. So I take the screen shot using the woefully inadequate Grab. Every time I use it, I miss SnagIt more and more. Where's my magnifying glass so that I can capture to the pixel? Where's my options to capture a sub-window? But worse than that, far worse than that, is that when I use Grab, I copy the screen shot into the document and it comes out fuzzy and faded. No, really. How this is even possible, I don't know, but it really looks bad when printed. I'm trying to produce handouts for staff across campus, and they've got amateur looking screen shots that look like they were created by holding a camera up to my computer screen.

So finally, I'm printing fifty copies of this thing for the IT Open House tomorrow and trying to ignore the ugly screen shots and the missing line at the top of the page and I remember to set it to do double-sided printing because it always reverts back to single-sided. I tell it to print fifty, and it does. Fifty of the first sheet. Then fifty of the next sheet. Then fifty of the third sheet. Then fifty of the last sheet. I pull them off the printer and start stapling, only to realize this a few pages in. Dave says, "Oh, you have to select collate." Seriously? I have to select that every time? Are you freaking kidding me?

Oh yeah, Macs just work alright. They just work they way they want to work and your preferences be damned. Either I'm going to join the Mac hive mind eventually, or I'm going to keep being frustrated. Funny thing though - I have Windows available via VM Ware. When I print there, it not only automatically collates and respects my preference to flip on the long edge, it also prints the top line. So after years about how great a Mac is for documentation, I have to flip to my Windows installation to get things to print professionally. Fabulous.


  • Hell, I *know* you've seen my switch spoof. I went from MAC to PC years ago and haven't looked back. PC keeps getting better and MAC... well, now you can run Windows on it.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 9:23 PM  

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