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Friday, March 20, 2009

Kevin is My Hero

Everyone who has to deal with Apple products should have their own personal Apple lifeline - an expert who has always used a Mac and knows the weird crap that they do and the bizarre tricks to get it to play nice. For me, that person is Kevin.

I call Kevin a couple of weeks ago and tell him the DVD player on my Mac doesn't believe there's a disk, but I know one is in there, so since there's no eject button on the thing and no pinhole to force eject, what do I do? Now, don't get me started on why there's no eject button. Let's just not go there okay? (The answer is clearly that Macs are just easier and just work. Gah!!!) Luckily, rather than defenestrating the computer, I call Kev. He says, "Hmm. Try this. That didn't work? Weird. Okay, try this. That worked? Okay, awesome. Bye!"

On Tuesday, my iPhone was stuck in shuffle mode for the music. I selected a playlist, and there's a Shuffle icon at the top. Clicking it only reshuffles the music again, and does not turn it on or off. This also isn't under the More section. It isn't in the iPhone settings either. I call Kevin, the last act of a desperate woman who is envisioning chaos as the dancers get shuffled out of the Gaelic Storm reel off to a jig without so much as a by your leave. Kevin says, "Okay, so go into the screen for a single song. Okay, there should be a shuffle icon on the right under the bullet list looking thing. There's not? Okay, tap the center of the screen once. It's there? Cool. Okay, bye!"

Now, I know, in theory, this is the job of the Apple Geniuses at the store, but they only work during business hours. Also since 880 isn't cool enough for an Apple store the entire length of the freeway, that's tricky. I'm unbelievably grateful for Kevin, but I'm still wondering how the heck Apple got a reputation for being so much easier. Tap the center of the screen to reveal more options? That's supposed to be intuitive? Really? Only if you're a longtime Apple user and know that they do these things. (On the flipside, I know a lot of really weird tricks for getting around in Windows. It's all in what you're used to.)

Now if I could just remember how to do that eject trick. It's doing it again and it's so intuitive I can't figure it out.


  • Hold down the mouse button while restarting. :-) (it might be the space bar, I forget)

    By Blogger Kevin Fox, at 8:18 PM  

  • Also, there is an eject button in the top-right corner of the keyboard. You have to hold it down for a half-second to trigger it (when you didn't have to it was too easy to accidentally eject your DVD) but as I recall last time the eject button wasn't working for you, hence the restart-and-hold trick. :-)

    By Blogger Kevin Fox, at 8:20 PM  

  • It took me forever to figure out how the circular scroll wheel worked on my ipod. I remember flipping through the manual, looking for other buttons, and poking at the ipod like a caveman. After several weeks, I did some voodoo and accidentally made some strange motion on the wheel, so I had this arcane and complex way of getting it to do what I wanted. It wasn't until later that I figured out how it works and could reliably and quickly scroll around.

    So no, not exactly intuitive... :-p

    By Blogger brookswift, at 7:29 PM  

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