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Intuitive, my ass

December 30, 2019

In case anyone is wondering (I wonder if anyone is wondering?), nearly a month after the arrival of my new (reconditioned) Mac, I am still operating on my old, slow-as-molasses Toshiba.

I hate the Mac.

Well, perhaps “hate” is too strong a word. I certainly don’t like it.

“Oh, once you get used to it, you’ll love it,” all the Mac owners on the island told me. Really? And just how long does that take?

This might have gone more smoothly if the Mac-using (and loving) friend who was supposed to be visiting soon after the new (reconditioned) computer arrived had been here. She might have got me over the hump. Unfortunately for me (and even more unfortunately for her), first she got very sick and then her husband got even sicker, so visit cancelled.

It might have also been okay if my Mac-loving Ali Baba, who promised to be my go to guy if I did go to Mac world, hadn’t gone off on a long cruise down under almost as soon as the show was over.

I did switch the Mac on shortly after it arrived. I set up my password and perused the new-to-Mac tutorial. (Oh, I see, instead of right click, left click, it’s one finger tap or two finger tap. Okay, I can master that.) It went downhill from there.

“Macs are so intuitive,” all the Mac lovers gushed in my ear. No, they aren’t, says I. Fuck you very much.

In early December I wrote a proper letter to one of my cousins on this old computer. I hadn’t been in touch for a while and I wanted to include a proper letter with my Christmas card. Once completed, I crossed my fingers and attempted to print it. One of the many things wrong with this computer is the decision it took some time ago to no longer recognise the printer plugged into the USB port. If I’m very lucky and very patient, sometimes, by switching ports and turning the printer on and off several times, I can trick the computer into recognising the printer. Not that day.

Okay, I thought, with a sigh of trepidation, let’s try the Mac. I copied the letter on to a memory stick and copied it on to the Mac. When I clicked on the letter, it opened in some programme called TextPad and looked nothing like the document I’d created. Nor could I figure out how to make it look like the letter. There was nothing fucking intuitive about fucking TextPad.

Okay, I thought, I obviously need to download MS Word for Macs. Went to the computer’s app store and found it. Tried to download. No dice. In order to download I needed OS 10.13 (whatever the fuck that is). Hunted the internet. Found OS 10.13 (or the closest I could). Tried to download that. No dice. Why? I don’t remember. All I remember is swearing.

Okay, I thought (and this bit isn’t a go at Macs), maybe I can use the Surface Pro a friend kindly sent me as a replacement tablet. It has a USB port in its side and it’s made by Microsoft, so surely it will recognise the document? Yes, it does! Then I plugged the computer in and went through the process of introducing it to the tablet. Success! Well, success until I actually tried to print the letter, then the Surface Pro refused to offer me my printer as an option.

I emailed the letter to my cousin. The opposite of success – complete bloody defeat. Fucking computers.

I shut the Mac (the cost of which is ticking away on my credit card) and didn’t open it again until Boxing Day.

I took a deep breath, hoping it would help to keep me calm, and tried again to figure out what I needed to do to make this new (reconditioned) computer useable by me. I found the help section and tried a search for MS Word for Macs. The result was a suggestion that, before investing in Word I check out the very useful and very similar word processing programme which was already on the computer: TextPad. Fuck you, Apple. No, seriously, fuck you. TextPad is absolutely not very similar and is far, far, far from being even slightly useful.

I know I’d already tried once, but, ever the optimist (really), I decided to try downloading MS Word again. Perhaps the first refusal was just a test to see if I would persist. Perhaps it was a case of second time lucky. Ha, bloody ha. No chance. In order to have Word on my computer I need OS 10.13 or higher. Okay, I’m guessing OS stands for Operating System. (What else could it stand for?) I have no idea what the operating system is on this Mac, so I go back to the order and check.

Here is some of the information offered.

Display Size 13.3 inches
Display Resolution 1280×800
Max Screen Resolution 1280×800
Processor 2.50 GHz Intel Core i5
Memory Speed 2.4 GHz
Hard Drive 128 GB mechanical_hard_drive
Graphics Coprocessor Intel HD Graphics 4000
Chipset Brand Intel
Card Description Integrated
Wireless Standard 802.11abg
Average Battery Life (in hours) 3 hours
Brand Name Apple
Series MD101LL/A
Item model number MD101LL/A
Hardware Platform Mac

If any of that means anything to you, perhaps you’d like to come round to my place and help me make this fucking Mac functional for my needs.

Guess what it says for operating system? Go on, guess. It says “other”. That’s right: other. Other what for fuck sake?

How did this happen?

When I googled “I hate Macs” just now, one of the first results was this piece written by Charlie Brooker in 2007 in response to an aggravating Mac ad campaign. I remember reading it on my commute in London on the day it was published, grinning in agreement as I did so. I’m pretty sure I forwarded the piece to a couple of Mac-loving friends.


How did I forget? What was I thinking?

Why didn’t I just buy a damn Acer and replace it in five years like any sensible person (including Charlie Brooker) would do?

Intuitive, my ass.

From → Blog

One Comment
  1. Ralph permalink

    Hey! Relax … computers are designed to make life easier not get you all het up and frustrated.

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