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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Ballad of a former M$ slave

I'm please to report that my transformation from M$ slave to Mac master (the distinction being based purely on my perception of who answered to whom) is now complete.

All of my important files, apps and information now reside on my nice wide-screen PowerBook, and our home is completely WiFi-ed from top to bottom. 

My iTunes library has been transferred to the Mac and all the necessary language stuff has been installed so I can transition effortlessly back and forth between my mother- and adopted-tongue as the mood strikes me.

I've even managed to dodge the M$ monopoly on things like browsing, text editing and spreadsheets by downloading the latest version of Firefox as well as a nice suite of open-source apps called NeoOffice that do everything M$ Office did... without the need to sell off any children to finance the purchase.

As I've been putting the final touches on my computing world I've even found a wonderful Firefox plug-in that allows me to escape the tiny tyranny of the disk-on-key and effortlessly use a gMail account (I splurged and used one of my 100 invitations on myself) as a free on-line storage/back-up facility.  Brilliant!!!

Now if I could only figure out how to play all those .wmv video clips friends are always forwarding to me (they don't work in QuickTime), my life would truly be perfect.

Yes, Bill Gates can now officially kiss my @$$... this former M$ slave no longer answers to the man!


Posted by David Bogner on April 23, 2006 | Permalink


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I don't think that what you wrote is a ballad

Posted by: Yaakov | Apr 23, 2006 2:46:26 PM

Yaakov... Ah, there's always one in every crowd. If you check this definition you will find that a ballad is "a narrative song with a recurrent refrain". I chose the title when I looked over the post and noticed I had repeated the central refrain (about being oppressed by M$) several times. Sheesh... tough crowd this morning. :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Apr 23, 2006 2:52:50 PM

The WiFi experience alone is enough to make me jealous. I live in the boondocks country where only satellite can reach me on a non-stormy and mild day. Hope you enjoy the experience with the PowerBook. Keep us M$ slaves updated. ~Tim

Posted by: Tim | Apr 23, 2006 2:56:11 PM

You can try "Windows Media Player 9 for Mac OSX" (stand-alone app -- hasn't been updated in a while) or "Windows Media Components for QuickTime" (plays .wmv file in QuickTime player app).

Both available at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/player/download/download.aspx

Posted by: wogo | Apr 23, 2006 3:54:29 PM

welcome to the dark side.may i suggest applecare if you dont aready have it. six months ago, Apple could not fix my i-book and after two attempts, THEY politely asked ME if they could send me a new( not refurbished)laptop and seeing as ibooks had ceased to be in production would it be ok if they sent me a new POWERBOOK. also, they asked if they could rotate the tires on my car.. ( well, not really but i gott the sense they would have) enjoy virus free computing

Posted by: shabtai | Apr 23, 2006 3:55:55 PM

Do you use Hebrew in the office suite? How is it?


Posted by: Yehuda Berlinger | Apr 23, 2006 4:16:52 PM

mazal tov and welcome to the club!! i'm a mac person from a mac family from waaaay back and it's nice to finally have other people who get it! it's taken long enough!

and the new computers are niiiiice. And we also just put in wifi and it's great :) especially with iChat video. yes, i am a bit of a nerd when it comes to these things!!

for the wmv files, download windows media player or VLC Media Player or I think there are plugins for quicktime that play those files.

enjoy :)

(but if you do have any questions feel free to email but the OS is pretty straightforward :)

Posted by: Sarah | Apr 23, 2006 4:19:25 PM

I'm a "hardware" person so at first I thought you were talking about upgrading a hard-drive from slave to master status - since both units may be entirely identical (except for their designation) that could be ground for yet another ballad or "spiritual" should that kind of transition ever come up.
Ugh I'm a total geek, I'm even boring myself!!

Posted by: Shifra | Apr 23, 2006 6:33:25 PM

Shalom from Milwaukee. Here's the solution to the Windoze Media Player problem. MS is no longer supporting WMP for Mac, you need to get a free app called 'Flip4Mac' which plays Windoze media in quicktime.. You'll find it at www.versiontracker.com. Give my regards to Yossi and Rebecca Kowalsky...

Posted by: Art | Apr 23, 2006 6:56:40 PM

I've been a PC user all of my life (which, granted, has not been exceptionally long), but only because that's what I was raised on. My first contact with a Mac was here at school, when I was fact-checking for the student newspaper. I spent several frenzied seconds searching for the window exit button before realizing that the controls were all on the left side. Oooh, the frustration.

But, you know, everyone I encounter who has a Mac loves it, so there must be some draw that I'm not aware of. Have fun with your new toy!


Posted by: Kate | Apr 23, 2006 7:01:55 PM

Unfortunately, you are in a tiny miniscule minority of Israelis now... and some Israeli websites actually only work on MS Internet Explorer... whose Mac version can't handle Hebrew. Grrr.

At least you have a miniv— station wagon that you can drive to the one and only Mac tech repair place (only if necessary, God forbid) in Israel, in Parq Ta‘asiya Afeiq, instead of having to take a 2-and-a-half-hour bus ride each way like i did.

Posted by: Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) | Apr 23, 2006 7:12:04 PM

two words: Boot Camp. Run windows on your new mac...oh wait, I'm guessing you didn't buy one of the new Intel Macs...never mind...:)

Posted by: tnspr569 | Apr 23, 2006 7:49:44 PM

I'm with K on this one. Oy.

But congrats and good luck with your new geeware... er... software! : )

Posted by: Irina | Apr 23, 2006 8:26:51 PM

I'm with K on this one. Oy.

But congrats and good luck with your new geekware... er... software! : )

Posted by: Irina | Apr 23, 2006 8:27:34 PM

Welcome to MacLand - I "converted" in the fall and never looked back. I named mine "Eve" for obvious reasons. If you are looking for a replacement for MS Publisher, check this site:



Glad you pesach was nice!

Posted by: Ezer Knegdo | Apr 23, 2006 8:27:58 PM

wow David -you converted. wow.
you probably don't know, but i converted the other way.
yeah, crazy as it sounds we gave up our macs.
not by choice tho. it was mostly based on current employment situations.
someday I hope to get back to my mac roots.

Posted by: lisa | Apr 23, 2006 10:20:45 PM

A hearty mazel tov to you!!!! We finally got our Macs three years ago and it has indeed been three years of computing bliss. Ahhh, so relaxing knowing everything works and has been working and will continue to work for a few more years to come at least. I call my laptop "My Precious", for obvious reasons of course

Posted by: Fran | Apr 23, 2006 11:01:06 PM

Tim... Once you have the 'net connection in the house you can hook a wireless router up to the modem and and a wireless card in your 'puter... and have the same kind of freedom I now enjoy.

Wogo... Thanks for the advice and the links. If I can stick with quicktime I think I'll try to stay with that.

Shabtai... My machine is at the end of the apple care period but I may sign up for the full package for Ariella's brand spankin' new Mac mini (with the new Intel processor).

Yehudah... Neo Office fully supports Hebrew and I've had no problem with it so far.

Sarah... Thanks for the advice. I really haven't had any problems so far. You plug stuff in and it just works. No compatibility issues... no driver problems... just plug and play. How could I have been so blind? :-)

Shifra... No need to feel bad. In the back of my mind I knew I was using bad terminology but I was running late this morning and couldn't be bothered to find another parallel construction that would work.

Art... Rebbecca did the Portraits for Ariella's Bat Mitzvah... small world! Thanks for the tip.

Kate... It hasn't taken me very long to figure out how things work on the Mac... it's intuitive that way. h, and it took almost no time at all to figure out that most Windows features are cheap ripoffs of the Mac OS.

Steg... I Use Panda in Talpiot. Anything they can't handle (which isn't much) they send out.

tnspr569... Ariella's machine has the new Intel processor, but why on earth would I run back into the arms of a bad operating system??? OSX is light years beyond even the next predicted Windows release scheduled for 2007.

Irina... Thank you. I like that you can still wish me well while still in the embrace of the Darth Gates. ;-)

Ezer Knegdo... I've never been one to name my computers (mostly because I ended up calling them such nasty names when they didn't work properly. :-) And thanks for the tip... I'll need to convert a few publisher docs.

Lisa... I figured you for a Mac family. You don't bring work home with you, do you? Where's the conflict?

Fran... Another one who named her computer??? Am I missing something here? Do many people name their computers?

Posted by: treppenwitz | Apr 23, 2006 11:14:09 PM

Never owned anything but a Mac. Thanks for the Neooffice link - I was jut considering some MS Office for Mac in order to do some work but you may have saved me!

Posted by: lisoosh | Apr 24, 2006 1:00:42 AM

I am not jewish. But you have claimed in your past blogs that you are a religious Jew, if so, why are you so vicious in your speech. Just doesn't add up....

Posted by: Joan | Apr 24, 2006 1:24:39 AM

Wait...I think I missed something here- how many computers did you purchase? The only reason I suggested Boot Camp was so that your family could remain profficient in the latest version of Windows, since it's still the most prevalent/dominant OS, unfortunately. Also useful for that one piece of software that might not work on a Mac. Just a thought...

Posted by: tnspr569 | Apr 24, 2006 2:11:14 AM

Congrats on your 'conversion'... I'm still a PC person... but it could be changing as Linda is a Mac person and I only use the pc cuz it's provided by work... we'll see. As of now, we're an inter-pcbased-family and happy!

Glad Ari is hooked up now, too, as I've been getting little chat invites from her. One of these days, I hope to actually chat WITH her! Darn the time difference!

Posted by: val | Apr 24, 2006 2:25:53 AM

You've gone to an Apple so you'll no longer have the joy of downloading driver after driver for your hardware, software, etc. I could go on about the joys of trying to discover why an application has various quirks due to Windows.

Getting a bit lazy aren't you? :)

Posted by: seawitch | Apr 24, 2006 7:04:58 AM

Congratulations! I have been using Macs for ... getting close to 20 years? You should definitely join the Israel Mac-users Yahoogroup. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/IsraMac/

And check out Growl, Adium, NetNewsWire, Acquisition, Mellel, and I think someone mentnioned VLC above.

Posted by: NG | Apr 24, 2006 7:15:06 AM

All the smart people are switching to Mac. I was windoze from '86 to '03 but when the viri finially got me I just trashed the evil box and got a Powerbook. Then I got a G-5 Dual with a 23" Cinema Display. Wow. I never appreciated my photography on a monitor untill I saw one of my 400 MB files on this display. Much better than any print.

Posted by: Scott | Apr 24, 2006 8:11:38 AM

Re "naming":

In the Sharing preference pane of the System Preferences app there is an option to give your computer a name. It is useful mostly as a way to find a specific machine on a network -- it's much easier to find "TreppenBook" or "Mini Me" than it is to find "afp://"...

Since plug-n-play networking was built into the Mac OS from the very beginning, the idea of "naming" the computers has been a traditional part of the Macintosh computing experience. And of course, it doesn't hurt that the machines are so darn cute...

p.s. I still have a 19-year-old Macintosh SE (running System 6) hooked up to the same network as my PowerMac G4.

Posted by: wogo | Apr 24, 2006 9:15:55 AM

Joan, (still smiling from the entertainment of reading these posts) when I read all of this, I see a lot of camaraderie going on, like during a sports event. Sometimes emphasis is added to the speech just to make it all the more entertaining. For example, here is Seattle, I derive my income from the beloved "Darth Gates", and when I go home from work each evening, I say, smiling, he can kiss my ... well, you know. But I do love competition and criticism; it plays a huge role in improving everyone's products. Anyway, many of Treppenwitz's readers have been around a long time, and little offense is being taken by most, and there are many good times being had here, that I promise you.

Posted by: Seattle | Apr 24, 2006 10:33:48 AM

A post thought. You might want to convert your WMV files, permanently, to a better format. I do. There are several tools for this. Catch me offline (off blog) if you need some details about all of that. Eventually you will get tired of having to load all of the WMV players on all your Macs, would be my guess.

Posted by: Seattle | Apr 24, 2006 10:42:38 AM

Lisoosh... I got the Neo Office recommendation from a design firm here in Israel with whom my company does business. They chose it over other open-source suites because it works well with both Hebrew and English. Let me know how it works for you.

Joan... Of course you are correct. Thank you for pointing out one of my many failings.

Tnspr569... I have had my powerbook for almost a year but have been slowly migrating my computing time from my old Wondowbox to the Mac machine. Yesterday's post was just a formal announcement (like most people really care about such things) that the transition was complete. My family generously gave Ariella a shiny new Mac Mini for her Bat Mitzvah and that is why you will now likely see her comment her from time to time.

Val... I imagine many people stick with Windows because so many more developers write software for that operating system. But with the next big system upgrade for windows scheduled for next year and the newest generation of Intel-equipped Macs (that can run windows or OS X) already shipping it seems a no-brainer that consumers who would normally have only bought a machine based on their operating system of choice will now buy the best machine (the Macs are worlds better) and then try out both operating systems to see which one truly fits their computing life-style. My guess is that developers are already scrambling to bring out apps that can be used by this next generation of cross-platform users. You should come on in... the water's fine. :-)

Seawitch... You have no idea what a joy it is to simply turn on the machine right out of the box, have it boot up in about 4 seconds, and have it detect anything and everything you plug into it (including any wireless network in the area). Well, maybe you do have some idea. :-)

NG... As if I don't already have enough to deal with as hundreds of emails from the Efrat Yahoo chat list get dumped into my inbox! No thanks. :-)

Scott... I'm shocked. I thought only artsy-fartsy lefties used Macs. ;-)

Wogo... Thanks for clearing that up. I'll get right on it.

Seattle... Thanks for the vote of confidence. Although I fear she has left to tilt at other windmills. :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Apr 24, 2006 11:38:11 AM

Thank you for pointing out one of my many failings.

The big one is being a Sox fan, everything else pales besides that. ;)

Posted by: Jack | Apr 24, 2006 7:06:32 PM

Yeah me too but Limbaugh the Valiant showed me the way to shake off my silly prejudices. And besides even broken clocks are right twice a day.

Posted by: Scott | Apr 24, 2006 8:08:05 PM

The Mac was the first computer I ever used. There were dozens in the computer room of our university library and another few in the basement of our dorm. They were lovely, trim machines that required start-up disks in order to work. They were such fun, and they were also great for writing papers on -- what a charge it was to see my writing in crisp laser print instead of boring typewriter output!

One of these days I hope to join you back in Mac Land. Congratulations!

Posted by: Rahel | Apr 25, 2006 9:35:58 AM

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