I’m having a great time teaching here at Northwest. Though my office is windowless, I have some lovely lamps and a comfortable writing chair.
Unfortunately, I also have a PC. The Optiplex 790, to be exact, loaded with Windows 10 (I think) and it’s every bit as terrible as you–lovers of beauty, users of Macs–imagine it would be. Who knew one could still burn up so much time “setting-up” a desktop computer? I’ve got everything synced up on Dropbox-the-magnificent, but 90% of those files are made with Pages, which Word, somehow still can’t read. So I tried the magical new iCloud for PC program, allowing PC folks to see what life is like for the better half, but even that is riddled with difficulty. For one, I can’t figure out a reasonable file structure. Do I transfer my whole dropbox hierarchy over to iCloud? If so, I have to separate my logical project-based structure into the native app-structure. My scans of mid-Victorian Scottish paintings meant to accompany a forthcoming article on Alexander Smith’s travel writing can no longer live in the sensible “Summer in Skye” folder, but have instead to go hang out in “Preview.” Yuck. Plus, clicking the Pages icon on the PC opens only an old version of Internet Explorer, despite that the machine is loaded with MS Edge, and Google Chrome.
I keep trying to better this writing experience by making the interface more mac-like: stripping away the silly backgrounds, removing the tiles, and spending all my time in the iCloud web-interface, but something is still not right. One wants to be adaptable, naturally, but this bilingualism is simply eating the hours. Today, I ordered an iMac keyboard, since even the low-profile Dell I special-requested feels like a typewriter compared with the swift, low space I’m used to. I’d suck it up and buy a desktop iMac, but it won’t talk to the network here in any way: I asked the IT team already. Impossible to print to the department machine ten steps away they tell me. Do I use a Mac anyway, “printing” to Dropbox, sign in to a nearby computer set up as a print station? Do I buy a printer for my office and forget the network altogether? Do I just set up iCloud more intuitively and, when I get my new keyboard, make the best of it? How is this still so hard?