Wednesday, January 19, 2011

FaceTime





Last year my new Dell computer crashed.  I purchased this new Dell computer because my old Gateway computer was ten years old and would eventually crash.  I wanted to get ahead of the game for once in computer crash horror stories.  To paraphrase Ben Franklin, there are three certainties in life:

  • Death
  • Taxes
  • Computer crashes
My first computer to crash was a Dell.  I paid $4,000 in 1994 for that sucker that had a grand total of 30 MB memory.  I lost all my photos and genealogy program which I had to rebuild.  

In bought a new Dell computer in 2001 with all the bells and whistles for which I paid $2,500.  Right out of the box that computer didn't work.  I couldn't turn it off.  Every time I turned it off, it came right back on.  I called my premium line (still had to wait a long time) for tech help.  The girl I got on the line, after much fussing around, told me I had "too much on my desktop" and had to reformat then computer hard drive!  What the hey?  I had a brand new computer and I had put nothing on the hard drive.  It was all their ads!  



I called again to get another tech person.  They couldn't help me either.  In the meantime, while I was going through the hell of tech help (which is an oxymoron with Dell by the way), I purchased a cheap ($1,100) Gateway computer.  I liked that computer so much (and it worked right out of the box) that I gave away my super, duper Dell to my friend Bob McC. who didn't' have a computer.  All he had to do was pay $100 to have the hard drive reformatted and reinstall the software that came with it.  

Fast forward to last year and I decide to buy a new computer.  My friend Lar had a computer crash around the same time I was looking for a new computer.  He told me he "had it" with the instability of Windows based computers and was going back to a Mac computer which he used to have.  He advised me to also get a Mac.  I checked and decided that I didn't want to pay that much ($1.600) for a 21 inch iMac so I got a Dell Dimension for $1,100.  Yes, I was foolish enough to go back to Dell.  I figured they straightened out their problems by now.  What I didn't take into account was the instability of the Windows Vista operating system.  Mr. Softeee was out to get me again!  

So I buy the Dell over the phone.  By the time the salesman was done with me my bill was $1,600.  Another thing I didn't account for was that Dell has a lot of "extras" that run the bill up.  Mac doesn't. I found out later that Mac's price includes everything.  They don't blindside you with a lot of extras that really should come with the computer.  So I got suckered in again.  I blame myself.

One year later my Dell crashes while my Computer Guy was trying to load my old Palm Pilot software into my new Vista operating system computer.  CRASH!  

That was it. I had enough with Dell.  I had a warranty on the hard drive.  I called and they sent a technician out to replace my hard drive.  My Dell now sits in the basement, unused. I don't trust it or its Windows based operating system anymore.  After you've been screwed several times, you stop bending over and grabbing your ankles.  I had it with Dell, Windows, Vista and Mr. Softee and their endless, annoying upgrades and anti-virus and maleware software that does nothing but slow the computer down to a crawl.  I had it!

Last September I took myself up to Best Buy in Dover and purchased a 27 inch iMac.  My friend Lar said his only regret with his iMac was that he didn't get the big screen.  I took his advice and didn't make that mistake.

Now my only problem with a Mac computer was the new learning curve.  I have to admit, it hasn't been too bad.  I've picked up a lot because Mac computers are much more intuitive that Windows based computer.  Has anyone ever tried an Address Merge function on Vista?  Need I say more?

So, since the time I went the Mac Way, I have learned just enough to send e-mails, store my photos and post my blogs.  I knew there was a lot more to learn.  

A couple of weeks ago my friend Bob C. advised me of his friend Don V. who was willing to teach this old head some new tricks on his iMac.  Don V. has been a happy Mac user for over 20 years.  

Monday he stopped over and he spent an intense four hours in the morning some really cool functions.  One I really like is FaceTime.  This is a function that makes phone calls to another iMac or iPhone user and you can talk face to face by video.  I had the Skype function on my old Gateway but this was much better.  REALLY COOL!

Don called me this morning to see how I was progressing.  He gave me some more tips.  We called our mutual friend Bob C., who is now in Florida, to see if he got the adaption for his Mac laptop computer so the three of us could hook up.  Unfortunately Bob C. spent four frustrating hours in the Tampa Verizon office yesterday with his new 4G setup that didn't work.  The woman in the office told him he had to have Windows on his computer because the 4G wasn't compatible with his Mac laptop.  What the hey?  But that's another blog posting, frustration with Verizon.  I have my own horror stories that would take up several blog postings.  

As you can see from the photos I've posted that Ron is having a grand old time with his New Toy.

Now for the next Toy, an iPhone.  I place my order February 3rd.  

I'll bet I'm the only member of my high school class that is "wired up" this way to the new technology.  I graduated from Downingtown High School in 1959.  I'm putting a call out there now to my former classmates: 

ANY ONE OUT THERE?  

  

11 comments:

  1. BTW, the phone to our ears (for those observant few who noticed the juxtaposition in the pictures) was because we were talking to a third party who was trying to get his Mac up without success.

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  2. I've just installed FaceTime on my Macbook yesterday but I haven't known how it works.

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  3. Tai,

    Send me your e-mail address and we can talk by FaceTime.

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  4. You don't remember we emailed each other?
    Here it is vuongtutruc@gmail.com

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  5. Sorry Tai, I thought I needed your phone number to connect with you by FaceTime. We don't need that, only your e-mail address. However you do need the Snow Leopard version of Mac.

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  6. Does it work with Snow Leopard only? Mine is Mac OS X :(

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  7. "...trying to get his Mac up..." so that's what you kids call it these days.

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  8. Will,

    Congratulations! You're the only one who caught that "other" reference. :)

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  9. Tai,

    FaceTime only works with Snow Leopard. You can download an upgrade then it will work.

    Ron

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  10. I am afraid of technology.
    I was quite disappointed in Dell
    I am fairly happy with my Mac
    I am all for some nice computer nerd to hold my hand and guide me through the simplest things.

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  11. Spo,
    Do you have the Leopard operating system version of Mac? If so you should activate your FaceTime function. It's wonderful! And the "nice computer nerd to hold your hand and guide you through the simplest things"......my last Computer Guy was a super handsome body builder. So distracting. I knew I was in trouble when he drove up in his Dodge Ram 4 by 4 and got out wearing combat boots and a dazzling smile on his handsome face. OMG. Ironically, he knew more about computers than all my other previous nerd Computer Guys who came before him.

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