Joe got to go to a Browns game. His favorite team is playing in Jacksonville and he will be there too cheer them on. He left on Saturday.

Sarah had to work on Saturday, which meant the kids needed some supervision. It is simply not okay to leave three kids all with single-digit ages to be by themselves for eight hours. So …

Dick and I went to Hilton Head Island to babysit. This undertaking was an adventure. We got to Joe’s house and Sarah was there with all three kids. But she was heading back to her place and Aiden wanted to stay here. So we kept Aiden while the two younger kids took off and would be back soon.

LC and Trip were happy to see each other. Aiden was playing soccer with neighborhood kids outside. All the dogs were attended to and then I pulled out the netbook, going to get ready for an evening with small children. Or something like that.

 

This took me hours or perhaps years to accomplish, but I'm connected. Joe's desktop and my netbook. Hooray.

 

I couldn’t get Joe’s router and my netbook to find each other. Joe’s computer is one of the Apple Cube things. I have worked with Apple computers before but this one was not being my friend. I realize I can hide my toolbar, but on an Apple, approaching what is analogous to the toolbar does nothing. You have to actually move the cursor past the bottom of the screen. I had not gotten that far.

Luckily, there was an icon for the hard drive on the desktop and when I clicked that, I could find Safari, another Apple product. I actually have Safari on my Windows computers. I like to see how my web pages parse in a variety of browsers. So I could make it work, in an offhand sort of way. Safari doesn’t highlight the entire URL when you click into it. You have to click three times. [Please remember this, Chrome user who is used to one click. I never did. I would have something typed in the  middle of the URL over and over again.]

To access a router on the system, you should be able to simply type in the IP address. This is a series of numbers, four numbers up to three digits each and separated by dots. I found the IP address for Joe’s type of router. I typed in the IP address and Safari just sat there. There wasn’t any place to click to actually tell it to go. I had hit enter and figured that was all I needed to do, just like on a real computer. But it did nothing. A blue line began (apparently a sign for the intuitive stating the computer is thinking about something) and then I waited. And waited. Then I impatiently waited. And got frustrated while waiting. Finally, it told me Safari couldn’t help me.

Then the mouse stopped working. It flashed a screen that said the mouse batteries were getting low. Then, in less than a minute, nothing. On either of my laptops, when my wireless mouse dies, I still have the touch pad. Here, nothing. Great. I knew how to close a window with the Apple key plus Q. By this time I had three windows (or whatever they are called on an Apple) open and only one would close. Then the next window refused to take focus, making it impossible to close. Great.

I called Joe in Jacksonville. He told me where new batteries were and thought he had some information regarding the router under his dashboard. I couldn’t find a dashboard anywhere. He told me to drag the mouse all the way to the bottom, and after I passed the bottom of the screen, that familiar band of icons showed up. The Start Menu appeared. Well, not really, just the preferred applications, but at least it was something. I had no idea what icon would be the dashboard and finally found it looked like a black compass. Once I really looked, it was like a gauge on a car. Cute. Dashboard. It didn’t have anything useful and I could not figure out how to close it. There was a plus sign which is not an X but it was all I had. I clicked on it. It opened up a series of applications associated with the dashboard. I clicked on a sticky note. It opened another note, but didn’t give me a list of stickies, as I hoped. I still couldn’t close the dashboard. For some odd reason, I clicked somewhere  and it went away. Success. I have no idea why this was intuitive, for me it was just [insert expletive here] clicking anywhere since clicking somewhere was not helping.

I never did get the router page to load, even though I now found how to load FireFox. I can just type the IP address into any of my browsers and it accesses the router, but Apple (or the router) is protecting me somehow and I still could not get a WEP key. I could also not resize FireFox except to full screen.

I signed into Shockwave so Aiden could play a game. Safari said I needed a plug in. I was willing to get a plug in, but when I clicked on the install a plug in space, nothing happened. Rather than fight with an intuitive interface that did not respond as I believed it should, I opened up FireFox and we tried there. The games played, but the screen needed to be a bit wider. Only full screen, so that’s what we did.

After the kids went to sleep, I was going to try to get rid of that extra sticky note. No luck. I have done everything I know to do to get rid of something. Apple, taking a hint from Microsoft, finally got a right click option and so I tried that. Delete was not part of the menu. Dragging the note to the trash can didn’t work because it was within the dashboard which grays out the desktop and toolbar. I’m apparently way too stupid to just intuitively figure out how to make this easy to use machine work.

The slick mouse didn’t fit my hand. Neither do the over large mice that come standard with computers. However, Logitech makes women’s mice which are smaller and they do fit my hand. I have had these nice little mice for at least the last four years, ever since I switched to all laptops, all the time.

Most of my issues have stemmed from the fact that I can’t get on Joe’s system. I know how to do this with my Microsoft computers. I have all four laptops, the printer, and the Wii attached to our home network. I needed a WEP key for all of them and it is available to me just by typing in the router’s IP address. I have no idea how to make an Apple display the information I need. I did try searching for this information online and decided it was not worth the effort it took. I will simply have to post this when I get home and have access to my network. It may have been a problem with Netgear router rather than with the computer. Any which way, I finally found printed in gray on a black background a way to interface with the Netgear setup page and there could get a WEP key.

I know Apple aficionados believe the computer is easy to use and you can figure out how to do anything simply by sitting in front of it. I would like to say to you, “Bullshit!” I even have experience using Apple products. And I couldn’t get it to do many things I do on a routine basis on my “inferior” Windows based computer. I did leave a message on the sticky note, apologizing for not trashing it, but explaining that I simply couldn’t figure out how.

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