iPhoto - Time to Reconsider?

Less than 12 months ago, my (effective) father-in-law bought a new Acer laptop. It came with Vista installed, and was “better than a MacBook Pro, and heaps cheaper.”

I’ve spent countless hours since then trying to get it to work smoothly. For instance, if you create a bluetooth connection to his HP printer, it prints. Once or twice. Then you need to delete the printer and re-create it for it to work. My MacBook Pro connected once, and all was good.

Another issue has been with network connectivity. He’s using a GSM USB dongle to get wireless internet, and it’s rather flaky. I plugged the same dongle into my laptop, and it worked. I can’t recall if I needed to install any software, but, and here’s the important part, if I did install a driver, it used the system’s networking stack, rather than installing another one. This is something that the PC world just doesn’t seem to get. I had to “fix” a similar problem with my sister’s machine. Using the basic Windows WiFi driver gave a much better result than the one that came with the laptop.

Finally, he decided that it was worth the effort getting an iMac. He’d then set up most of the stuff before I arrived, including the wireless internet, and all I had to do with install VMWare (and WinXP) so he can run his share-tracking program, and anything else he may have to run under Windows. Oh, and Office. I’ve got him trying out iWork, but we’ll see how that goes.

I also had to help him transfer across all of his iTunes music and photos. I’d bought my laptop with me, and had set up an ad-hoc wireless network, which I had confirmed was working. I had shared his Public directory on the iMac, and was able to connect to it from the PC, but was having trouble getting the PC share to actually appear on the Macs. Eventually I did, and copied the files across. As it turned out, I needed to change the ad-hoc network name several times as I tweaked the settings, as Windows seems brain-dead when dealing with changed network properties and the same network name. I’d hit this issue in the past when trying to connect with an old laptop (no WPA) to an ad-hoc network created by one of my machines.

I then imported all of his photos into iPhoto. Which, I discovered, is now not the clunky old program it used to be. It feels more like iTunes, but is even more snappy. It has the nice little feature of scrubbing over all of the contained images like the new iTunes view.

I think I’m going to have another try with iPhoto. I got right into Lightroom when I had a DSLR, but since I don’t take too many photos anymore, so something less high-end will do me fine.

And, I can then use the fairly cool screensaver that uses the iPhoto library to create mosaics. I’d forgotten how cool that was. I think that feature alone caused his other daughter to proclaim she too would get a Mac.