The waiter at the restaurant was so excited when he saw my Mac. "I just got one three days ago. Do you know about widgets yet?" There appears to be something in the air about Macs these days, and about people switching over--my waiter had been a lifelong PC user too. Or maybe it's like, when Robin and I were on our honeymoon (in 1993), everyone came up to us and told us their wedding stories. Maybe I'm emitting pheromones that make people express their gratitude that I'm in their club now.
I maintain my reluctance to drink the kool-aide nonetheless. I have a Mac Pro in my office now, a massive sleek silver thing that, for the first day, flummoxed me with how to open the CD tray. Googling the problem was no use--it appears to be one of those basic skills, like turning on a light switch, that needs no larger discussion. But if you've never encountered said light switch before, how would you know? Only when I visited the Mac store, and talked to Cody, my salesperson, did I get the secret handshake code. "It's the eject button," he told me. Oh, that button that has no effect on anything on my laptop? I thought it was the equivalent of the Print Screen key on a PC, a button that describes an unattainable desire, not an actual function.
I asked him about one of my bigger annoyances, that when I go to the Address or Search field in a browser, I have to double or triple click to get the damn field to highlight so I can type in what I want. In IE, the field is cleared the moment you click on it, ready for fresh input. "But why would you want it to do that? It would be inconsistent with how Macs operate in any other application." He whipped through the keyboard shortcut that highlighted the fields, and traveled from one to the next. I made him do it several times, with the faint hope I might remember it. "This is the way Macs work. It's the way things are supposed to work!" he said, in response to my dense inability to get with the program. I replied, equally frustrated, "You know, Macs remind me of American foreign policy. If the world would just do things like we want, everything would be OK."
I tried out that keyboard shortcut when I got home. For the life of me, I couldn't reproduce it. There was an arrow in it, that's as much as I remember.
"To me it's very spiritual. It's secular, it's of the world, but it's very spiritual, because you're suddenly seeing the coherence and the interconnectedness of everything, left to right, top to bottom, front to back. It's all connected, and somehow it's in this balance." -- Henry Wessel
have been using the Mac long enough to have some informed opinions about the
operating system. Not that I lacked opinions before. I had quite strong
opinions. I thought that that Mac users were a cult, and I wouldn't be caught
dead associating with that gang. I have softened that stance slightly.
is what I think now. The hardware is better. Things run easier. But I am
frustrated by how much is hidden from my view. And how it thinks about how a
task ought to be done, without asking me whether it's the way I really want
it to happen. Windows errs in the opposite extreme at time, requiring a bunch of seemingly redundant decisions on an apparently simple task.
particular, I'm frustrated with how the Mac deals with flash memory devices, such as compact flash cards. This is going to
be a real headache in my workflow. Mac is really cranky about what you plug
into it, and how you disconnect it. Sometimes it takes more than one try to
plug in a CF card and have the Mac recognize it. This has never been an issue
on a Windows machine. But disconnecting it is the real problem. I sometimes
have a large stack of cards I need to download. Macs are quite cranky about how you
disconnect a card. You have to manually eject it, and wait for the process to
complete. This will really slow me down. Windows is smart enough to know it's a
flash memory device, and it lets you just pull the thing out and slam the next one in. Reading a stack
of cards is a lot faster with Windows. You can set protocols on how it treats
different kinds of storage devices. You can unplug a USB drive without Windows
blinking. I don't know whether this customizing is possible with Mac.
other thing that still frustrates me is knowing where I am. An errant mouse
click and you end up in another application, and it's not immediately obvious.
The signal strength for where you are at any given time is a lot weaker on a
Mac. I'm sure there must be a keyboard shortcut for this, but I would love to
have just my active application visible, with nothing beneath except my
neutral gray empty desktop. When something loads into Photoshop, whatever array
of open junk I have open is visually distracting me. I want it gone. I want it
in its own Window.
I don't do this kind of photography and it won't affect me personally, but the principle is so important that we need to make a lot of noise. This from ASMP:
The California legislature is engaged in a sneak attack on photographers. Do you remember the really bad bill that the Creative Management Group and Marilyn Monroe LLC attempted to push through in NY last month? Well, they are at it again. This time, it is happening in California. Worse, this time they are trying to rush it through in stealth mode. They have convinced some members of the Assembly and CA Senator Kuehl to take an existing bill dealing with stem cell research, delete all of its contents, and substitute a retroactive right of publicity bill! The effect of this substitution is to avoid going through all of the normal, preliminary steps that would have been required if the bill had been introduced as a new bill, so that it can be enacted quickly and without notice to interested parties.
This bill affects all photographers, not just California residents. Anyone licensing a photograph of a celebrity who has died a resident of California would be affected.
If enacted, this bill would make California’s right of publicity retroactive going back many decades, so that any celebrity who died a resident of California over the past almost-100 years would have a right of publicity that would pass automatically to his or her residuary beneficiaries. That means that, even if your use of a photo of a California celebrity was legal when you licensed it last year, that past usage may now suddenly become illegal, subjecting you to liability, damages, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees! It would also mean that, even if you paid licensing fees in the past for using a dead celebrity’s photo, the people you should have paid may suddenly have changed retroactively, and you may now be subjected to additional licensing fees and liabilities!
The current bill, Senate Bill 771, is being rushed through the state legislature right now by Senator Sheila Kuehl. At this point, it is almost certain to have passed in the State Assembly. It is crucial that you act right away.
Please fax a copy of the letter below on your letterhead to the five members of the CA Senate Judiciary Committee, where the bill is heading next:
Ellen Corbett, chair - Fax: 916-327-2433 Tom Harman, vp - Fax: 916-445-9263 Dick Ackerman - Fax: 916-445-9754 Darrell Steinberg - Fax: 916-323-2263 Sheila Kuehl - Fax: 916-324-4823
Also, feel free to pass this memo on to other photographers you know who may not have gotten the word, including non-residents of California. This bill would affect anyone, anywhere, who licenses a photo of a celebrity who turns out to be a California resident when he or she dies.
It's late. My brain is fried. I'm not understanding anything up there with this metadata panel, except that none of them agree with each other on what to do. My blood sugar has crashed since the last caffeine and cookie infusion. So here are some links to the guys up there on the stage.