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Mac-a-lishess

I now know how the Almighty must've felt on the eighth day when he was finally within spitting distance of completing a PC to Mac conversion: terrifyingly powerful yet sobered by equal parts of hysteria and glee. I have just in this past hour - finally; it took all day and I had babies dripping from my ears - figured out how to move Steve's g+&damnedm&%$therf&^^ckingc&%cks**&%$g email files from Outlook to Entourage after being hampered first by Microsoft, then by Apple, then Microsoft again before finally running headfirst into the mystery of why all of our computers (two PCs and two Macs) were able to access the same wireless router and printer and yet none of them could see each other. Observe the bite marks in my desk here and here; and the chunks of hair scattered thusly.

I am not sure how I wound up being responsible for tech support in our house. As I best I can recall with all that Scotch and beer and poetry; I was an English major and a fairly helpless one at that. I can remember many a time when my roommate Doug would walk me over to the  campus computer lab, get a blank word document open for me, put in a floppy disk (as was the style at the time) tell me to hit "Save" and then come back to pick me up two hours later because I could never figure out how to make the stuff on the screen show up on pieces of paper (hint rhymes with PRINT) and the computer lab help people thought I was too stupid to live; let alone graduate. Later I dated a computer type who tried for six months to get me to understand the difference between software and hardware while I just shrugged and wondered if my toenails would look nice in coral-pink.      

But somehow over the past decade I began to appreciate the beauty of a well-run system. There is a logic to computers that appeals to me and I have gotten pretty good at messing around with them until they do what I want; or at least until I want what they are able to do. Why, I even installed a disc drive the other day with my own two hands (and a screwdriver) which, as you are no doubt aware, is hardware. So when Steve finally decided to follow one of his business partners into the Mac world I was fairly confident that it would be easy for me to move all of our existing files over and get the Macs running within a day or two of naptimes.

That was a month ago. Good lord was I wrong. Converting from PCs to Macs is not as easy as plugging in that clever magnetized power cord and opening up Safari (which I loathe by the way - Firefox for Mac, no question) particularly when you are working for a clutterfiend (cough STEVE cough) who has saved every email he has sent or received in the past four years in an increasingly elaborate series of folders and subfolders and subsubfolders; and who insists that each and every byte is both precious and absolutely essential to future financial success. I sat here this afternoon toying with different methods of rewriting his Outlook data into something Mac can read and I watched as such business critical subject lines like "Fwd: TOO! Funny" and "Cute pics" flashed by and I rolled my eyes. But ours in tech support is not to wonder why, ours is but to do or die. And - as I started this by gloating - I think I did it.

Since I have no set agenda here (although I acknowledge that I tend towards the ubermommy in mommyblogging) and since I am feeling like I just created the unicorn and Mt Olympus; I am going to use tonight's post to share my newly won knowledge.

How to move Outlook Express files to Entourage:

After trying six different things (including a shareware that never worked) I think the best way to move these files is to: import them into Thunderbird for Windows on your PC, export to Thunderbird for Mac, then import the files into Entourage. Oh, and don't forget to rename each file that end .mbx as .mbox.

How to move Outlook files to Entourage:

If you do not have a lot of folders you can move the files from Outlook into Outlook Express, then do the Thunderbird thing above. If you are Steve (or married to Steve; although I have to say I'd be concerned) then pop the $40 and download Message Save from TechHit. Quick and painless conversion.

How to see your PC/Mac from your Mac/PC without the fuss of creating a network so you can easily move your beautifully converted files:

I spent FOUR HOURS trying to figure this out so I will share it for what it is worth.

1. On your PC create a workgroup. Then allow sharing on at least one folder.

2. On your Mac go into System Preferences/Network and create a new location (I named mine New). Then click Advanced and on the WINS tab enter the same Workgroup name.

3. On the Mac go into System Preferences/Sharing and allow File Sharing and change Users and Everyone to Read Only.

Then! and this is the really exciting part so wake up, damn you

4. On your PC go to Start/Run and type "//1.1.1.1" (where 1.1.1.1 is the ip address of your Mac - you will see your ip address when you turned on file sharing)

This opens up your Public Folder on your Mac and enables you to drag and drop all of the files you want to move from your PC over.

Finally, I stupidly thought my cute ipod would just plug into my cute macbook and they would talk and it would be a seamless transition. No. So....

How to Move your iTunes library from PC to Mac:

1. Google Senuti. Download it. Use it. Move your library. Then (and only then) plug your ipod into the new Mac. When it asks you to reformat (double check that you have really and truly moved all of your files) say yes.

I realize that this whole post was of limited interest but consider it part of my community service.

Tomorrow: Steve says, "But... but summertime is testicle time!"

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