Saturday, June 17, 2006

Help! I’m Being Eaten Alive by a Laptop!

Ok, so I’m exaggerating a bit. Well, it certainly did make a grand feast on my time today! And tonight! I took upon myself the silly task of syncing a pocket pc to not one, but three computers. Worse yet, one of them was an old laptop with the Microsoft ME (Millennium Edition) operating system on it. It’s my opinion that ME was put out by Microsoft to make people who loved their stable Windows 98 OS look forward to getting Windows 2000 because ME was so horrible. At least on my husband’s laptop it was. There I go digressing again. Here I am working with 3 different computers, 3 different operating systems, windows versus Mac, 6 different types of software and trying to convert databases from two different Palm Pilots. Great - and I only have enough knowledge to totally screw everything up.

Now, it turns out that no one taught computers (or computer programmers and hardware engineers) that they should play nice together. Although PCs and Macs now play quite well together, pocket pcs only talk to Outlook 2002. That means if you’re not a techno-geek you ain’t getting the pocket pc to talk to the Mac (unless you pay some bucks for software). Outlook 2002 turns its nose up at the older version ME OS and “tolerates” Windows 2000 Professional, but just barely, and I had to coax them to play nice. Palm Pilots like both Macs and PCs, but Outlook 2002 won’t talk to the Palm Pilot unless the Palm Pilot isn’t talking to the Palm Desktop (I really started feeling like I was back in high school!). Trying to convert the Palm Pilot database so it can be translated to pocket pc “speak” required an effort equal to standing on my head singing the “Star Spangled Banner” backwards. I can’t sing at all so I think that nicely sums up what I was up against.

I’m certain a techno-geek (who I love BTW) could have sat down, written up a few macros and whipped everyone into shape in probably less than fourteen minutes. It took me almost 10 hours of cursing at the computers, my husband (for just being in the wrong place at the wrong time – poor guy), and myself (why oh why did I buy a used Pocket PC on eBay – perhaps it doesn’t really work!!) to get everyone heading in the same direction. Everything worked out fine except that the Mac and the Pocket PC are still not on speaking terms. I’ll have to go bribe a techno-geek to bail me out. So much for Saturday being a day of art! What on earth was I thinking?

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