My next door neighbors on both sides have Macs. That’s due to my incessant proselytizing of the benefits of Macs vs. Windows PCs.
My evangelizing came back to haunt me this week. How? One of my neighbors tried out some new Mac software she thought would be interesting. It was. It crashed her Mac dead.
Somewhat fortunately, the software she tried out was not recommended by yours truly.
The software in question was an old and heretofore unnamed Mac utility that hadn’t been upgraded in a year or three, certainly not capable of running on Mac OS X Leopard, though fully capable of turning Leopard in to road kill.
Needless to say, my neighbor was upset. At me. It was my fault because I convinced her to buy a Mac.
True, but I didn’t convince her to use it as a speed bump at the local parking lot in Walmart (notice how I keep up with the times? “Walmart” instead of Wal-Mart?).
Alas, I did the right thing and helped her restore her Mac back to pristine condition, and told her that if she wanted to know what software was OK, just call. Or, email.
Every instance of advice translates to an hour of babysitting any or all of my spawn. Uh, offspring.
This brings up the whole point of my Friday missive. How do you check out new software for your Mac? Not just Apple, Microsoft, and Adobe software. Most of those run OK on Macs of all flavors. Mostly. Except when they don’t.
When they don’t we feel it’s a huge deal because we paid huge money for some of those titles. What about the rest of the software for Macs?
Do you just download what you find and install it and hope for the best? Do you back up your Mac first, then install, check it out slowly, then award it a gold star and add it to your collection of Mac software?
So many questions. So few answers.
Except, I have a process which keeps me out of trouble. Look, I like Mac stuff that doesn’t cost much. As in free. There’s still plenty of new and nearly new and mostly free though not too expensive software I haven’t tried.
Mac OS X Leopard is sufficiently cool these days that new software seldom brings my Mac to the multilingual screen of death.
Mostly the erring app just crashes itself. But not always.
So, I’ve set up a separate Mac just for what I will call rugged warfare. I try out any new Mac software there first. It’s also the Mac that I let my kids use. It also has a back up cloned hard drive.
The extra Mac is really handy just in case the Mac meets with a really bad piece of software more fitting for a KayPro or Osborne 1 user (no, I don’t remember them, either, but my husband told me they crashed often)—or peanut butter and jelly between the keyboards.
Having an extra Mac is valuable. It keeps prying eyes, slimy hands and slobber, and deviate Mac software from ruining a perfectly good day.
How do you find and try out new Mac software? Got a horror story you’re willing to share? I mean, something besides what kids can do to perfectly good electronic devices with nothing more than residue from breakfast.