Never in a million years would I have suspected that my first major disappointment working with the Mac would concern the Wacom tablet. After all, everyone in graphics uses a Mac and a tablet, right? So the people involved would have put some focus into making sure that it always works, right? Apparently not. The Graphire kind of, sort of worked when I simply plugged it in, with exactly the same limitations as under linux: it would stop moving 2/3s of the way across the screen in any directions, as if it had encountered the edges of the screen there. So I installed the drivers that came with the tablet, as instructed. Before restarting, I did some other stuff, until I went home.
Today, the tablet doesn't work at all. I was shown an error message about software having the wrong security settings, but what I got out of this message was that I could click "Repair" and reboot again, and then the wrongness would go away. Nope. The tablet still isn't working. This is precisely the sort of thing that used to drive me nuts about linux, so I'm very disappointed to encounter it here. I'll do some digging around to figure out what the problem is, but man, was I hoping I wouldn't have to.
Otherwise, things are going well. Azureus and NeoOffice are installed and working (with all the default office productivity stuff including Apple Works gone from the system. Works couldn't open the first Word Document I threw at it, and as for the 30-day time-bombed MS Office trial version, they gotta be kidding). I've also got quite a few software tips in email, for which I thank you all. I'll be trying out all that gear. Branko has kindly provided an update on his earlier series of posts on editors, and there are one or two that I'd like to try out.
I've also encountered some very rabid anti-Mac sentiment, which surprised me a bit. I know some Mac advocates can get up people's noses, but so do advocates of other operating systems, particularly linux, and I never encountered such strong feelings against that. As a way to do things, Mac is serving a lot of people very well and so far I'm picking up the skill set very easily.
One reason I'm writing this Diary of a Mac Man is that I'm in a pretty good position to write about Macintoshes objectively: I'm not married to any one OS or computing approach, I know a fair bit about solving any problems, and if I can't solve one myself, I can describe it reasonably well and find help with it. I may become an advocate but the Mac will have to earn it.
Now to solve that tablet problem, grrr.
Update:Installing a new driver from the Wacom site seems to return the tablet to its original, rather halting, functionality. Don't know if it will continue to work after I reboot though.
Update 2: I got the error again, but the tablet is working. I'd still like to get rid of the error though.
Update 3: to prevent the same problem from occurring with the Epson 1660 scanner at home, I've taken a look at documentation on the Epson site, and now I'm paying attention to the bundled driver thing. Looks like the best approach to those peripherals (both bought in 2003, so the software on the CDs is for earlier versions of OS X anyway, and the instructions are probably no longer applicable) is to just hook them up. Great, I like that.
Update 4: I'd put the bundled drivers to the test, but I can't find the damned USB cable for the scanner. Some other time then.