Sunday, January 27, 2013


My old Windows XP computer died recently after a blackout, and the hardware is old enough that it would be too much trouble to keep fixing and upgrading it. So I decided to take this opportunity to make the switch to an Apple computer, specifically a Mac Mini since I already had a monitor, keyboard, and mouse combo. Little did I realize what an ordeal this would be.

First I had to drive to another city to purchase it. I also had to get a cable to connect it to my VGA monitor, but when I tried to connect it, I couldn't find a "mini displayport" on the Mac. I thought I had goofed and bought a cable meant for a laptop, and I returned the cable while searching instead for a rare HDMI to VGA cable that I thought would work. The new cable fit all the connections but it did not work, giving no signal to the monitor even though I could hear the Mac Mini booting up and asking me to choose a language. With no working monitor, I could not set it up, so I contacted Apple support who lo and behold told me that the thunderbolt port is the same as the mini displayport (well, almost). I should not have returned the other cable. I should have plugged it in. Well it would have been nice to know this fact a week ago as I was reading the Quick Start guide; there's no mention of this in the guide, and no mention of connecting a non DVI display to the Mac at all. This detail is not something to save for a user manual online, when I can't see anything on my monitor!

When I finally returned the useless cable and got the right one all plugged into the Mac, it worked, though I had to get used to the dock and menu bars. Then I tried to set up iTunes and copy over my files using Homesharing from my laptop. But iTunes refused to show me my library. It recognized that I was on the same network with the same Apple ID, but it simply would not load the library. It didn't even give me an error message to explain. Only by doing a google search did I find an old outdated article saying that Homesharing won't work if I have the firewall on. Then what's the point of Homesharing if you have to shut down your firewall to use it? Why isn't being on the same network with the same Apple ID enough to work? I kept trying to make my laptop allow iTunes to share as an exception to the firewall, but no, it wouldn't let the connection happen until I turned off the firewall altogether. What crap. Well it's set up now, and the firewalls are up again. But what a hassle this has been.

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