Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Day on the Computer....

Today was spent on the computer. It's amazing how much time I (and I'm sure many of us) spend on these machines, and how easy (or difficult) they can make our lives.

So this afternoon I wrote up a calendar of events flier for the arts council as I finish up my secretarial duties and prepare to give them over to Dianne Holly, a retired theatre arts professor from SDSU and UC Santa Barbara. She'll do the job extremely well, so I feel quite fine in handing over the responsibilities that have been mine for the past three years since Judith first started the arts council. I also have been working on ordering a banner for the arts council that will be here in time for our town festival next weekend -- and I found one online that not only works on Saturdays but also took our order, mocked it up on their computer, sent it to me for approval, which I received from our director and treasurer via e-mail, then I set up a PayPal account and was able to pay the company, and they e-mailed me a purchase invoice. Plus, the cost was less than $50, which was my approved budget from the art council, a price that several people didn't think was possible. All this was completed in the space of an hour. Computers are miracles.

I was also able to update the art council site, my remaining duty with the art council -- I think it looks really good and is an excellent representation of what we're trying to do in the community. I added in an arts festival in October, added the banner company to our associates list, found the web address of the local church so I could link it on our site (they helped out with sound and lighting at our theatre production six weeks ago), and made a few other small changes and updates to the site. If you'd like to take a peek at our art council site, click here. Computers are indeed very cool.

But then I wanted to throw my laptop through the window when I tried to untangle our iPod troubles. See, it started when Keith gave me an iPod as a surprise Christmas present a few years ago. Everything was fine until E bought herself an iPod and used it on my computer, but we didn't know that we had to make a new user ID or a new iTunes library or anything. And the iTunes software is strangely silent on this situation of two iPods using the same computer. I finally discovered how to create different libraries within iTunes, and then I tried to sync each iPod with its library. Somehow MY library seems to have disappeared from iTunes, and when I sync'ed E's library, her iPod was wiped clean of everything except the 45 songs she's purchased through iTunes; fortunately, she's not too upset about having to reload hundreds of songs from her CD's. (I got lucky with a teen not getting upset about extra work but will need to give up my computer for hours at a time for her to reload all the CD's.) I did get T's little iPod Shuffle up and running with his own library and managed to get his favorite songs sync'ed to his Shuffle. But now for some reason it's not playing the songs I loaded. Sigh. This whole iPod/iTunes thing has been a frustrating experience, to say the least. I would think that iTunes would make it MUCH EASIER to manage multiple iPods on the same computer, but that's not the case. Even when I called the help number when T first won his iPod (at the Wellness Fair -- not a bad door prize!), the girl at the other end of the line could not understand what I was talking about in the least -- like no one else in the entire world has more than one iPod per computer?????? So I think I *may* have the problem solved, but it's complex and confusing and I'm not completely sure I have it all untangled.

So that's what I've been doing all day -- on the computer who is a helpmeet-par-excellence one moment and a time-waster of epic proportions the next. It's definitely a love-and-hate relationship with computers, isn't it? I just pray that using a Mac will be far easier than this Toshiba has been ... and at last I can iron out our iPod problems on a Mac. Or am I only dreaming?

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