iBooks Author and Me

I’m interrupting my workflow on the Tobacco Ebook project to talk about some issues I am having with the tech.

In my post, “It’s the Little Things,” from August 8th, I established that I am not a Mac.

Over the last several weeks, I have spent a considerable amount of time using a cute little MacBook Air. I’ve been familiarizing myself with a program called iBooks Author – a program that can only be used on an Apple product – as indicated in its name. I’m having more problems just figuring out how to download items and use Word on a Mac, that… hours later – I’m writing a blog about it.

Luckily, I have a lot of friends and colleagues who are Mac people. Today I have figured out how to track my downloads, save them in one easy step, and even how to change my scrolling options! I feel so accomplished! Sheepishly however, I did have to use my PC to figure out how to download a word document from sharepoint onto my own computer.

Which leads me to an interesting observation: When there are the EXACT SAME buttons available in the exact same places on both PC and Mac, I can’t see them on the Mac. It’s like I have some weird Mac blindness. This makes me wonder a lot about interface studies in my own discipline of rhetoric and composition – which may even lead to a paper.

Even frustration can lead to some pretty cool ideas and innovations, it seems.

It’s the Little Things…

A large portion of my life has been spent missing out on little things – normal things that happen to most ‘normal’ people. For example: I had never celebrated Halloween until I was an adult. Sure, my family let us go to ‘The Harvest Festival’ at church, which was pretty much the same thing – but I’d never been trick-or-treating. In kindergarten, I took it upon myself to tell all the other kids that Santa Clause wasn’t real and their parents were all liars. Needless to say, my parents got a call that day.

Fast forward to my college years, and would you believe me if I told you I got all the way to my senior capstone seminar without ever having written a paper over 5 pages? Well, it’s true. It’s unfortunate and true.

And yesterday, one of my closest friends said the following to me: “How have you never extracted a file before? How is that even humanly possible?”

The truth is that I have never had to extract a file before. I have (probably too many) guy friends that are somehow involved with the computing profession and who have always just done everything for me. So on Monday, when I went to download Adobe CS6 onto my personal computer (which I lovingly refer to my PCcomputer [yes I do that on purpose]), I had no idea it would take several hours. Zero of the ideas. I thought something was wrong. I thought I had done it all wrong and everything was broken and it was all over.

As it turns out – my experience was totally normal. Everything uploaded, installed, and extracted just fine. And now I have CS6 on my computer. Next step – learn the differences between Adobe on PC vs. Mac. Another little thing I am just now figuring out. I am not an Apple user. And all the lab equipment in my current lab is Apple. Lo!

You see – it’s the little things I’ve missed out on as I’ve begun my journey into tech. And I know I’m going to have more than a few struggles with very simple concepts, and that’s okay. I’m rather advanced in other areas, despite missing out on the starter activities. It makes me unique. And I’m okay with this.