I like the term “user-friendly,” and appreciate the computer applications that deserve that description. Yet the applications and experiences that I really remember are those that are the most un-user-friendly. Yesterday I got my new Mac Book air and was excited to begin setting it up to be my main computer for much of what I want to do in this, my best decade yet (see here and here). It even arrived charged up and ready (almost) to go. I started through the initial registration process, selecting my home network and providing the password. But apple would not accept my apple id and password, even after going through the password reset process twice on my windows PC computer.
No fear. Even with all the praise friends and coworkers had heaped on Apple (you’ll never go back.) I sprang for the extra expense of three years of AppleCare rather than just rely on the initial 90 day coverage. After all, even though I am a techie on a windows PC, this was all going to be new to me. So I called the phone number, found the microscopic serial number on my Mac Book Air and informed her I had sprung for the AppleCare. She looked up my serial number and said she didn’t show the AppleCare registration, could I provide the registration number? So I went back to my windows PC and looked at both the copy of the big THANK YOU web page at the time of purchase, and the confirmation email I got – both said the same: Apple Care, auto-enroll, automatically registered with your Apple hardware. But there was no registration number.
I skipped the registration and moved right into the installation of my first application, downloading it from the web. Then, it said drag it to Applications. I had read a book on moving from the PC to the Mac, but I wasn’t sure where that was. A little while later, oh – in Finder. But I kept struggling with how to get the scroll bar to open on the right of the windows. I just had to take a break for a while and come back to it all later. I’m learning. And I’m still committed to the direction I have set for a lot of the tech side of my best decade. But rather than starting this effort with a good taste in my mouth, I’m thinking of a couple unpleasant surprises I still haven’t completely overcome. I have to ask myself what is really important?
You see, a couple days ago I listened to a presentation Dr. Henry Cloud gave about the brain, how it works, and setting boundaries as a leader. The main nugget I gleaned was “if everything is important, nothing is.” What came to mind was being in college and seeing someone highlight the book they were reading. The problem was that almost every line was highlighted. To read their highlights, they were going to have to read the whole book over. So as I continue to develop my life plan and write it down, I have to remember to keep the main thing the main thing.
And I have to set my priorities, because if I highlight it all, and want to do it all simultaneously I overwhelm myself and never really get started. I know that is true for me because I’ve been there in various areas in the past. I still have to remind myself to focus on the main things, especially the next main thing. What about you? Making it all the most important is just as bad as making none of it important. What do you need to focus on right now? Why not do so?
Thanks to Systems Librarian for the humorous image – there are more there.