June 10, 2010

Sad iMac on a Happy Birthday

It was my birthday on Monday. Lots of amazing friends came over for a barbecue on a rare sunny day. It devolved into a late-night dance party thanks to our Xbox, and inspiration from Leslie and the Lys. I am now older, wiser, and on my way to a less-stressful lifestyle... right after I get over a few more hurdles.

My very insightful and loving husband noticed that I was spending a gluttonous amount of hours every day, waiting for things to happen on my computer. My iMac is old. So old, that I haven't been able to watch videos on it since before YouTube became popular. So old, that there's often 5 seconds of delay while typing.

Running an online business means spending a lot of time in front of a computer, and my time was just wasting away. So he bought me a brand new, very speedy new PC. Just shut up for a second if you're about to say something snarky about Macs vs. PCs.  This new computer is is so fast, progress bars don't even have time to show up on the screen before they've been dismissed. The screen is like sitting in a movie theater. And it was affordable on our tiny home business budget.

This, of course, starts out as a mixed blessing because I have to transfer all my files over (about 30 gigs of product photos, mostly), and my iMac decided on that day to commit suicide. It won't start up, no matter how much coaxing we've tried. Even the forceful kind.

Luckily, I have a backup hard-drive that only took about 4 days to successfully copy my files over without corrupting them. It's taken 5 days to get the printer to speak the same language as my new image editing program (GIMP, by the way, which I'm trying very hard not to assume is anything like Photoshop but it's hard.), and there was a bit of a learning curve when I had to switch to the PC version of my shipping software (which I spent an entire evening screaming violent threats at when it charged me 3 times for a $20 international label and still wouldn't print the correct date).

Things are finally beginning to settle down. The iMac won't even pretend to boot up, so it's just a very large paper weight until we can figure out how to erase the hard drive and donate it to "science". I'm proud that we've been able to pretend it was business as usual, even as we struggled to ship labels and create custom glassware designs in time for Father's Day. It's been hectic, but we haven't completely lost our minds yet.

The last big challenge is now the website. I don't have Dreamweaver anymore, and I'd like to switch to a fancier shopping cart anyway, so I don't have to code all my webpages individually. I'm researching software like a mad-woman, so that I can hopefully reinvent the site as quickly, cheaply, and seamlessly as possible. If you've got any suggestions, I would love to hear them (I'm considering WP eCommerce and Zen Cart).

Oh, and I'm teaching a class and a craft workshop for Hello Craft in less than a week, and haven't really started working on either project yet. Yikes. Good thing my sister sent me some awesome mead to help me drown my sorrows like a hero. (It's called Viking Blod, and it's super awesome! Sweet, but not as syrupy as most commercial meads that I've had. Also, a good amount of spice and flavor from added hops. Highly recommended!)


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