Join Janet on her adventures as a designer, writer, maker, and farmer in montana. no two days are ever the same. you might even see a bear or two.

That New Mac Smell

That New Mac Smell

It took me most of the morning yesterday to get the iMac set up and configured. Some issues ended up being insignificant, but others are going to be harder (and more expensive) to resolve.  

  • Happily, both the old Mac tower and the PC (an HP) fit underneath the second desk. If I end up needing the PC, it should be relatively simple to unhook the monitor from the Mac and switch it to the PC. 

  • I was able to download my registered version of QuickBooks to the new computer and just need to move the data files over from the old computer. I've got an external hard drive set up on the new computer for regular Time Machine backups and I have another external hard drive for backing up files to store off-site. (I am OCD about those QuickBooks files because I maintain three companies on QB and recreating those files if something happened would be a nightmare.) 

  • I may have to spring for Office 365 even though it pains me to use Microsoft products. I get a lot of church stuff sent to me from people using Microsoft Word. I've been able to get around that—mostly—by opening files with Pages and Numbers, which are the Apple equivalent word processor and spreadsheet, but sometimes that doesn't work very well. It'll be $60 a year for the suite for one computer. 

  • My Bose Bluetooth speaker paired itself with my iMac as soon as I turned it on. I now have a good way to listen to music. The old Mac had Bluetooth capability but I was never able to get it to work reliably. 

  • The largest sticking point is going to be InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator. They are installed on the old computer as Adobe Creative Suite 4, which I purchased back when Adobe sold its programs on CDs. The suite wasn't cheap—about $600, I think—but I could buy it once and use it for several (10?) years. Adobe changed its business model, though, and now the only way to purchase those programs is on a monthly subscription. They want $53 a month for the entire suite of 30+ programs. Ouch. You can also purchase them a la carte for $21 each per month. I can't get around the InDesign problem. My books and 100+ knitting patterns were laid out in ID and they have to be updated in ID. I like having Photoshop for editing my blog pics, but I don't want to pay that much when there is less expensive photo editing software available. (I tried GIMP but I was not impressed, especially because it seemed incapable of finding my SD card with the Open function. I had to go to the actual file in the Finder and choose "Open With GIMP." I don't have time for those kinds of shenanigans.) Some of the schematics in my knitting patterns were done in Illustrator and I may need that, too. The one nice feature about a monthly software lease is that I could—theoretically—download the software and use it until I've got everything updated and then let the lease expire. I'll have to think on this and see what I can come up with. 

  • I am gradually moving data files from one computer to the other. That will be a process. 


The husband got the Christmas tree out of the attic for me yesterday afternoon. Speaking of things being a process...once he puts his boots on in the morning, he doesn't like to take them off again. (The whole act of getting dressed takes him a good 15 minutes.) He had to take them off to come upstairs to access the attic, so while he was up there, I asked him if he would be willing to help me move some sewing machines around. I need to consolidate and clean up my sewing spaces before houseguests arrive and I have a few machines that need to be put into cabinets. 

I had a cabinet in one of the bedrooms that held a Necchi BCJ. The BCJ is—from what we can tell in the Necchi Facebook group—a lower-end model of the Necchi BF that I sew on every day. They seem to be more prevalent in Canada than in the US. One of mine (I have two) came from Vancouver, as a matter of fact. I don't sew on it much because it has a very anemic 0.5 amp Necchi motor. (So does the second one.) One of these days, I will swap out motors on those machines and make them more useful. 

The cabinet the BCJ was sitting in used to hold a Pfaff 30 straight-stitch machine. I assumed that because the Necchi BCJ fit into that cabinet, the other Necchi I wanted to put in there would also fit. We removed the BCJ but when we tried to put the BU Mira into the cabinet, it became obvious that the hinge pins were too big for that machine. Why they fit the BCJ but not the Mira is a mystery, although it spawned a lively discussion about German versus Italian engineering. The husband is of the opinion that the Italians played fast and loose with their tolerances, something the Germans never would have done.


But bless the dear husband, who patiently picked up and held 35+ pound cast iron machines to try fitting them into various cabinets, all with the same result. He finally suggested that the easiest thing to do would be to drill out the holes in the machine to make them big enough for the pins. I was horrified, but I trust him, so he went and got the drill and bits and this happened:


He drilled out the holes just enough that the machine fit onto the hinge pins. Now it lives in that cabinet:


My sister may not recognize this machine—the last time she saw it was when she retrieved it from a barn in North Carolina and packed it up and shipped it to me. It was covered in a thick layer of grime and the inner workings were frozen solid. Some Bluecreeper and a lot of Goop and TLC brought it back to life. It is something of a Franken-Mira. The BU Mira machines as shipped from the factory came with two-speed transformers and motors. This machine had a busted transformer—there was no resurrecting it—with a worthless White motor attached to it. Amazingly, I had a original green Necchi motor on hand. They aren't that common. It came off that Pfaff that used to be in the cabinet, above, which just goes to show that there was a lot of Rube Goldberg-type rigging happening with sewing machines in the 20th century. I was able to mount the green Necchi motor onto this machine, sans transformer, and it runs beautifully. It currently is my only zig-zag capable Necchi. I have a BU Nova, too, but it needs a motor. 

That whole process took far longer than I think either of us expected, but it's good to have that done. The tree is set up and I will decorate it this afternoon. I need to get a couple of sewing projects completed and then get rooms ready for everyone. DD#2 arrives Thursday, my mother and sister on Friday, and DD#1 on Saturday.

Christmas Presents Big and Small

Christmas Presents Big and Small

Singing for Christmas

Singing for Christmas