Okay, so my Microsoft Office programs haven’t worked on my MacBook Pro for…oh, maybe a year. I have tried everything I can think of: uninstall and reinstall, upgrade, downgrade, delete permissions, use a different registration key (my copy came with three keys–yes, I have a legit copy). Basically, I’ve just lived without Word, Powerpoint, Excel and Entourage on my home computer, making do with Google Docs and Gmail (thank goodness for Google!).
But down here in Mexico, as I’ve mentioned, the internets are not that fast, which makes relying on online programs less than desirable. So I was poking around said internets, looking for a solution that I hadn’t tried, and I found a brilliant one! Create a new user account and see if the program works in the new environment. Because separate user accounts have their own preferences, MSOffice would have a chance to start from scratch in the new account.
So I tried it.
And it worked.
Rejoicing over my triumph, and kind of embarrassed that it took me a year to figure this out, I started trying to transfer all my files over to the new user account. And here is where I made what may turn out to be my fatal mistake. I tried to move my iTunes library.
A quick Google search (thanks again Google) showed me that it was a pretty simple matter to drop my iTunes library into a shared file so that the second account could access it, and then open iTunes under the new account and viola! all would be well.
Well, all was not well. I moved the file, opened the program under the new account, and…nothing. I knew the music was still there, because I could see the files in my Finder, but there was absolutely NOTHING in the iTunes library.
Back to Google. There were some instructions for modifying the ACL (which sounds like a part of the kneecap, and not something I’m interested in meddling with), and other tips on how to start iTunes from an external drive, but I couldn’t find help for my particular problem. Somehow, moving the iTunes library into the shared folder scrambled the xml file that holds all the iTunes data. I tried importing the music, but with over 30GB, my computer choked and stuttered after just a few. Then I tried importing just a few folders, and it choked and stuttered on the album artwork.
After restarting four or five times, I got so frustrated with the whole thing that I turned the computer off and went to the pool for a soak in the lithium hot spring. There are advantages to having technical problems at a spa.
When my hands got pruny enough, I was driven back inside to try to deal with the problem again. Of course I can’t just leave it alone. This time I started by setting up some other apps, like Firefox (installing my Pink Hope theme and Delicious toolbar), changing the desktop background (with images from my downloads which are located in my other account’s images folder), and setting up iChat. Although it seemed doomed at first (when I first opened Firefox it was hanging the way Word used to hang, which was the reason I started this project in the first place!) but after a few minutes, it seemed to sort itself out and work normally.
I still wasn’t quite ready to tackle iTunes, so I Googled again for info on how to get to iPhoto from the new account, and found a very simple solution. When you open the program, you can hold down the alt/option key and force iPhoto to ask where the library is. You then browse to the old location and viola! And this time it really was viola!
I tried the same thing with iTunes, but somehow when I moved it, I think I deleted the whole library. Fortunately (and unbeknownst to me) I had a very recent backup stored in a folder called “Previous iTunes Libraries.” I was able to load this library THANK GOODNESS!!!!!! Then all I had to do was import the few songs that I’ve added since that back up. I really don’t have any idea where it came from.
Now the only problem is that I seem to be storing music in two locations…some in the shared folder where I moved my entire 30+GB library, and some seems to have been copied to a new music folder inside the “Previous iTunes Libraries” folder. I don’t like that situation, but I think I will wait till tomorrow to try to resolve it.
Now I am going to go open a Word doc!
More to explore: