After Internet Access and Mail, the next important item in moving Jane from Windows to the Mac is importing her Address Book. This did not go smoothly. I exported her contacts in a comma separated values file (.CSV) as instructed and sent it to the Mac. During importing of this file the Address Book program did nothing when OK was pressed. Not even a message. Checking the Apple Support site, It was obvious that others were having the same problem. I did not see a response from an Apple Representative in the discussion forums, but did find various complicated workarounds. One person hinted at what the problem was:
I opened the txt file in AppleWorks spreadsheet and there were new line characters at the beginning of every record. I did a search and replaced them with nothing. Another wrinkle was the insertion of paragraph EOL by the source application into the address fields for the second line of the address. So I had to manually adjust those records. (I don’t know where it came from since a buddy sent it). Saved a text file from AppleWorks and the import worked.
Seems the Address Book Importer is not very robust. I hold Apple to a higher standard because
that’s what they demand. How could they have dropped the ball on such a basic function?
The source of our .CSV file was Outlook Express 6.0. It did not offer any other export format. I ended up importing the .CSV on a computer that had Outlook installed and exporting them as VCARDs which I then emailed as attachments (all 240 of them) to our Mac Mini. The Address Book was able to import the VCARD files without any problem.
Score: Computers 2 Joe User 0
Latest cool feature Jane will love on her Mac: Stickies Widget.