I never thought I’d say it, but . . . no more, never again, nada, I’ve had it. You might think such vehemence signals turmoil in a intimate relationship. It does: a woman and her computer.

I used to watch the Mac vs. PC ads on TV, where the Mac guy is cool and the PC guy is a geek, and PC person that I am/was, I’d think, “It’s not that bad. I haven’t had any real problems. I like being loyal to Dell–and besides, I have a credit account with them.” Well, I beg to differ with my former self. If and when I get another computer, I’m going the Mac route (oh, how those words grate) even if it does cost gazillion dollars more for basically the same thing.

I’ve had the new Dell Studio XPS since Friday night and despite flashes of being in love, especially with the 23″ monitor, I’m not a happy camper. First, a long service call to Dell so my browser would work. Next, a series of live-time email chats to Mozy.com to try to install Mozy, a file back-up service, on the new computer so I can transfer the files it took days to save on the old computer in the first place–chats that didn’t work. And a real-time phone call yesterday with Jai, who had a smile in his voice and never lost patience and who eventually said he’d have one of the senior technicians get in touch with me. And this morning an e-mail proposing yet another unsuccessful but logical approach. I wrote back to thank them and said the ball was still in their court. What next?

Earlier I compared this new computer system to a sleek black car. That’s what it looks like but with all the sputtering I don’t know if I got a vehicle or a sour yellow fruit in a big black box.

The rub is that if I were careless and not concerned about backing up my 7000 photographs, I wouldn’t even know I was still in trouble. One thing for sure: the old computer isn’t going anywhere till all this gets resolved. It was a clunker, but it was my clunker–and it’s still got all my original photos on the hard drive.

Several years and a couple of thousand dollars from now I’ll find out for myself if Mac really is plug-and-play!

Note: “Never” appears in my photostream at Flickr.com.