Communication breakdown: MacBook vs. Dymo LabelWriter vs. PayPal vs. Endicia vs. me

After three nights of fighting with the internet and my MacBook, I have come to the conclusion that getting my newly purchased and hardly touched (but much loved, regardless) Dymo LabelWriter 450 Turbo to print the PayPal internet postage labels it was bought to generate is a complete impossibility. I have, as the internet has instructed me, downloaded CUPS-PDF to my Mac. This would (if it functioned) allow me to circumvent Pitney Bowes’s automatic print-to-label-printer-incorrectly function, and save labels as PDFs, then change them to landscape instead of portrait, which would apparently make them print correctly. After a day of fighting with that, uninstalling it, reinstalling it, trying to figure out where the heck it WAS installed, and just plain trying to get it to work, it stubbornly failed to show up as a printer option. Further research showed that the version I’d downloaded was intended for a Mac with a later OS than I have. Another evening was spent trying to track down the version of CUPS-PDF that WOULD work with my OS. I finally found it last night, and it works! Yay! But the label preview on the PayPal/Pitney Bowes shipping page STILL wouldn’t work; the label refused to show up. No sample label, no printer options, no nothing. I was willing to take the financial hit of sending myself a fake package, if it would have WORKED! I’ve wasted three nights of my life trying to get this to work. I could’ve been doing something constructive, like cleaning, or doing laundry, or, I dunno, MAKING JEWELRY. But no – I was trying to complete what has turned out to be an impossible task.

Slightly daunted, I turned to other options: Endicia! I signed myself up for Dymo Stamps, and was prepared to do the pay-as-you-go option, even though it would mean my recipients could see how much it cost me to ship to them. What I didn’t realize until sometime later in the evening is that this bare-bones version of Dymo Stamps did not include Delivery Confirmation. PayPal internet postage does; Dymo Stamps, not so much. It WILL do it, if I’m willing to sign up for the $16/mo Standard Dymo Stamps Service for Mac. Mind you, for PC, it costs $10.

That bugs me terribly.

I’m sorry, but it can’t be $6 worth of harder to program for Mac. For that matter, there’s no reason why PayPal themselves couldn’t have come up with a Mac-friendly version of their internet postage. They don’t even have a version of the Dymo LabelWriter printer driver that’s still sold; the highest they go up to is Dymo LabelWriter 330!

Clearly, the best way to use my Dymo LabelWriter to print internet postage from PayPal, complete with Delivery Confirmation, is to get my craptastic Dell PC (free in 2006 with the purchase of my Ford Focus. Ironically, the computer, though seriously obsolete and miserably slow, has long outlasted the car that it came with) up and running again. Right now, all it does is provide my AirPort with functionality; I almost never actually turn it on. At a guess, the best way to get it going is to get an external hard drive, pull all the excess stuff off of there (music files, huge stashes of laboriously scanned photos from when I was trying to get a family photomosaic project off the ground (FAIL), etc.), uninstall programs I haven’t used in three years or more (since I got the laptop), and just make it a bare-bones machine that I use as my wifi server and printing station. With anything else on it, it’s incredibly slow; it’s barely worth booting it up to update my AirPort as it is.

So! Today I price external hard drives.

Y’know, I honestly thought that once I had the LabelWriter, the whole postage issue would be solved. The more fool, I. *headdesk*

I know it seems crazy to be obsessing about shipping before I’ve even sold anything, but I wanted to get all of this squared away before I got to that point.

…Not surprisingly, I have accomplished nothing regarding jewelry, other than having pretty pictures in my head that I’d like very much to get OUT of my head and made into jewelry. The next two to come down the pike should be called “Rainbow In the Dark,” and “Swingin’ On a Rainbow.” They’ll probably be pretty much the same thing except in different colors, but there may be a changeup in the pattern, if the mood strikes me.