My G4 iBook laptop died yesterday. It gave no warning of being ill other than a barely noticeable sluggishness the last week. And then, all of a sudden, it went kaputz. An unfamiliar box flashed on the screen telling me to restart (Wikipedia calls it the “Mac Screen of Death” or the “Gray Screen of Panic and Disarray). And then it told me again. And it told me again. It was an unfriendly grey box in multiple languages I’d never seen before and I just knew.
Three years, my ibook friend. We’ve had three wonderful, trouble-free years together. I loved you so. You were better than my previous Powerbook. You, my little White Plastic Idea Box, will be missed.
I went through the five stages of dying with it: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. I tried to fight it. I tried to fix it. I tried to channel the universe to do my bidding by using The Secret.
And as it died, I thought one very important thing…
! ! ! ! I HADN’T BACKED UP ANY OF MY FILES. ! ! ! !
Three years of photos, music, emails, and most importantly…. WRITING!!!!
LUCKILY — to say the very least — I was able to retrieve everything. It wasn’t a hard drive problem, it was a logic board problem so I could connect to it. I hooked the laptop up to my trusty iMac (who knew it would become essentially my back up drive?) and copied over 50G worth of stuff using a firewire cable.
So, if it had been a hard drive prob I could fix it for a couple hundred bucks. Since it’s logic board, it’s a no go.
LESSON #1 LEARNED: BACK UP YOUR STUFF!!!! Just because your computer works well, doesn’t mean it won’t all of a sudden just die…even if it’s a glorious, wonderful Mac. If I’d really lost everything — except the final versions of my most recent work that I email to myself at an online address, I would have been REALLY SCREWED. I will never neglect this very important aspect of being a computer user again. EVER. I did a whole day of brainstorming and prewriting on LIVING IN EDEN on Monday and that was almost lost. ALMOST. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
LESSON #2 LEARNED: I HATE WRITING ON A DESKTOP COMPUTER. I’ve had a laptop ever since the very first clamshell iBook came out in 1999. Desktops are good for design work, but not for writing. At least not for me.
So you know what that means. Luckily I’ve gotten a few advance and royalty checks lately, I’m doing some freelance design next week. I can swing it. No ebook reader or iPhone for me now or any other extravagances. Michy needs a new laptop.