Michelle Rowen

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Sad Mac

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.

Whew.

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.

11 comments to “Sad Mac”

  1. Leah Braemel
    Comment
    1
     · November 6th, 2008 at 3:12 pm · Link

    Oh, yikes! So glad to hear you got your stuff off the hard drive. And thanks for the reminder, I need to back up both my desktop and my laptop.

    As for desktop vs laptop for writing – I love using my laptop to write while sitting in my big comfy chair in the family room so I can actually see the son. My desktop is in my cave of an office where I never see the light of day. However, my office has a door on it that I can close when my kids decide to bug me. I can say “I’m working” a million times to them in the family room and it won’t stop them from bugging me.

    So my formula is:
    Laptop+kids=frustration and delays=unhappy Leah
    Desktop+Closed Door=productivity=Happy Leah, even though she misses the sun.
    Therefore, the desktop wins most days unfortunately.

    Enjoy your new laptop, Michelle. And don’t forget to back it up regularly too!



  2. John S
    Comment
    2
     · November 6th, 2008 at 6:25 pm · Link

    Wow, what a bummer. I have the iBook G4 800 and we have been best friends for ever it seems. I guess I need to back it up just in case. I have never had a Mac die on me, I just give them to someone when I up grade to something better. I have just learned that my old “Ruby” iMac died after 10 years of constant work. The people I gave it to upgraded it to a 160GB HD and it was the family music server on their home network. I pull the lid off all my Macs every year and blow out all the dust bunnies and hair balls. Its worth the trouble and wiggle all your board connections to make sure they are making a good connection while your in there. They love the checkup and run better. I’m sure you will find a new friend at the Mac store that needs a good home.



  3. Tammie King of Night Owl Romance
    Comment
    3
     · November 6th, 2008 at 8:03 pm · Link

    Ah you poor girl. I had my computer do that sluggish thing once. My husband came right over and we got it backing up. On mine he could tell that it was the harddrive slowing down… and then it was just going to stop. Luckily we got all my stuff backed up before it went caputs.

    On a high note. The Ladies and I at Night Owl Romance have nominated your blog for the I LOVE YOUR BLOG Award!

    http://nightowlromanceblog.blogspot.com/



  4. Stargazer
    Comment
    4
     · November 6th, 2008 at 9:31 pm · Link

    That sucks…I hate computer problems.
    Glad you got your files! That was good!
    Sena



  5. Michelle Rowen
    Comment
    5
     · November 7th, 2008 at 5:29 pm · Link

    Thanks all. Yes, it was definitely a learning experience!



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