I love my iPhone. And I love my Apple computer – in fact I plan to soon make a decent living off of it. I use it to organize my life, to stay in touch with loved ones and with friends, new and not-so-new. For years I struggled to get my thoughts down on paper with a clunky pen and paper, and now my flying fingers on the keyboard can (almost) keep up with my racing mind.
Yes, I love computer technology. Except when things go wrong!
Then suddenly I’m thrown into a tailspin. My plan for the day is jettisoned and I find myself frantically Googling support forums to fix the problem, running over to Simply Mac for professional help, or waiting for what seems like hours on hold for a tech support advisor from somewhere in Asia to tell me how to fix the problem.
I like to take care of things myself – but nothing is more frustrating than spending two hours attempting multiple fixes and then ending up with things even more broken than before. Such is the world of technology – for me anyway.
Last month my elderly cat, Franny, had a little “accident” right on the keyboard of my Macbook Pro. (You can read more on this story here. People actually liked it. Because it had a little lesson I guess.)
I like to think this was only an accident as she does suffer from some incontinence these days (she’s 12) and she had recently taken to napping on my desk directly behind the computer. Warm there I guess. But it’s possible that it was some sort of feline revenge for the fact that I had spent the past couple of months mostly away from home.
In any event, I ended up with a dead keyboard. Frustrating, but workable. I picked up an external keyboard at Radio Shack for about $10 and at least I could work.
But. What a Hassle! Every time I tried to do something I’d try first on the keyboard before remembering it didn’t work. And I kept getting this message that Start Up Disk was full – a whole different problem that I still haven’t solved!
Plus I was getting ready to leave on this holiday “vacation” that would only be partly vacation because I had to work while on the road. (Like I say, I plan to make a living on this thing – and I needed it to keep the little money trickling in that is already happening.) I wasn’t sure how it would work to lug around this extra keyboard, finding room for it on my lap along with the computer itself. The machine’s portability was basically gone.
I spent hours and hours during the week leading up to the trip trying to figure this thing out. Replace the keyboard? Expensive – and I was warned that the whole machine might go down on me afterward since moisture had entered its internal workings. Migrate all the data to Rosie’s old laptop that we thought was dead, but had miraculously begun working again? Sounded like a good idea. I added memory to that older machine, then took both of them into Simply Mac for the transfer.
The next day I got the bad news: The older machine WAS damaged after all. The migration wouldn’t work.
After all that dithering and hours wasted, I ended up whipping out the credit card and purchasing a new computer. Believe me, this is not what I wanted to do – I absolutely am not in a financial position to blithely buy expensive electronics. But, having my computer die while on the road could spell disaster as I’d committed to finishing some projects. (And as mentioned above, nowadays almost all work becomes impossible without a computer – even without the Internet. Tim jokes about folks who say they can’t cook dinner because the Internet is down and they can’t get the recipe!)
Luckily I would be able to trade in both bunk-o computers for parts and receive a bit of a discount off the sales price of the new one.
It was even more lucky that I waited to turn in my own machine until I’d made sure everything was successfully migrated over to the new one. With just a day left before taking off for Baja, I moved all my info to the new laptop. Immediately I saw trouble.
It’s at times like this that I wonder why I like Apple so much. Why do they have to constantly upgrade and change their systems? Of course I know why. So they can suck all the blood and money out of their slavering accolytes.
Both my Quicken and Quickbooks applications showed up with big slash through the icon. I use both regularly, one for all my personal finances and the other for bookkeeping on both of our businesses.
More hours of Googling and phone calls to tech support and whining to Simply Mac revealed that Intuit (the maker of both programs) and Apple basically hate each other and no Intuit programs will work on the latest Mac operating systems. And there really isn’t a simple fix (or even a more complicated one.)
The bill for the unfortunate kitty incident is adding up. Now it appears I need to buy Mac-compatible software for the bookkeeping needs. And figuring that all out (plus the learning curve to understand how the new programs work) is sucking up more and more hours of time.
But that’s not all.
A few days into the trip I wrote a blog post and attempted to accompany it with a photo. That’s when I realized that my entire Adobe Design suite of software was not working on the new computer. A licensing issue apparently. And all my info was back home, so no use even trying to call tech support even though I was still in the U.S. at that point.
In another stroke of luck, my work commitments did not absolutely require the use of InDesign or the other Adobe software. But, it was still a pain the you-know-what to have no access.
Now, here I am back home. And instead of tackling the projects I’m excited about and really want to do I’m back online checking out support forums, chatting and phoning with tech support, trying and failing to fix what should be easy to fix.
And my start up disk is still almost full.
Why is it never easy??
Just got off the phone with a kind but slightly incompetent tech from Adobe. I liked his charming accent, but he couldn’t fix my problem. All he could do was give me instructions for another few hours of crap I have to do before I have to call back and try to reinstall the program.
And I said I love this stuff? Bring back my pen and paper!