My computer crashed last Friday. I did the right thing and shut it down the night before. I awoke Friday and turned it on to see what many Mac users know as the white screen of death. My trusty machine would not load the operating system. I made an appointment and with my two younger kids in tow went down to the local Apple store. I hate things like car trouble, a major appliance failure, or computer trouble. It brings up all kinds of concerns that don’t cloud my ordinary everyday. How much is this going to cost? Do we have the money for this? When was my last backup? Will I be able to finish projects x, y, and z? It’s just ugly and I did my best to keep a lid on it and roll with the unknown.
The Apple Store Genius took one look at my Mac and I could see he was looking at a dinosaur; a computer that was top of the line seven years ago when he was graduating high school. I know he’s wondering why I don’t just replace that thing already. To me there’s no need yet. It does what I need it to do. Why would I replace it when I am happy with it? He ran a diagnostic and my hard drive was fine, which was good because my computer has surpassed into an age where an Apple Store will no longer conduct maintenance on my machine. They won’t take my money to fix it? For some unexplained reason my computer could or would not load the current operating software. The Genius was able to have my computer see the last generation of software. Everything was reformatted and I would need to go through a several hour process of updating to the new software, and migrating my information back from my backup at home. If, and it was a hesitant if. The Genius did his best to break the news to me gently. It would work only if my computer did not have the same malfunction when I got home.
It had the same malfunction. I sat at my desk willing a grey apple icon to appear on my screen, but nothing appeared. I sent a text with the bad news to my husband. He asked how much a replacement would be. I replied with the truth, “I have no idea.” I hadn’t let myself covet the new computers. I wanted this one to work. I did my best to proceed with my day by making lunch. Unhappy I picked up the book I’ve been reading, and burrowed under my heated blanket. I spent an hour sulking on the couch while my younger kids played Lego and My Little Pony. My husband called me during a break and laughed at me, teasing that I was already in withdrawal from my computer crack. He made me laugh and I didn’t even try to deny it. “Go, go ahead and get a new one. Just don’t get all the upgrades. I know you-don’t go getting everything.” He said.
It was a big relief to get the go ahead for a new computer. I was excited but it was dampened by guilt over the unanticipated cost and a loving, humbling, gratitude. I rounded my little ones back into the car while going through a back and forth trying to explain to them how I had no more “big coins”, quarters, for candy from the gumball machines they line the mall entrance with.
I stood in front of my dream computer in disbelief. I’ve had my eye on the 27” iMac for a few years. As a digital scrapbooker it was like a car enthusiast fantasizing about a private garage fitted with every tool, jack, and gadget. I could not believe I was in the midst of buying my dream computer. Being a scrapbooker, I went ahead and took a few pictures with my phone hoping to make the experience a little more real.
I did not get to take it home right away, but before the weekend was over I had it home. Time Machine showed my last backup was on May 1st 2014. That was good news. The most heart wrenching, missing files, were pictures from my oldest daughters birthday party from May 2nd. This would be the first time we used our remote backup through Crash Plan. We had been on Carbonite for a few years. There were two disappointments we experienced with them. The first being, after two years my desktop was still not 100% backed up. The other was they would not back up external hard drives. This bothered us, we wanted our video, photo, and my digital scrapbooking external drives backed up. Carbonite does not offer this kind of service. Chris and I changed to Crash Plan after doing some research on Consumer Reports. Crash Plan had my entire Computer, and three external drives backed up in less than 3 months. It was the best feeling to log into our account and see my last back up was the night before my Computer died. I was able to get back every file I was missing.
While this ordeal is still the kind I would avoid at all costs, at least the situation ended better than I anticipated. What did I learn from it?
I’m getting better at pushing away all the “what if” questions. I was able to stay relatively level and I did not loose control of my emotions, or take my frustrations out on anybody else. I really did want to sob uncontrollably for a few hours when I knew my computer was dead, but I didn’t. Sure yes, I did tear up, but there was no sobbing.
I experienced first hand how backing up my computer to all of these places is a good thing. Do what they say-back up and back up often. Keep important files backed up in at least two locations. It’s advice we hear all the time, and every time I’ve heart it I wanted to roll my eyes and respond, “Yes Mom.” But really, the reminders are constant and passionate because the experts are trying to save you from the grief experienced when you don’t backup.
I am over the moon with my new desktop. I’ve never had a graphics card, and this thing has more RAM than I thought was possible. It’s a blessing. Now I just have to use it to do what my husband has been nagging me to do, “finish your book.”