Something went wrong with my beloved MacBook Pro last week. The screen went all pixeley and would freeze seconds after rebooting. This is quite common with PCs but really scary when it happens with a Mac. I took it into the Genius Bar of the Apple Store. They managed to reboot my Mac long enough for me to do a complete system backup through a program called Time Machine on an external hard drive. So I had my files and could access them as needed. But using someone else’s computer is like sleeping in someone else’s bed – you feel like you’re invading their space and long for the comfort of your own desktop.
When I got my computer back today from Apple, they reported that the “main logic board” needed replacement, which pretty much wiped out everything. Back to factory settings. So the comfort of my own desktop is a distant memory. I have the files, photos and music backed up, but it’s going to be a complicated process to re-import them. I might just keep them safe and sound on the backup disc and rebuild from here, enjoy the tabula rasa of starting over. But I’ve learned something interesting. What’s safe and sound, keeping me sane, and serving to anchor my sense of place in the digital universe, is all the information I keep online – my photos on Flickr, my online Google Calendar and blog Reader, my website files on Yahoo. I don’t know yet if I’m advocating for storing more online. But it sure seems that way right now. Also be sure to backup often and have disc copies of your most important programs.
Apple’s service was impressive but I must say after being dependent on Apple’s MacMail online that it is, hands down, THE WORSE online mail program ever. It’s slow to load (think dial-up then wait even longer). Gmail and Yahoo mail have it all over Apple in this respect. This came as a big surprise.