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Back In Business

June 7, 2013
I had no idea how dependent I’d become on my computer until it stopped working last Friday. No, I wasn’t looking at porn when it happened; Mrs. Chatterbox and I were checking a site showing the controversial new portrait of Queen Elizabeth II when the screen suddenly went blank. Incidentally, it’s not the worst painting of the Queen I’ve seen and I disagree with critics who say she looks like Winston Churchill in drag.


CJ, our son and technical guru, struggled to identify the problem, without success, and a technician at the Apple Repair Center made an appointment for me. I hadn’t realized how heavy my 24 inch IMAC was until I lugged it across a massive mall parking lot to the Apple Store. Zak, the tattooed technician assigned to me, repeatedly stroked his Herman Melville beard while trying to resuscitate my nonfunctioning baby. No go.


Eventually, Zak said, “More than likely the problem is a damaged optical display cable. The cost of replacing it, including labor, will be $48. If that doesn’t work the hard drive probably needs to be replaced for around $500. Either way, parts for a computer this old will need to be specially ordered. Turn around time will be about a week. You’ve backed everything up on a portable USB drive disk, haven’t you?”


Not knowing what he was talking about, I shook my head.    


“Your data needs to be transferred and stored outside of your computer while we make repairs.”


“How often does data get lost?”


“Approximately thirty percent of the time.”


“What will that set me back?”


“Around a hundred bucks for the device and around thirty for labor.”


I decided to take my chances and pass on backing up my files, but at the last minute I called CJ for an opinion on whether or not I should pay for the precaution of backing up my files. He reminded me, “Aside from your novels and posts, all of the pictures from your last five trips are stored in the computer. They could all be lost. Do you think you’ll ever go back to India and climb on a camel again?”


Hell No! I paid for the back-up.


On Wednesday Zak called with good news and bad news. “Which do you want first?” he asked.  


“Give me the good news,” I said.


“It was a problem with the optical display cable. The hard drive doesn’t need to be replaced.”


Sounded good. “Okay, give me the bad news.”


Well, it seems that one of our technicians accidentally drove his screwdriver through your display panel. A new one costs $600. But don’t worry. We’re going to replace it for free.”


I thought of a lot of snarky things I could say, but I’d spent years in retail and hated it when customers tore me a new one over something I didn’t do or had no control over. This wasn’t Zak’s fault so I just asked when it would be ready.


“We’ve put a rush on the panel. It should be delivered here tomorrow. You’ll have your computer repaired by Thursday at the latest.”


I’m back now from picking up my computer and it’s working fine. I just rebooted and

the site I was looking at  before being engulfed in this calamity has just popped up on my screen. Now that I’ve had another chance to look at it, the painting of Her Majesty does look a bit like Winston Churchill in drag!




Oh, I feel your pain. We just escaped the 7th level of computer hell with a new fix and I hope we never have to go there again. Stay away from those dangerous pictures of Liz....
By: Shelly on June 7, 2013
Glad it is working fine, once again.
By: izdiher on June 7, 2013
So it even happens to Apple! Went through the same thing weeks ago. Sucks don't it. Glad your son wised you up about backing. I have an old computer that backs up plus a little stick thingy that holds stuff. Glad to have you back on-line!
By: Cranky Old Man on June 7, 2013
Glad you're back!
By: The Bug on June 7, 2013
Yep, we've all been though this one a time or two. I hate it as much as you did. Glad you're back in business. I've not seen the queens new portrait. Standby... She does look a bit manly doesn't she. Yes she does. Have a fabulous day and weekend. :)
By: Comedy Plus on June 7, 2013
I too have had the dreaded "down time" from my computer. It is more than disconcerting how much I missed it. Glad your back up and running and that you opted for the backup. That is the only smart thing I do. Monday is back up day.....every Monday. This after losing (not really but I thought I did) the first 5 years of my grands life in pictures etc. Welcome back Chatty. Oma Linda
By: Oma Linda on June 7, 2013
welcome back! we missed you! I had to replace my hard dricve not too long ago...didin't realize how much time I spent on the lap top until it was unavailable for a bit....makes one think! Have a great weekend!
By: Kathe W. on June 7, 2013
oh, glad you're back! and only a little lighter in the pocketbook. glad they fessed up to their error and took care of it.
By: TexWisGirl on June 7, 2013
I hate being without my computer but I do have a laptop as a secondary computer. I just prefer my desktop. As Macs don't tend to fail very often this might not be helpful but you can by a small external hardrive for less than $50.00. Amazon offers one "My Passport" that can hold 1T for $89.00. I use a My Passport for my laptop and back it up from time to time because the way Blogger works, if I lose my clipart and photos they also disappear from my blogs...even the old ones.
By: Cheryl P. on June 7, 2013
You just reminded me to do a backup--LOL! I HATE computer problems!! Glad you're back in business.
By: Rita McGregor on June 7, 2013
I just got my new computer this week with all my stuff transferred successfully. Cost me about $560 all told.
By: Bruce Taylor on June 7, 2013
Steve! Omigosh! I haven't seen you in more than 40 years and stumbled across you on Facebook tonight. I still have memories of our Senior trip to SF, watching Gone with the Wind, which I thought was a hugely old movie (all of 30 years old at the time) and something about grapefruit juice. Whatever happened to Eleanor Rigby?
By: Karen Medany Welch on June 7, 2013
It's painful to give our babies up for others to probe. I'm glad that all is well with it now.
By: Hilary on June 8, 2013
It's nice to have you back online.
By: mimi on June 8, 2013
Glad you are back in business. It is disconcerting to be without your system!
By: Tom Cochrun on June 8, 2013
Glad your computer problems are solved. *Note to self: back up tomorrow*
By: Pixel Peeper on June 8, 2013
Great tale Stephen, glad you are all sorted and back!
By: John on June 9, 2013
unfortunately I completely understand computer problems and completely do not understand anything about fixing them. gald yours is fixed!!
By: momto8blog on June 10, 2013

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