It all started with Abby. The plan was to meet after work at YoArt in the Plaza Food Hall. Since I was going to be in that area I decided to make an appointment at the Apple Store Genius Bar on 5th Ave. My computer is over four years old and has been slower than molasses over the past few months. (When it’s actually moving- more often than not everything is frozen.) The optical disc drive is also broken and while I knew there’s nothing they could really do unless I shell out big bucks, I figured it couldn’t hurt for them to take a look at it.
My office is about 40 minutes by train from the Plaza Hotel, so I calculated that if I leave my office at 2:15 it should be perfect timing to meet Abby @ 3pm. But G-d obviously had other plans. After waiting on the packed subway platform for 15 minutes, the train finally arrived. Everyone piled on and then we just sat there, not moving. The conductor announces that there is a broken train track at Prospect Park and we are being held until further notice. 20 minutes later he moves the train up a stop, waits a while and then starts moving again. Finally! I text Abby (in the few seconds that there is phone service) that I’ll be late and she responds “no problem”. Scratch that, huge problem. The train is once again immobile. Forget about meeting Abby, at this point I’m concerned that I’ll be late for my Genius Bar appointment. As soon as one reception bar appears on my phone I quickly move the appointment back 20 minutes. At the time I thought “lucky me, there’s still a time slot available”. In retrospect it would have been better if I had missed it completely. The train finally gets into Manhattan, Abby has gone home after waiting an hour for me, and I’m just on time for the appointment.
The so called Apple “Genius” looks over my computer and tells me what I already knew- it will cost about $150 to repair the optical drive, and another $99 to replace the battery which is completely dead. As for the slowness, there’s no solution because the laptop is out of hardrive memory and my 2 GB of RAM is insufficient for running all the new programs and operating system. Thanks for nothing, Genius.
I head home and settle down to watch the Yankees playoff game. Turn on my computer to finish designing a flyer I started working on earlier. Wait a sec, why isn’t my computer going on?? Ok, don’t panic- I try again. An Apple logo appears with a loading bar beneath it. Loading… loading… and then the computer shuts off. This happens over and over. Now I am really annoyed- my computer was slow, but at least it worked before I had it “fixed”. I head over to the Apple website to see if there’s any solution. They suggest disconnecting it from any external cables (it’s not attached to anything) and restarting. Well obviously that didn’t work. Next, I try to call support- but because my AppleCare expired last year they will only help me if I fork over $20. Ok, I guess I’m headed back to the Apple store. The next available appointment is in 2 hours…
Back at the Genius Bar with a new Genius. He determines that the only way to fix my computer is to reformat the hardrive (aka lose everything on the computer). Wait- what?? How did that happen? A few hours ago it was totally fine. Now everything is messed up. Choking back tears I tell him to go ahead and do it- at this point there are no other options. After he “fixes” my computer I leave the store shell shocked. The bulk of my files are regularly backed up, but just like that I lost a few days of work, plus all my applications, bookmarks and about 10% of my stuff that was never backed up.
After calming down and thinking it over, I decided to buy a new computer. I had been planning to do it soon anyways, and I wouldn’t have to set up and restore my old laptop, only to have to repeat the process a few weeks later. So, I finally got the new MacBook Pro, though not the way I had intended to.
At least I came home to good news- the game was already over, but the Yankees had won in typical (for the Yankees) dramatic playoff fashion. I spent the rest of the night and all of today downloading all the applications, restoring files, re-doing lost work and trying to adjust to all the new features. There’s always a learning curve with new computers, especially since my last one was 4 years old. It’s a totally different feel and learning to use the keyboard and trackpad is such a pain.
The point of all this is that the best laid plans can go haywire- it’s all in G-d’s hands. So here’s to a new year, and a new computer – may they both bring lots of joy and prosperity.