When It Doesn’t Work

For those of you who are not Apple Computer fans, I beg your indulgence. Apple has been in the news big time lately with their announcement, pre-sale, and delivery of the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Along with that, is the new iOS 8 operating system for all recent portable Mac devices. Add to all of this was an upgrade of the operating system for Apple computers, version 10.9.5 for Mavericks.

Now I’m not here to bore you with details you can gather from other sources by people who really know what they are talking about in regards to the new phones and operating systems. What I can report is that there are times when things don’t go so well and it is for those moments we must be prepared.

As I have stated earlier, I’m not interested in the new iPhone and I haven’t begun to download or work with the new operating system for iPhones and iPads. But I did dabble in upgrading to the newest version of my operating system for my computers. On my iMac I had no difficulties. Having moved to Arkansas I was a bit concerned about the Internet service in rural areas. My service provider, Cox Communications, has proven to be a better value than what I had in New Jersey. At my home I’m up to 7 Mps for downloads and I never was faster than 2.3 Mps in Ringwood using Cablevision.

At my church it is a different story but I can’t blame Cox. Download speeds reach only 275 Kps (yes, Kps!) and I’ve had Cox check our lines and I could actually what should be available–the same speed as at home. But I think the problem is in the router which is a bottleneck and I haven’t tackled that problem yet. After this past week I think I will do that sooner rather than later.

On Thursday I was notified that I could download the new operating system and so I began that morning knowing I would not need the computer for hours (the size of the download was 150 megabytes and at the rate of 200+ kilobytes this was going to take a very long time). The software downloaded and after lunch I began the installation process. Here is where I met the demise of my computer–half way through the installation, my computer kept turning itself off. Every time I rebooted, the same thing happened. My computer became useless since the operating system wasn’t completely in place. I could not access anything.

I brought it home yesterday to begin the Disk Recovery program and I was told my disk could not be verified and it could not be repaired. I had a failure of my hard drive and that’s never good.

In New Jersey, my next action would have been to drive to one of the Apple Stores in my area (there were 4 within 45 minutes of my house) but living in rural Arkansas a whole new set of conditions kicked in. Apple Computer does not believe there is enough business in Northwest Arkansas to support a store although with Walmart and its various vendors one would think there is enough Apple computer usage to make a store viable. So, the closest store is 120 miles away in Tulsa OK. That was not an option I was looking for.

But there is an Apple reseller, Megabytes Computers, in Rogers (about 45 minutes from our house). Therefore, I took the laptop to Megabytes for their diagnosis. When I walked in and approached the service counter, I was asked my name and they had me in their system. I had another computer repaired there some 10 years ago so they had my basic information which, of course, required updating since I didn’t live where I had 10 years earlier. I appreciated the fact that they didn’t delete customer files which showed I had a relationship with them. I left my computer with them and was promised a phone call later that afternoon but the tech wasn’t sure how soon he would be able to get to it.

My wife and I had lunch in Rogers, stopped to buy some plants at a nursery, and when I walked in the door the phone was flashing that a new message awaited me. It was the tech who reported the hard drive had indeed failed and needed to be replaced. I authorized the work and it will be ready Monday or Tuesday.

Backing up my computer at home is standard operating procedure but at church not so much. The reason is that almost all of my files are in my Dropbox account and the programs are easily accessible on the Internet. Except there was one article I had written for our church newsletter and lost as that was on my desktop (I know, I should have saved it but I thought it was all right). That’s more aggravating than anything else because I hope I can remember what I wrote. Even my Microsoft programs will be easy to reinstall since I earlier this year signed up for the Microsoft 365 program which allows me to download programs instead of having use the installation disks. I purchased this as a way to get the new version of Microsoft’s stuff at a cheaper price when they bring out the newest versions later this year.

What is the point of this long story? Always be prepared for the worst when it comes to computers. They will certainly let you down sometime in the future and you need to be ready to deal with “disaster”.

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