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​Take This iMac And That iMac And That iMac And That MacBook Pro And That iPad And That iPhone and The iCloud And Shove It…

By Pam Pollock

September, 2018

It’s no secret that I am not an electronics savvy person. I can muddle along and fake that I possess a smidgen of knowledge about iPhones and computers. But I don’t. I really, really don’t.

Back in May, my very, very old iMac bit the dust as I walked out the door to send the June issue of Movin’ Out to press. Thankfully everything was on our Production Manager’s computer and we made our deadline with no problem. But I had not backed anything up in months. I was in a pickle and it took almost 2 weeks for the hard drive to come back from a data recovery place. I had many meltdowns and praying to Jesus that I would reform and back up religiously from now on if only my files were restored to me. They were. I also got the new computer that had been sitting in a corner of the office for two years installed and was forced to upgrade all of my programs, some of which were over 20 years old. I will confess that this is the reason that the new computer sat in the corner for two years, I didn’t want to give up my beloved 1998 Filemaker Pro and 2004 Word Documents and InDesign software and upgrading to a new computer would force me to do so. So yeah, I was forced to upgrade to all new software and ya know, it wasn’t that bad.

Life was going along swimmingly for the new two months until, on August 1st, my 2-month-old computer suddenly refused to work. It would turn on and give me a lovely, colorful spinning wheel, nothing more, nothing less. I spent 4 hours on the telephone with Apple Support and they finally told me to take my computer to the nearest Apple Store for repair, which was an hour away. Did I mention that I had not backed up anything on this new computer? Well, I hadn’t. And yes, there have been many prayer sessions to Jesus, but I suspect that Jesus is rather disgusted with me at the moment. I don’t blame Him.

The Apple dude told me that he suspected that the hard drive had taken a powder and I would need to leave the computer. I told him that I was leaving for a truck show and then vacation in 2 days and that when I returned in a week, it was my FREAKIN’ DEADLINE WEEK. The Apple dudes and dudettes at this store are chill and dope. They run around in their gray-black clothes with headsets in their ears and an iPad clutched in their hands. My chill dude assured me that they would get to work on my computer the very next morning. I made him promise not to erase the hard drive because I HAD NOT BACKED UP MY FILES. Chill dude promised he would let me know if there was a problem but for me to just go and enjoy myself on MY FIRST VACATION IN SIX FREAKIN’ YEARS!

So, I did just that – my spouse and I took our kids and grandkids and went to Ocean City, Maryland for six days. We were beaching it every day and eating ice cream every day and everyone but me ate crabs. We had a bonfire on the beach and saw the wild ponies and took a speed boat ride and saw a dolphin. We walked the boardwalk and ate Thrasher’s fries and funnel cake, and did I mention we had ice cream? And then, on the night before we had to come home – my chill dude’s boss called me and said that the SSD (solid state drive) was toast and they needed to install a new one but not to worry, because it was all covered under warranty. I asked about my files from the toast drive and he said they didn’t know how to retrieve them, and I cast some serious shade at him because, ya know, they were supposed to be the “Genius Bar” and all. He said that if I wanted the old hard drive back, I would have to pay them $1249 and change. “But it’s my hard drive,” I challenged him. I paid for it and I paid for the warranty to have repairs made. Chill dude boss became less chill as we talked. I was never chill during our conversation, I was like that chick in the Exorcist, my head was spinning, and I had bad words spewing from my lips. Finally, I told chill boss dude to not do the repairs and I would be in the very next morning after I returned home for my computer. And I did just that. My toast hard drive is currently in California where hopefully its files are being retrieved. How sad is it that my hard drive got to go further on vacation than I did?

So, it’s deadline week and I have no nice 27” monitor computer and I am hyperventilating, and my boss man tells me to just go buy a new computer, so I did. And I get it all hooked up by myself with the exception of transferring one set of fonts over. So, I spend two days (what is it about everything being 2 with me) typesetting and formatting copy and I finally feel like I can breathe. I should mention that when I set up the newest computer that a little box popped up on the screen and asked if I wanted to enable the iCloud and ya know, I thought, “Sure! This will back up everything for me until I can install the AirPort Time Capsule that I purchased. I also had a new laptop that was 2 weeks old (seriously, 2 again?). Ya know where this is going, right? Cue the foreboding music. This past Thursday, the night before I had to build this issue of Movin’ Out, I was babysitting the grandkids and I took my laptop with me and was working on the newspaper after the kids were in bed. I noticed that ALL of the files from my desktop had somehow transferred over to the laptop and it was 10:00 at night and I was tired and computer illiterate and so I dragged all the files into the trash and I emptied it. And I thought nothing about doing that until the next morning, which was D-DAY and I fired up the desktop and ALL of my files were gone. But I thought, “Hey, it’s all good because the iCloud has everything!” I called the Apple Tech Support and they were like, “Nope. Nothing is there other than your 5,954 photos and 565 videos from your iPhone.” And I prayed to Jesus but at this point, Jesus has pretty much wiped His hands of me. And ya know, I don’t blame Him.

So, I spent the day going back and finding all of my copy and reformatting and typesetting it. And I couldn’t even throw a profane laced tirade like I usually do when things don’t go my way. I fell off the no pop wagon that I had climbed up on 6 weeks earlier and drank a 20 oz. bottle of Dr. Pepper. I was just so beat down that as I worked nonstop for 12 hours, I just cried. I cried for my ineptness and my many faults. I cried because I hate all computers and electronic devices. I cried that yet again I had let people down. I cried because of my failed attempt at a beautiful family photo session on the beach. I cried at how horrendous I looked in my bathing suit. I cried because I still miss my beloved Gunny and then I cried that I don’t miss Precious as much as Gunny. I cried because I felt ashamed that I was sobbing and wailing over my problems when there are people who are sick and dying and losing their homes to wildfires and hurricanes.

So, I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and ate a bowl of ice cream and I got that copy fixed and I spent 10 hours on Saturday building the newspaper and I only missed my self-imposed deadline by 8 hours. And then I celebrated by eating more ice cream and throwing my bathing suit away. I also hooked up an external hard drive and backed up EVERYTHING. I think Jesus will be proud of me. I’m also 3 days into being back on the no pop wagon. But Apple can still take all of their products and their chill dudes and shove it.