I’m old enough to remember a time when, if your telly broke, a Man came round to take it away to be mended. This could take days, but the days felt like weeks. And then the Man would come back with the telly and it would work again and normal service would be resumed. (These days, of course, you’d throw the telly away and buy a new one, which would cost less than getting it repaired.) Anyway, I took my lovely MacBook into the Apple Shop in Central London today, to the Genius Bar (how the employees must love working behind that particular bar), because my “touchpad” had packed up. The cursor could be negotiated around the screen but clicking did nothing, so it was less than useless. I bought a separate mouse this morning, just so’s I could work (I have a lot of work to do), and that worked for a whole morning. Then it went too. This was serious.
Anyway, it turns out it might be a problem with the casing, so the nice Lady at the Genius Bar had to check my computer in and send it to hospital to be mended – possibly by a Man, possibly by a Lady. I may be without it for 48 hours – and that’s if it is indeed a casing problem. (I had been experiencing that thing MacBook users will know all about where the casing starts to fray where the laptop shuts. This is a “known fault” and thus costs nothing to have put right by the entirely fallible Apple Corporation. I am praying that’s all it is.)
Anyway, I’m writing this from someone else’s computer and I have to get off it now. I just thought I’d share that sense of desolation from NOT HAVING YOUR COMPUTER.
Addendum (15/01/09): As I failed to make clear in the original blog entry, I regularly back everything up to a separate portable hard drive. However, due to the nature of the problem, the work I did on a script yesterday morning and the day before became essentially locked inside my laptop as there was no way of copying it or moving it due to the death of the touchpad. This was frustrating as I can’t deliver it either. I may have made this sound worse than it is in my original phrasing. The worst thing that can happen is that Apple wipe my hard drive and I lose this week’s work. (Everything else I’ve written this week has been delivered to people by email, and will thus not be lost, it’s just the script draft that’s outstanding.) What I should do is back everything up, as I write it, on a portable memory stick or similar. I realise that now. There’s a lot of computer users out here in the world of non-IT who don’t realise how reliant we are on the simple fact of our computer working every day. I really appreciate the concern expressed in the initial flurry of comments, which had the sum effect of making me feel about as insecure as I’ve felt in my computing life!
Steve Jobs has now stepped down. I hope he’s alright, too.