Susan's Blog

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Computer Death

Precious has died. Long live the Queen.

I am using B’s huge PC desktop, the one that Max built for him. I get my email at most twice a day, because it is such a pain. Twice a day! Me! Actually, it is good for me. I get an idea of what it is like to sit in the livingroom and just sit in the livingroom, sitting, just, living. In the room.

Coincidentally, I had just gotten my contract, literally (no pun intended) — the actual three copies to be signed and returned to Shambhala — and then Precious blacked out. She was just holding on until the next new phase could begin, bless her artificial soul. Ben actually cried. I got a little emotional myself. I have been through so much with that computer! I wrote MPWA on it. I began this blog on it. I developed an email obsession on it. I wrote Dirt on it. And I conceived the new book concept on it.

Now that Precious has expired, I found out that we had not been backing up all my shit on a regular basis. So, after many attempts on Max’s part to resucitate (all kinds of old Mac boxes exhumed from the third floor, a panicked call to Mac Repairs Ipswich, thick white aorta-like power cords, hook ups from one laptop to another for transfusions, and then waiting, listening in horror, while her fan roared awake to a black screen, and then a strange high-pitched moan followed.) we had to bring her in for major surgery — really more like an organ donation at the site of the death — to get her heart and some of her brain out. Her memories are full of all my important stuff: email addresses, conversations with friends, loved ones, publishers, editors, agents, kids’ teachers. Jeez. When the “genius” at the Apple Genius Bar told me that “We might not be able to get to your hard drive stuff if it is truly fried,” I felt my stomach drop. “Neddy!” I cried into my cell phone, “They might not be able to do it!!!”

“They will, Sweetie, don’t worry.” If Neddy says so, then it will be so.

As long as we pay them $150. Plus they did not give us the Educator’s discount because I was not there when he and Max bought the new MacBook. So that is like $250 that Apple screwed out of me. Apple doesn’t need that money! And I could have bought a gorgeous bag to go with the New Laptop (whom I will name when it is clear what that name should be, if anything. It seems kind of lacking a personality, so clean, so white, all the letters right there on the keys, and the screen is a horrible stretched-out rectangle rather than Precious’ pretty little square shape (she was an iBook G4, which they no longer make)!! And by the way, if they can make all those colors in an iPod, then why can’t they offer their Macs in colors? What’s so great about white, black, or God forbid, stainless (which is akin to saying your favorite color is “clear,” which is funny but also sad).

What’s their problem? Something rotten in the core there.


My computer died recently as well. We knew she was going so we started backing stuff up, most importantly my thousands of family photos on kodak easyshare. We went and got a loaded laptop…and I just immediately hated it and felt like I couldnt do anything on it. It would receive emails but not send…no matter how many times we got on the phone with tech support. Then my husband couldnt remember the safe place where he put our pic cds. It just turned into a nightmare. We bought the laptop back, I found where he put the cds and we reformatted the old girl and that is what Im typing on right now, while I stare at all the crumbs and food debris in the cracks of the keyboard. Oh to be home again!

— added by eileen on Saturday, September 27, 2008 at 11:21 am

We can all feel your pain although we cannot write about it so eloquently as your post.

My money is on the genius, it will be worth it.

Good luck

(Your) Anon

— added by Anonymous on Saturday, September 27, 2008 at 12:05 pm

I dont’ know if it will work with a Mac, but I used Knoppix to yank my stuff of my fried PC hd and transfer it to my iPod…

— added by Navi on Saturday, September 27, 2008 at 5:51 pm

My mac’s name is Josie.

I feel your pain! I lost a damn dissertation — during the dissertation, no less — to the blue screen of DEATH on a PC back in the dark ages. It’s never good.

Backing up is like snail mailing friends: something that I always intend to do, and do in my heart, and fail to do in real life.

— added by Anonymous on Saturday, September 27, 2008 at 8:16 pm

I think they should give you the educator’s discount after the fact. Apple is so stuck on themselves!

May she rest in peace (after you get all your information back, that is).

— added by Mom to JBG on Saturday, September 27, 2008 at 10:44 pm


wait for the Apple macbook and macbook pro coming in early October before replacing your laptop. Then learn to have an external drive for backups or clones of the drive.

— added by Anonymous on Sunday, September 28, 2008 at 2:55 pm


I forgot the most important comment. Use The Computer Loft on Fordham Rd in Allston, just off Brighton Ave. Greg is a master of apple laptops.

— added by Anonymous on Sunday, September 28, 2008 at 2:57 pm

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