Saturday, September 17, 2011

Even Mac's get the Blues

I've been away from this blog for a little while. Mostly, just life getting busy, but also a period of computer problems. Having a Mac and having it be completely trouble free for 4 years from new, I was surprised when the screen started going blank and frozen at inopportune moments. I also realized that, unlike a Windows machine, I had no clue how to figure out what was going wrong. I needed help.

I found MacDaddy in the next town and contracted him to diagnose the problem. Of course, the real reason for this post is just to have the opportunity to bring up MacDaddy and his cool icon.

It turns out, my problem was a conflict between Tiger and the early Leopard upgrade which took 4 years to show up as a problem. The fix was to reformat the hard drive and reinstall the OS. Hmmmn... That sounds just like I would have done with Windows.

Ah, but there is where the Mac difference comes in. I have the Mac backup program set up on an external hard drive. Reformatting and reinstalling the OS takes about 4 mouse clicks and just walk away. After the reinstall, I was asked if I wanted to reinstall any files from another drive like Time Machine. Yes. After that, the computer was exactly as I left it, right down to opening the same web page I had been looking at before reformatting the disc. Very cool.

The other interesting thing about this process was a conversation with MacDaddy himself. It turns out that he won't be in the next town for long. Conversation got around to the economy and business recovery. His business is busy and profitable, but his wife has been laid off for 7 months. As she is from Canada, they are in the process of selling their house and plan on emigrating to Canada. I asked if they are going for economic reasons, he said partly. They also prefer the culture and government to what is happening here. He specifically mentioned that they liked single payer health care system. I know that about half the people in this country find his opinion to be anathema. Still, I find it fascinating to meet an intelligent person who is willing to pull up stakes and change his life in this way.

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