. . . .and hoping that Wayne Newton (the iMac) will let me finish this post before he crashes. O, we have been having big, big trouble here at The Voodoo Cafe. We had a month of it, and then we had a respite for 12 whole days in which he didn't crash not one single time, and all was joy in the land. And then Wednesday he started up again. Although the warranty period for AppleCare has run out (he's over three years old now), they help me because, when they did the Seagate Hard Drive Recall/Replacement Thing last winter, they also had to replace, at their own expense, the logic board, the fan, the optical drive, and the glass (for the monitor). So he's pretty much brand new, but now he has this HUGE issue. I have to manually shut him down and restart him, sometimes half a dozen times. Eventually he'll refuse to restart, and I have to wait until the next morning to try again. The engineers at AppleCare are looking at their second data capture to try to figure it out. I just want them to come and install a brand-new logic board, since I'm beginning to suspect they used a reconditioned one last time. I think they're hoping, by this point, that I'll just give up and buy a new iMac, but I can't see it: this one is pretty much as good as they get, and it was $1999 just three years ago. With the two-year AppleCare plan and tax and stuff, that comes out to more than $700 a year, and that's just ridiculous. It should last longer. Way longer. I know people who've used their Macs for twice that long with no problems at all.
People ask what kinds of games I have installed on it. Solitaire and whatever games came pre-installed. I don't know what they are, if there are any, because I don't play games. I play Solitaire only when my brain is fried and I'm too tired to do anything else. It's my version of mindless tv, and I mostly avoid it. I don't watch a lot of videos; if I'm sitting at the computer, it's about work or communicating. It's not play. Play is when I go stitch. I don't install a bunch of stuff on it. I use iPhoto and iMovie a lot, and Mail pretty much constantly, and Pages. Lots and lots and lots of documents. But I can't even remember when I installed something new. It's been a long, long time. It does automatic updates, so I don't even think about installing new stuff.
So, in short, we have no clue what's going on. It's beyond stressful: if I get him up and running, I have to be careful not to multi-task or have too many things open at once, and I have to prioritize and get the must-do stuff done right away, in case he crashes, and then try to type with my fingers crossed for as long as he'll allow it. I'm trying to make sure everything is saved to iCloud so I can access it from the MacBook Pro, but things can get wonky going back and forth: is this the newest draft, or is this the draft I saved before I edited? Has X seen this one, or was it the other one?
Never mind: it's a long, long, boring story, and telling it just makes me sound whiny. It's a huge deal, though: this computer is a big part of my life. It's my entire staff of coworkers, and it's my research assistant and my editor, my secretary and my boss (it tells me what to do). It's my phone, my mail, my file cabinet, my bulletin board, my notebook, my clock, my alarm, my weather data. It's everything except my companions, and sometimes it's kind of one of those, too. And now, at any moment, it can freeze up and refuse to talk to me, sometimes for hours. I'm used to it alerting me to things my editors are doing (we share a calendar, and it reminds me of their stuff as well as my own). I don't just mean there's a pop-up notice; Wayne Newton actually talks to me: "Hey, sweetie! I need some help over here: 'blog post due tomorrow.'" He announces the hour, and he reminds me at midnight that it's time for him to go to sleep. I'll be in bed reading and will hear him out here, saying, "Hey, sweetie! I need some help over here: this computer has been scheduled to go to sleep!" And, OK, I confess: I'll say, "Good night, Wayne Newton."
I'm pathetic, I know. But you think of your favorite co-worker, the one who never gossips or has garlic breath or wants you to cover for him so he can sneak out early to catch the Knicks game. The one who always makes you look good and never tries to sabotage your work. That's Wayne Newton, and I wish he'd hurry up and get well.