I had no idea how dependent I’d become on my computer until it stopped working last Friday. No, I wasn’t looking at porn when it happened; Mrs. Chatterbox and I were checking a site showing the controversial new portrait of Queen Elizabeth II when the screen suddenly went blank. Incidentally, it’s not the worst painting of the Queen I’ve seen and I disagree with critics who say she looks like Winston Churchill in drag.
CJ, our son and technical guru, struggled to identify the problem, without success, and a technician at the Apple Repair Center made an appointment for me. I hadn’t realized how heavy my 24 inch IMAC was until I lugged it across a massive mall parking lot to the Apple Store. Zak, the tattooed technician assigned to me, repeatedly stroked his Herman Melville beard while trying to resuscitate my nonfunctioning baby. No go.
Eventually, Zak said, “More than likely the problem is a damaged optical display cable. The cost of replacing it, including labor, will be $48. If that doesn’t work the hard drive probably needs to be replaced for around $500. Either way, parts for a computer this old will need to be specially ordered. Turn around time will be about a week. You’ve backed everything up on a portable USB drive disk, haven’t you?”
Not knowing what he was talking about, I shook my head.
“Your data needs to be transferred and stored outside of your computer while we make repairs.”
“How often does data get lost?”
“Approximately thirty percent of the time.”
“What will that set me back?”
“Around a hundred bucks for the device and around thirty for labor.”
I decided to take my chances and pass on backing up my files, but at the last minute I called CJ for an opinion on whether or not I should pay for the precaution of backing up my files. He reminded me, “Aside from your novels and posts, all of the pictures from your last five trips are stored in the computer. They could all be lost. Do you think you’ll ever go back to India and climb on a camel again?”
Hell No! I paid for the back-up.
On Wednesday Zak called with good news and bad news. “Which do you want first?” he asked.
“Give me the good news,” I said.
“It was a problem with the optical display cable. The hard drive doesn’t need to be replaced.”
Sounded good. “Okay, give me the bad news.”
“Well, it seems that one of our technicians accidentally drove his screwdriver through your display panel. A new one costs $600. But don’t worry. We’re going to replace it for free.”
I thought of a lot of snarky things I could say, but I’d spent years in retail and hated it when customers tore me a new one over something I didn’t do or had no control over. This wasn’t Zak’s fault so I just asked when it would be ready.
“We’ve put a rush on the panel. It should be delivered here tomorrow. You’ll have your computer repaired by Thursday at the latest.”
I’m back now from picking up my computer and it’s working fine. I just rebooted and the site I was looking at before being engulfed in this calamity has just popped up on my screen. Now that I’ve had another chance to look at it, the painting of Her Majesty does look a bit like Winston Churchill in drag!
e told .