Thursday Thoughts

I should title this “Macattack & The Wonders of Apple”.

Yesterday evening I sat down to do the final Chillingham report over on the universe blog, and 2 minutes after I opened up the internet my screen blacked out, and then turned white, then a little folder appeared in the middle of the screen with  ? flashing on it. That seemed appropriate but would have looked better with a WTF! in front of it. Couldn’t do anything so rebooted the Mac only to return to a white screen, this time without a folder.  I used the internet on my iPhone to look up “iMac white screen” and found a fair amount of youtube tutorials on how to fix it. Lots of unplugging peripherals, power off, wait 10 secs, power on holding down this and that keys.  I tried every one over the next hour or so but still ended up with a white screen.  On my little iPhone I went to apple support, not expecting much other than another tutorial or FAQ section, but there was a little ‘chat’ link so I got on that and typed in ‘hello?’ and lo and behold a chap typed back ‘how can I help?’  Over the next hour and a half the chap asked me a few questions and to do a few procedures. I sent him pictures of my Mac screen as I went along and finally he typed ‘ everything leads me to believe your hard disc is corrupted, we will now proceed to erase it and put a new one on’.  Bloody hell I thought, only in worse language than that, this is scary, and I told him that, (the scary bit, not the bad language). “Don’t worry” he said, “I will stay with you until it is all sorted and you are back up and running”. He then proceeded to instruct me as to what exactly to do, one bit at a time, and we deleted and rebuilt my hard drive over the internet. It put me back to where it was when I first bought it 8 years ago, so I lost all the software and apps I’d got over the years, and the files I held on the desktop. I of course have back ups so that’s not too big a problem. A lot of the apps I got from apple I can re-download for free, and the photography software I use like adobe cloud I subscribe to so that too is a matter of re-downloading. Re- installed the drivers for my Wacom tablet and printer. It just takes time and is an annoyance. Today I’m still at it, my extensive iTunes library is gone, but I am hoping I can transfer them from my iPod back to the Mac.
Apple gets a lot of bad press, but I can only praise them for being able to help me like this. The fact that my phone, iPad and Mac are all linked somehow in the cloud made getting help as easy as pie.
My advice to everyone though is ‘back up your important stuff!’ I’m so glad I did.
I now have a decluttered computer, I am not re-downloading a lot of stuff I got that I used for a little while and then didn’t, just keeping fingers crossed that it doesn’t happen again!