Expressions of Genius

11/21/2015 08:12:00 am

Although I had nourished it with a new battery, and more RAM, and a shiny little solid state hard drive, by April there was something ominously wrong with my long-suffering MacBook. By April, the ignominy of being trodden on (do you know it costs $700 to replace the display on a MacBook!?), having an entire glass of red wine spilled on it, and one-by-one having its keys slowly detach from the keyboard like an old man losing teeth, had pushed it to the limit.

On making the slightest change in screen angle, the picture would freeze, and ominous grey lines would appear. This progressed to spontaneous occurrences,  possibly  if I breathed too hard in the computer's vicinity. At first I could reverse this by squeezing one precise spot in the uppermost righthand corner of the screen. The gentle squeezing was replaced by firm clamping for an extended period of time, followed by an attempt to release my fingers with a featherlight touch so that the screen would not notice it was no longer in my embrace.

Finally I had to resort to thwacking the back purposefully, as if the computer were a fat man choking, and I, a bystander, administering the Heimlich. In short, it was done.

 I bought a new MacBook Pro, although I couldn't quite bring myself to cough up for the retina, and so on the surface, it is essentially identical to the sibling it replaced (both in appearance and weight).

Went for a walk in May. Uploaded photos to my new computer. Trying to be more organised, deleted the photos from the SD card... You see where this is going...

Sadly, from the outset, something was not quite right. It would take a long time to wake. And if I unplugged the charger whilst the computer was sleeping, the drive would whir and on opening the lid, it simply would not wake.

Then, strange flashing lines began to appear intermittently. Kernels would panic. Running two photo processing apps at once would cause seizures, and unanticipated re-starts with multiple chimes.
I ran a hardware test. I repaired the disk permissions. I performed strange acrobatic manoeuvres involving key combinations that can only have been devised by a concert pianist. And still, something was wrong.

So I took myself to the Apple Store. Of course, I knew I would be meeting with geniuses, so I prepared myself. I told Rob that I was sure a had a relatively recent backup, but... did he have a copy of our wedding photos, just in case?

On being told that a software problem was suspected, I flippantly stated, "Heh, probably should have backed properly first." In alarm, the Genius said that we could do this another day, did I understand that he was going to erase and rebuild? Go for it, I urged, thinking to myself, "well, I have everything up to April on my other computer...if I can get the screen to work... and I'm sure I have the photos from our holiday on my SD cards..."

I did not.

I felt a little sick, and I said to Rob (attempting to sound nonchalant), "well that will be a lesson to me. And I have my memories!"

But luckily, I found a recovery app, which has been running on my 32GB card for 42 hours, and has so far recovered 1608 files. Once I saw that it was working, in my relief I donated euros to the developer.

And it recovered a photo that I accidentally deleted from the card whilst out and about in Italy. I was so sad when I realised what I'd done, but now my stupidity has led to its resurrection. Rejoice, rejoice! I have lost all the photos taken on my phone (because I don't believe in the cloud), but some of those are on Instagram, or I'd uploaded them here already.

The lost dog, recovered. 

The Geniuses still have my computer. They are going to replace a cable, and when that inevitably turns out to not be the cause of the problem, they will follow that will a replacement of the display and logic board. I will purchase extended AppleCare, I think.

And a new external hard drive.

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