January 5th, 2008


freezing mac

While I was working on a project today in my mac, the system froze. I could move the cursor around but not open or close anything. I shut down the computer using the on button and turned it on again. The applications I had open were closed but I still could not open or affect anything. I tried shutting down and starting again three times more, twice using the shift key while starting, to start in safe mode. But nothing changed. It is sitting there useless right now and I am typing on my PC.

I went to a mac forum (I already belong to two) and posted the question. So far no answers. I thought this might be an issue others have seen before, perhaps with Leopard, but apparently not, or not by these users. So I made an appointment at my local apple store and will bring my computer in. This seems the best solution, if they will help me. I am not sure what the limits are on what help they will give me if I am not a member of their "procare" program - I have applecare, which gives me help by phone but for whatever reason it does not extend to help in the store. I really don't want to purchase another tech help program. Seems like overkill.

So I am feeling sad. I realize I mainly have to work through some things. There may be some basic things I am not doing regularly, although I doubt that, some sort of regular maintenance. I think it more likely that this is a Leopard issue. Leopard hasn't been out all that long and some things are bound to come up. I do feel good that I can at least bring my laptop to the store! Lucky!



Yesterday I brought the laptop into the Apple store. Of course when we started it up it worked perfectly. The tech did some diagnostices, found some permissions errors and no hard drive problems, and we called it good. So I still don't know why it froze and neither does he but I'm hoping it had something to do with the permissions and never does it again. At least not for a long time.

Looking at the future

In Stumbling on Happiness (you'll have to forgive the multiple posts on this one book) I am currently reading of what we tend to leave out when we look at the future. We tend to generalize, simplify, the further in the future we look, rather than imagine details. Interestingly, Gilbert (the author) notes a few experiments in which all of the subjects reacted differently from how I did. Here's one:

Imagine how you will feel two years after the death of your oldest child.

As soon as I read that sentence I considered the implications of the two years, how the time would have helped soften the loss, how I might have adjusted at some level to the loss by then. By contrast, all of the experimental subjects said "what? Are you kidding? I'd be devastated!" As if the death had occurred that day.

Similarly he notes how many people will commit to a future action without "seeing" the details of that action. Like saying sure, I'll babysit next month, having warm and fuzzy thoughts about the concept of babysitting without any thoughts about the minute-by-minute details. I am very careful about this type committment for that very reason, that I do think of the details. I put myself into that day and think how my life will be affected. It isn't abstract to me.

I suspect I am unusual in this sense, and I suspect this is so because I have consciously focused on seeing things clearly, whether they are right now or way off later. What will it mean if I take this class in throwing pottery? I will be getting up that morning, thinking about the time I will spend at the class, about how I might ask questions of the teacher, how much time I will spend in the car getting there and coming home, and so forth. It may be that I have gotten rather too good at this because I tend to refuse a lot of opportunities!