January 23rd, 2008


It's time to plug in the hard drive

I have a large hard drive, external, still in its box. I wanted it for backing up my new mac. Then I learned that I would have to plug the mac into it for the mac's new backup system to work. It won't work wirelessly - although I can of course plug it into my airport express and send files there wirelessly. I was a bit discouraged about backing up and didn't do anything about it. Then the announcement of the Time Capsule, a wireless router plus hard drive that does have the capability of allowing wireless backups. I ordered it. Well, pre-ordered it, because it isn't actually available until February.

Today, though, my mac froze again. I clicked on a link in an email and nothing happened. I could move my mouse, my programs on the "dock" moved when I passed the cursor over them, but nothing would open, nothing would close. This is exactly what happened a few weeks ago. I ended up going to the Apple store downtown, and of course it did not freeze up when I turned it on there, so the tech ran it through tests, never did figure out what caused the freezes, but did clean up some permissions errors. I went on my way, hoping it was over. But it wasn't.

So I am writing this on my trusty Dell. This machine is ancient! And it is as slow as molasses to get going because I have so overloaded it (I am still wary of removing some of the big programs but I am getting closer). So it took me a goodly bit of time to start it and get it running so I could write this.

I now intend to open the box and plug my new hard drive into my mac, assuming it does start working again (I turned it off and on again four times, using the button on the machine, and it was frozen every time - I am letting it sit for a while now), and I will back everything up. Then I will take my baby back to the Apple store and see what they can offer me in assistance. I am prepared to take another mac in trade if that is possible, but I think it should be one that is not upgraded from Tiger (like this one was). I suspect this is part of the problem but so far I have not been able to find out. Leopard is so new that issues like this may take a while to find their way into the forums (I have done my part!).

**Edit** 2:03 p.m.

I brought my baby to the Apple store at 1:15 today, having made a reservation. The tech guy said the problem,which of course did not surface when we turned on the computer, was likely an upgrade issue. He said he has run into other similar types of issues related to upgrading to Leopard, and he recommended an "archival re-install" of the operating system. This reinstallation keeps all of my files and settings but re-installs the operating system underneath. He said this action usually solves the upgrade issues. So I said go for it and I'll have lunch. Which I did. It was done when I got back and I am now sitting in Starbucks, which is near the Apple store, writing.

I asked the tech guy if these visits are archived anywhere, so that if something happens down the line I can document what has been done. He said their records are often not complete but that he would go ahead and open a "case". Which he did. So now if I have this problem again we can look at the case file and go from there. Of course we're hoping it doesn't happen again.

**Edit** Jan 24 8:11 a.m.

This morning my computer stalled again when shutting down. Clearly, not all issues are resolved. I can't wait until the next update of Leopard. Maybe these things will be fixed. In the meantime, honestly I love my mac when it's working but I am starting to feel a great deal of anxiety about when it will next decide not to work.

**Edit** Jan 26 7:54 a.m.

Yesterday the computer stalled while processing video that I had just captured. I was unable to force-quit iMovie (I might be able to do this if I learn the key strokes) and finally had to shut down the computer using the on button, once again. I have a large hard drive and 2 gigs of RAM. It isn't being overtaxed.

Staff meetings at Starbucks

I am sitting in a Starbucks downtown, sucking up the Internet access that came with Joey's computer (for those of you who do not know, the amazing xo computer, the one laptop per child computer, that I got for Joey came with a full year's subscription to T-Mobile hotspots, compliments of T-mobile. This value is greater than what I spent on the computer(s)). I for one am taking advantage.

Unfortunately, at the table next to me appears to be a staff meeting, apparently of Starbucks staff. They do this often at Starbucks and other similar types of businesses - take customer space for their marketing and hiring and general staff discussions. I am sure it makes sense in a way but it is usually obvious what it is, and in this particular case it is irritating. It seems to be a bit of a bitch session, with one woman in particular laying out how hard she tries to do the right thing and how this or that person doesn't get it and she apologizes for walking into that meeting the way she did, that isn't her style, and on and on.

I'm going on record that I find these really annoying. I don't know what a reasonable solution is. It's unreasonable to expect them to build a separate room for these things. What then? Keep it shorter? Separate the table somehow? Something. To me it is unprofessional.