The Technological Graveyard: I Kill My MacBooks

They're all dead, Dave.

So in one fell swoop, I killed both of my computers over the course of one weekend.

The newer one, the MacBook Pro I got back in Canada in February, is technically still in a coma at the Genius Bar in the new Pudong Apple Store.

I tried to eject my portable hard drive and it refused to complete the eject. It went into Rainbow Death Wheel mode and wouldn’t close or  reboot or even shut down. I had to let the battery run out to force it to turn off. When the battery finally ran dry and shut down, it refused to wake up.  We tried all the trouble shooting keyboard combinations to no avail.  The lovely Lily Zhang at the Genius Bar wasn’t able to revive it either. I now have to wait ten days to find out what happened.

The older one, the 2006 clunky old batteryless grinder of a white MacBook that I got in Dubai, is thoroughly dead. This was not unexpected. The rainbow wheel of death interrupted my sentence and it never woke up from its force quit. All I got thereafter was the startup screen you can see above. It hurts.

So, technically, I am on a low tech diet for the next fortnight at least. I have nowhere to upload camera photos and no computer with bluetooth to take my phone photos. I’m writing this from work on my heavily Great Firewalled office computer.  Almost everything I want to read is blocked. Facebook, Twitter, Word Press, Blogger and Typepad are blocked. You Tube is blocked. So far, this website is still available. I have yet to offend, I suppose.

How do I feel about all this?

Not as badly as I’d feared.

I do feel very disconcerted by the possibility that I didn’t back everything up on my newer computer.  If so, my Myanmar and Yangshuo pictures may be lost. My Thunderbird-based emails (from the past several years, downloaded from my hotmail address) may be lost. There are some other odds and ends that I may or may not have remembered to back up, like music and videos, but they can be replaced.

As I said, however, I don’t feel as badly as I had feared.  Part of me, surreally and unexpectedly, feels released.  Part of me wants to just continue this trend and just say fuck it to everything- fuck the job,  fuck my mp3 player and digital camera and all my other nerd toys,  fuck my blog,  fuck living abroad,  fuck it all.

I want a farm and I want to raise goats and I want to learn to make awesome goat cheese like a master and I want to learn to brew beer and play the banjo and I want to be a hermit living off the grid.

Yeah.

And the other part of me feels very unnerved by my sudden disconnect. Slightly horrified by how ephemeral my connection with the outside world is. No computer=no skype to call home with; no ability to easily blog or email; no photos to show that I’ve been where I said I’ve been; no quick reassuring notes between long absent friends and acquaintances.

Everything suddenly feels very tenuous. If two computers can fry over the course of one weekend, what else could go just as suddenly?  And do I have a support system in place to keep me going if worse things (death, job loss, family illness) occur?  What is my backup plan?

Do I need to start investing in goats and banjo sheet music yet?

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About MaryAnne

I live in Shanghai. I tend to travel. I cook stuff. I read a lot. I try to scare myself silly with regularity. I write about it all. A lot.