After a few days of being laptop-less (there’s a mental image), I now have a new machine.
I took my iBook to the local Mac shop and asked the guys to do what they could. They were able to get my iBook running to the point where I could at least access my files and back-up my files to an external drive.
And perhaps most important of all, I was able to grab my Civilization 3 save files and export my Firefox bookmarks.
When the shop called to give me the bad news (it was a hard drive issue, as I feared), I asked if it was worth the time and money to install a new hard drive. They could have made a few hundred bucks off me by saying “Sure!” but instead, they were honest and blunt: Don’t do it. It is not worth the money. Get a new machine ASAP.
Later that evening I bought a MacBook Pro, my first new Mac in (at least) six years. I hope this one will least close to that long. To borrow a quote from Raiders of the Lost Ark, “It’s not the years, honey, it’s the mileage.” I put a lot of miles on my iBook over those six years–I carried it with me almost every day and used it for everything (writing, photo editing, podcast recording and editing, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro…Civilization 3).
Being able to finance the laptop will help a bit (kids, this is why you should pay your bills on time–you can get credit easily for emergencies like this). It will be a lean few months while I pay off Stephanie’s engagement ring and the laptop at the same time, but thankfully the term for the laptop pay off is a bit longer than the ring.
Having a new machine is worth the months of canned soup and pancake dinners though. Going from an iBook with Tiger to a MacBook Pro with Lion makes me feel like a caveman who was handed a phaser. No more alert messages of, “Hey! Update your browser! …Oh wait, you can’t! Get a new machine!” and everything runs much, much faster (to which Mom said, “Good! Now you can work FASTER!”).
The real bite was not being able to work on editing or writing, of any kind, for nearly three days. I put an hour in this morning (finally using OpenOffice) and it went rather smooth. The time off has not hurt my creative flow at all (and sometimes a short break is a good thing).
But, I have to put in some extra time to make up for the lost days. This challenge suddenly became even more of a challenge.
The only other snag I have to address is my current lack of Photoshop (my old version will not run in Lion), which will make editing my comics a challenge. The next two weeks are taken care of (thanks to pre-crash uploads), so I have a little bit of a buffer.
There is an upside to all of this though–now I can play Civilization 5, which Stephanie bought me as an early birthday present.
Daniel J. Hogan is legally not allowed to go topless in public. Consider yourself fortunate. Follow him on Twitter, @danieljhogan.