Yet another fun day of computer-generated time suck. Damn, but I have just about had it with the computer hassles. But one thing you do have to say, in the redeeming feature department, is that even though Apple ‘s in-store service may have jumped on the Skateboard to Hell, their phone support can NOT be beat. Those people who get on the phone with you and listen to your weird story and figure out what you’re talking about and then even figure out how to tell you to fix it: they’re the real Geniuses.
Right. So… (have you noticed that this is the new [Silicon] Valley Talk? Ask someone a question, and they’ll invariably preface their response with “Right. So…”
Wife: Did you have a nice day, dear?
Husband: Right. So yes I did. It was a very nice day.)
Okay, right. So this morning I drove to South Phoenix to meet with the PoD dude, trying to figure out why the PDF for the latest Magnum Opus’s cover art will not load. After some fooling around, we realize we can get the new wrap-around image up there, but we need to reformat cover 1 because the byline is dangerously close to the bleed border. So now I have to jump through those hoops: unfortunately, I used the image I’d built for the ebook cover and just dropped it into the template for the print cover, so I couldn’t just grab the byline and move it up.
Two hours later: I’m headed home and stop by the Safeway to grab a couple of small things. It’s now after noon: hungry time. What should I find on the bargain counter but THE most gorgeous rib steak, grass-fed free-range Angus, big enough for three meals, take an extra 30% off the marked-down price! Dang!
Having grabbed this, I streak home, relishing the prospect of a spectacular midday dinner, the steak on the grill, the onion softening and browning sweetly in the skillet, the salad rich with tasty goodies.
And indeed the sliced onion was cooking when I went to shoot off an email to a friend and discovered…No Chance. The MacBook was disconnected from iCloud, which you are now forced to use if you wish to have a MacMail account. Cox, for a change, seemed not to be responsible for this. But whatever the problem was, it afflicted the big iMac, too. Not only could I not fix the email, I couldn’t get online at all!
Since you have to get online to contact Apple and ask them to phone you, this meant I had to carry the Macbook (it contains details you must report on the form you send to Apple to persuade them to call you) AND one of my wireless house phones over to the neighbor’s house. Put in an order using her PC…and realize the phone is out of juice. Its damn battery is dead!
RUN back to my house, clinging tight to the computer. Get in just as the phone starts to ring.
The young woman I spoke to proved to be exceptionally smart. At first she figured it was a connectivity thing. But we were able to prove that Cox was fully online. Both computers were connected. Not a connectivity thing…
Various maneuvers having failed, eventually she said, “Let’s try rebooting in ‘Safe’ mode. Sometimes this will repair any number of problems.”
Well, I know what “Safe” mode is in conjunction with PCs, but had no idea the Mac had such a thing, or that it had much practical use.
Turns out that to acquire “Safe” mode, you reboot but hold down the “Shift” key as soon as the screen turns black, and keep it held down until the machine completely reboots. This causes all sorts of flashy things to occur, until eventually you get the usual desktop, possibly (as with a PC) slightly…disturbed.
While this is going on, she keeps assuring me that the procedure can induce a certain degree of self-repair. If we’re lucky, it’ll work.
If we’re not, she does not volunteer what we will do then.
Incredibly, though, it does work! After a lengthy can-can, the thing comes back online, and lo! MacMail works. Firefox works. It lives!
And strangely, whatever happened on the MacBook also applied to the iMac, as if by magic through the ether[net]. No longer offline, the iMac also found itself suddenly speaking to MacMail and Google. That was a relief.
Hoping against hope, I checked to see if the corrupted font had somehow repaired itself. Well, no: every word that I have ever put into a Friedlander template for the purpose of publishing it as something resembling a book is now useless. Any of those books that ever needs to be revised or edited in even the smallest way will have to be reformatted from title page to author’s bio in a new font.
Oh…I haven’t told you about the Font Corruption Adventure, have I? Well, that will have to form the topic of another post. (Here ‘tis, over at P&S Press!) It is 109.5 out there on the back porch. After engaging not one but TWO computer fights, one of them involving sprinting through 110-degree heat, I am tired. The dogs and I are going to sleep through the heat…and so that tale will have to wait for a new day.
Image: DepositPhotos, © julos