I’m writing on Labor Day afternoon. The weather is beautiful, and I’m looking forward to a walk later. And my computer is working.
None of this is to be taken for granted. Normalcy is a shape-shifter, especially now, as we enter the fall countdown to the election, which all too often wakes me up in the middle of the night.
As if to present the perfect metaphor for our current unpredictable state in the States, on Thursday morning, I turned on my iMac per usual, only to have it stall in power-up mode. The Apple logo simply stared back at me after the progress bar completely filled.
So much for progress.
After numerous futile attempts to turn off the power and turn the machine back on (the electronic equivalent of beating my head against a wall), I realized I needed help. Several chat sessions with Apple techs got me only so far with attempts to reload the operating system. At least I had my laptop, so my work day was not wasted, but by evening, I gave up on the iMac and decided to try again the next morning.
On Friday I abandoned the chat support in favor of a phone call. And I lucked out with a wonderful tech support guy who stayed with me as I waited for the OS to download (a half-hour, at least). Turns out he lives in Montreal, so we discussed how Canadians are following our presidential election, Covid restrictions there and here, and also learning languages. He speaks seven: Portuguese (he’s from Brazil), French, English, Spanish, a little Italian, Mandarin, and is learning Russian. Wish my mind were that flexible!
Meantime, we got the software to open up, but my cursor froze, once again, in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. He suggested I buy a wired mouse to finish the set-up. What a concept! I said au revoir and headed out to Best Buy.
The mouse did the trick, and with one more call to tech support (this guy was in Oregon and we ended up chatting about greyhounds as pets while waiting) I got the iMac up and running again. I spent the rest of the afternoon updating old apps and the OS to the latest version, and everything is working perfectly again (for now).
A dysfunctional computer is certainly not the greatest calamity as long as you have backup. Frustrated as I was (and concerned that I might have to buy a new iMac, which is an expensive proposition) the whole experience turned into an unexpected opportunity to meet interesting people with different perspectives whom I never would have encountered otherwise. I also learned some new computer tricks and sharpened my problem-solving skills. And I was able to fix my iMac.
Not bad for what presented as a major roadblock at the end of last week. May all our issues be so pleasantly resolved by being open to unexpected encounters along the way.
Image: Ryan McGuire