Sunday, November 04, 2007

Hell Has Frozen Over

Has Hell frozen over?

Really? It hasn't?

I could have sworn that I'd own a Mac computer only when Hell froze over. Or other words to that affect.

My computer died earlier this week. It was a Dell laptop. I'd probably killed it considering how much I made it do and the fact that I used it probably a good 8 to 12 hours a day or longer. It was old anyway. Probably four years old. I think that's long in computer years, isn't it? Isn't the life expectancy of a computer decrease significantly the moment you remove it from the store and then the day the warranty expires it goes on life support?

So, four years of good service. Not bad for the little laptop that I used as my desktop. Oh, let me tell you how it died. It wasn't anything dramatic or spectacular like sparks or flying pixels. I hadn't rebooted it in a while and I wanted to use my scanner so I thought I'd reboot and clear the memory cache before I started scanning my bills. I closed all the files and applications I had open. Then I clicked on the Shut Down button.

It shut down.

I waited. Giving it some time to rest. The poor thing needed it. Then pressed the Power button.

The computer whirred, the DVD drive spun, then stopped.


I waited. I waited some more. Then I pushed the Power button again. The computer whirred, the DVD drive spun, then stopped.


You'd think by now I'd be freaking out. Amazingly, I was calm. I don't know why. My freakin' computer wouldn't start and I didn't have a recent back up. (I know, I know. 40 lashes with a wet noodle. My most recent back up was July 2007) Although, to be fair, all of my important documents were stored on an external drive.

I didn't even call my husband and cry over the telephone.

I got up from my desk chair. Turned off my office light. Took my parrot and dog with me and we watched Grey's Anatomy episodes I'd recorded until my husband came home from work. When he came home, I let him get relaxed and situated before I said, "oh, by the way, I think my computer died today."

Me. Calm. I have a panic attack at the drop of a hat and here I am calmly telling my husband my computer died. His solution? It's time for a Mac.

Now, my husband and I have come from a long life of using PC's. DOS was the language of choice and we only reluctantly accepted Windows when it was introduced by Microsoft. Although, as a programmer, he was pretty hooked on UNIX too. But, for desktops and laptops, we went with PC's. For years. Decades. When Mac arrived on the world's doorstep, we scoffed and scorned its simpleton ways. Only people who didn't know how to use a computer would use a Mac, we taunted. With a Mac, now anyone could use a computer, we said disdainfully.

I admit it. We were PC snobs.

Then, suddenly, this year, my husband starts making noises about wanting a Mac. I look at him as if he just grew a horn from the center of his forehead. I have to admit, most of what he told me about them went in one ear and out the other. A temporary phase, I told myself. He'll come to his senses.

But, he didn't.

One day, he came home with a Mac laptop. I mean, he brought it right in our house! And, it stayed. He actually installed programs and copied over files from his old laptop. He was serious. The more he used it the more he loved it and sang its praises. For my husband to love a Mac meant one thing. Apple had improved their operating system and the way they ran programs. No longer just a box with a silhouette of an apple on it, but it had power and performance too. My husband, the die-hard PC programmer, was convinced. Then, he uttered those dreadful words, "We should get you a Mac, too."

I resisted. I balked. I argued. For every reason I gave for not wanting one, he would answer with two or three reasons why a Mac was better. There were Mac versions of the software I needed. If there weren't, Mac could run Windows in parallel. The darn guy started to convince me. Was I betraying my PC brethren?

So, here I am. Using a Mac. After my laptop died.

Hey, do you think my husband had anything to do with...? Nah.

I'm not hating my new Mac. The transition was painless, actually. So, I click a red button on the left instead of an X on the right to close a window. It still closes. My e-mail works. My Internet works. I can open my Word documents. I can even update my website like I did before, using the same software. So, I've mellowed in my old age. Aren't we supposed to try new things? Well, here I am, a baby boomer, trying new things.

Oh, right. The scanning. That's what started all this in the first place, wasn't it? Well, I must admit, I haven't tried it yet. Maybe next week.

1 comment:

Caesar said...

Great story. I am typing this comment on my new Mac laptop after "All" my computer years on a PC. I felt like a traitor for a second. After all I worked for Intel for 10 years and was a PC guy all my life. But once I pressed the power button on my Mac I forgot about it. Have fun!