Oops. Duckie Brown and Twelve Best Fashion Rules, Duckie's wonderful guest post was on Jackson's seventeenth birthday .... all the way back on September 22. The next morning one of my Apple desktops was, well, behaving poorly (yes, a little like a p/c ... ssssh). Apple Care was helpful and patient, even into the fourth hour on the phone (true, Michael was wonderful). Back in July in the middle of my move to Venice Beach, each of the desktops had behaved poorly and a few days apart needed to have their Nividia video cards and logic boards replaced; strange to know the name of the secret workings. But the day after Jackson's birthday, one was losing its logic and the other was spinning pumpkins.
Here's the thing to know about computers. Things can go awry, rather like owning a bike in Venice and glumly reading a police warning that if you own a bike, it will be taken and here's the instructions for that event.
Have a warranty. Apple Care is delicious and provides hours of generous help from incredibly patient Geniuses as well as parts and consultations as you like at the Apple Store. Back in the beginning of the Genius Bar, they kindly served Evian; after a few splashed hard drives too many, that did have to go. Leaving anything that could spill would be simply a disaster and physical damage aka water damage ends the care. The bits and pieces along with labor are plenty spendy, the price of a decent Lanvin or Balenciaga bag from what my pair each needed in July. The bill would have been something over 1,300.00 each and it was all covered. But all good things do end and these issues were straddling End of Apple Care. Michael soothed me immediately by promising another thirty days to make sure that the new problems could be sorted out.
Backups. Do it. Do it again and in a few ways. Not even like the night or two you are just too tired to swipe off mascara and the day's artifacts from your face. No. You are able with about three keystrokes to order your backups to do the work without your ever having to think about it. Apple's Time Machine is simply magnificent, automatically swooping in and making a mirror of absolutely everything, all the software and updates and the rest. Amazon sells (sssssh) the Iomega 1 TB (terabyte) external hard drive in a dark grey link here (yes, it made me think of a Balenciaga bad just that same tone) and it's discreet and 30.00 less than at the Apple Store. Get a pair and set them up and then forget about it. If anything goes awry, Time Machine will gently break the news to you. There will be choices.
More is necessary. Not much but yes another layer is healthy. All those chapters of the book you're working on and blog entries and letters that you really need? Email yourself a copy. Stored forever in the ether and always available to you. Photos? Not perfect but since you have at least three locations (your computer plus two externals) Picasa can be a free or almost free (depending on how huge your library is) place that stores your photos as well. It's frankly not as easy to send everything from Picasa back to your iPhoto library (well, I'm not Ms. I Know That Much About Computers) but it can be done, it's safe and photos really matter. Your music should be safe on two externals but perhaps even a third external (these do cost less than a pedicure) just for music and photos.
Software updates are essential and again one can set it up on automatic, just check with you to see if you want your computer to restart when necessary on its own time or ask you.
The lovely Julie Anne Rhodes, her amazing blog Jewels From The Roving Stove is linked here, wrote about her experience with computers and how to restore data, how to wipe data (lojack for laptops link here) and cancel all credit cards and how to deal with police reports in this post link here.
Here's the thing ... technology is here to stay. It can be a little intimidating (ok, it did take me a week to figure out how to get the USB cord from my very sweet Epson Artisan 810 into my desktop) but it's ever so cool that we can stuff an iPad (pure love, do download Pages for iPad for 9.99 and write your book there, email it to yourself and then it all shows up on your desktop, oh pure happiness). This event was really scary on the very last two days of Apple Care needing major work. Each has a nice new hard drive and Apple was kind enough to make it up with a nice ninety days of Apple Care. A new hard drive meant restoring information and it happened. Not too many quirks, not even that many hours. It worked.
Getting it all working took a lot of time and patience and genuine self-doubt. Which brings me to the next post ... a guest post about Yoga. All true and yet there is a very genuine part of me that believes fashion mixed in with Yoga and Pilates are even better.