Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I'M BACK…FINALLY!


In case you hadn't noticed, Riverdaze has been "off the air" for a week. This unanticipated silence comes, not because of sickness, incarceration, or some impromptu vow of silence. And no, I haven't been off on an rum-induced toot or a fishing ramble. (Yes, there are differences.) 

Nope, plain and simple, I've been technologically afflicted—which is to say, the victim of computer issues. To put it more succinctly and painfully, my Mac died.

I suspect the cause of death was a lightening strike several weeks ago. I usually unplug my computer during thunderstorms. It, along with the printer, back-up hard drive, and peripheral speakers are all plugged into a single power strip with surge protection. Because I mistrust any such device's capability of beating lightening to the punch, I play it safe and unplug whenever I hear the rumble of distant thunder.

Unfortunately, the storm that did me in was sneaky. The sky got dark, it looked like rain…but not a peep was heard prior to a tremendous and obviously very nearby explosion. The deafening SNAPBANG! shook the surrounding earth sufficiently to be felt inside this stone cottage. All power within the house immediately went out.

The sound came from the roadway along the hill, perhaps a hundred feet from the rear of the building and my corner room. I rushed out the back door to see what had been hit. This turned out to have been both an electrical power line on a pole across the street, and Time-Warner's main box on an adjacent pole. The bolt  blew out the electric line's transformer at the top of the hill as well as the cable's feed box and several cable lines. My cable feed comes directly off this box—on a wire which crosses the street to a pole on my side, thence to another pole in my yard, down that pole and into the ground to the cottage, where it reemerges, feeds into the splitter box, and into the house to TV box and a modem which is connected to an AirPort Extreme base station. My Mac gets its cable hookup wirelessly via this AirPort Extreme base station mounted on a bookshelf a few feet from the desk in my workroom. As it subsequently turned out, the cable line was fried by the strike, along with Time-Warner's TV box and the modem. All had to be replaced. 

My Mac apparently got zapped through the electrical line, though the surge wasn't immediately fatal. I did notice I had a hard time getting the Mac to turn on, but just chalked it up to a balky power switch since I almost never actually turn the computer off, but simply put it to "sleep" once I'm done for the day. Until last Thursday, when I switched it off to move some stuff around, and couldn't get it back on. 

After exhausting all my computer skills to effect a restart—which took about ninety seconds, though I repeated them each and every one multiple times—I carted my ailing Mac to the shop and tried to deal with the withdrawal symptoms until Myladylove came home after work. The computer shop called the following day to say the problem was terminal. I sucked it in, asked about prices for a replacement, and made my choice.

I'm proud to say I picked my new iMac up yesterday evening. It is hooked up, running smoothly, and dazzling me with its technological improvements—even though my old iMac was only four years old. And the best part is that I never lost a single bit or byte of data—though that new Nikon camera will have to wait.

Now, it's back to work—though rejoicing all the way!—as I'm seriously behind on my work. I'll leave it up to you to decide whether this is good news or not.
———————                       

24 comments:

Bonnie said...

a mac for a mac - how fitting! nice to be thrilled with a purchase we are forced into making, isn't it? so glad to hear you did not lose any of your photo archive. welcome back.

George said...

May your old iMac rest in peace. I'm sure it gave you many years of good service. In any event, welcome back. The photo of the cardinal is a terrific!

KGMom said...

Oh my.
Actually, I attributed your silence to the Zen state that you must enter each fall along your lovely river. ;-)

Glad all is well.

Several years ago, my son--who is a software engineer for QualComm--suffered a power issue. He too has surge protectors galore. Apparently, someone had stolen wiring from an electrical transformer (or something like that), and a power surge fried everything. Computers, TIVO box, printers, and such. Can you imagine?

Grizz………… said...

Bonnie…

Forced, but not too forced as I was planning on upgrading my desktop within the next couple of months. BUT, I was also planning on giving Myladylove the old desktop to replace the even older laptop she's been using, seeing as how that ancient device no longer handles browsers which are supported by YouTube, Facebook, CNN, Fox, G-Mail, etc. Which means we still need to buy another computer.

But this one's neat. And after a week of trying to answer email—tersely—and posting a very few comments on blogs via my iPod, I'm tickled to death to be back among the technologically civilized.

Grizz………… said...

George…

Four good years—which is short for a Mac, though not the advance of technology. By contrast, my Mac laptop is still working after eight or nine, the Mac desktop prior to the one I replaced this week, still working, is 12 years old…and the Mac desktop THAT replaced, also still working, with a hard disk holding a whopping 30 MB of memory (!) is about to celebrate it's 25th birthday.

But this new iMac is brighter, incredibly faster, crisper in pixels and thus photo detail, loaded with goodies, has a compact-but-fullsize wireless keyboard and magic mouse, a HD the size of Cleveland, could probably write my columns for me if I had the right software.

I shot the cardinal out the window from my desk…only had to pick up the camera, point, press the shutter. And expert could have done the same.:-)

Grizz………… said...

KGMom…

Huh. I'm afraid my usual autumnal state is not one of Zen-like silence and immobility, but rather a muttering, shouting, frantically scurrying demeanor most reminiscent of a chipmunk trying to get in winter stores, dodge falling leaves, and avoid the cats and Cooper's hawk.

But all is well and I did not lose anything on the old Mac.I do back up my data, though hadn't added a few recent shots and a column or two. (The latter I could always have retrieved from their email submission.) Still, I didn't want to lost those photos. And didn't, which is great.

Yup, I feel really sorry for your son. And that's exactly why, surge protectors or not, I unplug during lightening storms. Of course your son had no way of knowing he was going to be done in by a sneak thief.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Goodness me, Grizzled, that's something I would never think of! I'm glad your archives were safe.

'Rum-induced toot' is a lovely phrase!

Grizz………… said...

Raph…

I'm glad everything remained safe, too. I once lost a lot of data by my own hand—and never want to repeat that experience again. So I make backups…only now I'll make them daily rather than weekly.

For the record…I've never been on a rum-induced toot in my life. However, a friend and I, on our way back to our corner of Ohio from exploring West Virginia's tumbling trout streams—a distance of several hundred miles—once decided we'd stop at every ice-cream shop we passed for a large chocolate malt. We ignored all franchise establishments, as we knew they couldn't fashion a good chocolate malt if their life depended upon it. If a shop offered only milkshakes and not genuine malts, we took our business elsewhere. We also agreed that if either of us were still working on the latest malt, we would pass all potential shops until our cups were empty.

Yes…I still like chocolate malts.

Bernie said...

Hi Grizz, I did wonder if you were feeling well or not. So glad it was just your computer, they can always be replaced.
I bought a new laptop as well, I have an HP but really thought about the Mac. I am having a hard time using the Windows 7 on this and sometimes find myself back on my old laptop which is only 3 years old.
I don't use my laptop for nearly as many things as you do so this is sufficient for my needs. I hope you had everything backed up, I hate to think of you losing your photos........:-) Hugs

Grizz………… said...

Bernie…

I did have almost everything backed up. Only a few photos I'd shot earlier in the week and a couple of columns were missing and not already transferred to my peripheral hard drive backup. But I did get everything back, so all is well.

I've never used a Windows OS to any extent. Every magazine office, newsroom, or graphics studio I've ever been in use mostly Macs, as do perhaps the majority of writers and photographers I know. I've always liked Macs for their simplicity and elegance. Open the box, plug 'em in, and start doing whatever it is you do.

They are production based as opposed to entertainment based machines. Or so I've heard. Which doesn't make them better, just different. I'm not a gamer. I don't work on spreadsheets. Macs do what I want/need to do, do it extremely well, quickly, easily. And that's just my opinion…not a plug.

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ
so glad you are back and all is up and running. I was 'looking' for you. :-) My comouter caught a virus, took several days to "clean" and now I also have a new flat screen monitor and a new printer-scanner-copier. So I am more modern too.
Itis muggy here. uck

Love you
Gail
peace.....

Kelly said...

Yeah! Thank goodness you were able to retrieve all of your data...and you got a new Mac to boot! (Long live the Mac.)

Grizz………… said...

Gail…

I'm glad to be back.

The bloggers I know though visiting their blogs, and the readers who stop by Riverdaze, are—in my mind, anyway—friends. As such, I look forward to our daily communications. So I've truly missed not being able to hold up my end of things, or even read many blogs.

Sorry to hear you've also had computer problems, but glad you got things fixed. It's always something, isn't it?

Take care…

Carolyn H said...

Griz: I'm glad you're back! And I'm glad it was the "only" a computer that got hurt.

Carolyn H.

Grizz………… said...

Kelly…

I was grateful to have not lost any data, even though most stuff was backed up. Still I had some recent shots I'd have hated to lose.

But hey, I do have this new iMac. My old (4 yrs.) one was an iMac, too. Same size screen, 21.5 in., but NOT the same display. This one is brighter, far sharper, with incredible color and details. Also, this processor is many times faster than my old Imac, and I notice that speed in everything I do.

Oddly, this is my shortest timespan ever between Mac upgrades; but it is, by far, the most noticeable jump in overall technology.

Haven't played around with the upgrade of iPhoto. I'm also thinking of adding either Lightbox, Aperture, or Nikon's Capture as I'm in the Stone Age when it comes to photo precessing tools.

Grizz………… said...

Carolyn…

Thank you, I'm glad myself to be back, unharmed (though financially butt-kicked) and ready to do more riverbank business. BTW, I saw my first juncos of the season here last week. Have also had a red-winged blackbird hanging around the seed feeder, the first ever to visit, though, of course, there are plenty of RWs nearby in the more open areas.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Sorry about the demise of your computer Jim - but glad to have you back with your new one, particularly as the first thing I saw was that cardinal - my all time favourite bird.

Wanda..... said...

In the next week or so, we're making a decision, about what to buy to replace my computer! I'm excited, but at the same time...have a slight fear of change.

Over the weekend, I saw my first junco of the season too, not near the house, but along a hedge row by the drive, same as last year!

Grizz………… said...

Weaver…

Glad to be back…and glad to be of service. I knew you'd appreciate the redbird. :-D

Grizz………… said...

Wanda…

Much as I wish the new computer purchase hadn't been forced on me—at least not quite yet—I'm more excited by this machine than any one I've ever brought home other than my very first. Didn't expect that, or know there was so much new and better out there in such a short time. I did dither around about going strictly laptop, as a lot of my friends have done. But just this afternoon, I sorted through and edited a number of new photos—and did so on full-screen mode, which, at 21.5 inches and on a crisp, bright, high-detail display, it was fantastic and fun. So I'm glad I didn't go with a laptop; I'll do that next time.

Didn't see the juncos today. But times are a'changin'.

Jayne said...

I know that sick feeling well, but like you said, thank goodness it's so easy with an iMac to be back up and running in no time!

Grizz………… said...

Jayne…

Yup, it isn't fun when the window to your online world goes dark, not to mention those gazillion files you have stored in the magic box. But getting back and running was as simple as plugging in, and clicking on the wireless networks box—which appeared first thing—so things could pair up. The whole deal, from switching the iMac on to having desktop and internet and everything ready to go took maybe 30 seconds, literally.

You can't beat that. So all's well that ends well.

Freda said...

What a wonderful bird - cardinal - you said somewhere? I am a relatively new imac user and am enjoying the freedom to actually enjoy the computer instead of having to constantly fiddle, update and scan my previous windows pc. Thanks for saying your readers are like friends; hope to get to know you over the weeks. Every Blessing

Grizz………… said...

Freda…

I do consider readers friends—and treat them as such. With kindness, hospitality, and a bit of kidding now and then.

I'm a long-time Mac user. Never had anything else, as a matter of fact…and always thought Windows-based machines took all the fun out of computers. Macs are elegant and easy, and get the job done right away. I expect you'll grow to love your iMac.