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.