Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hector and I

Last Wednesday the unthinkable happened. My MacBook, Hector, crashed.

He crashed hard.

I was typing away when he suddenly froze up for the first time in 4 1/2 years. He had been running a little funny, but I thought it was due to the recent software upgrade to Snow Leopard. I forced him to restart by holding down his power button.

That's when all hell broke loose.

And by 'hell', I mean a blinking '?' symbol. Yes, the dreaded '?' symbol. It means your Mac can't locate it's own brain. I've kept all his original installation discs and manuals so I whipped them out and tried some troubleshooting. Nothing worked. I cooed, I coaxed, but Hector wouldn't rouse. He was gone.

As this realization dawned, I experienced a curious feeling in my face. It was a flushing heat that resembled some sort of demented blush. It was accompanied by a clenching in my chest and I had trouble thinking straight. I was having some kind of panic attack.

Thankfully, it was gone as quickly as it came and a warm calm descended over me. I could practically hear Heavenly Father telling me, "He's gone. There's nothing you can do. Calm down."

The fact that I'd backed up my data was also a comfort. It was nearly midnight, so I knew Apple's call-in support centers were closed. I tried a little more troubleshooting, but to no avail.

I didn't know what to do with myself. I couldn't do homework, I couldn't check my email. I felt cut off and isolated. And that's sayin' a lot because I'm somewhat of a hermit to begin with. Eventually I gave up and watched 'Thor' where I found solace in the gleaming biceps thereof.

The point I'm trying to make is that I've become far too dependent upon my laptop. My whole life is on it. A stranger could learn everything there is to know about me through Hector. My favorite websites are on it, my journal is on it, my favorite movies and television shows are on it, my music is on it, my stories are on it, my schoolwork is on it, my schedule is on it. You name it, it's on it.

The next day I called Apple and they walked me through a diagnosis that confirmed my fears; Hector was done for. It turns out his demise was entirely my fault. I was unknowingly running him with a scarce 5GB of free space. Unable to bear the weight, Hector buckled.

I would need a new hard drive. Apple's estimate was $700 to fix him. At that rate I might as well invest in a new computer. The panic was long-gone but at this point the wretched sorrow took over and I burst into self-pitying tears. I couldn't deal with this!

Thankfully, the computer repair center in the BYU bookstore had New Hector up and running for $145 in 30 minutes the next day, Friday. I had gone without a personal computer for two days and somehow survived.

I think I deserve an apple-shaped medal.
And an honorable mention for my dad: I know you don't read these, but thank you for the help!


  1. Oh man. You made me feel a little despair just by reading about this experience you had. I'm glad you were able to repair him at a fairly decent price.

  2. First, I like that you name everything. Two, this post about gave me an anxiety attack. Three, you do deserve an apple-shaped medal, I don't think I could go that long with a computer. I'm glad re-incarnated Hector is up and running.

  3. I feel your pain, many times over. Congratulations! It is painful to be without a computer, and painfully painful to realize how dependent we are on them.