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My computer is dying and I am in pain. It is a common form of technology-induced emotional torture and we’ve all been there. The kind of distress that can drive you to distraction. The last two weeks have been as suspenseful as a car crash, unfolding in agonizing slow-motion.
I’ve been around and I know the unspoken rule: “within 4 years, every computer shall become obsolete”. So I started to get nervous as we approached my computer’s 4th birthday in June: all its software had been updated to the max. Like clockwork, messages appeared from the ether, telling me updates could no longer be uploaded. When my most important program, Aperture, slowed to a crawl, I carried my ailing machine over to the Apple store. The young “genius” informed me that its hard drive, processor and RAM were all healthy. All innocence and light, he told me earnestly that my computer should continue to function perfectly and for a long time, as soon as I put my finger on the software glich that was causing the problem.
I needed a specialist for diagnosis. Was it a library storage problem? Was my powerful Time Machine back-up interfering with my Aperture editing program? A referral to Apple Care hinted at the cold, hard truth. “None of your systems or software are supported by Apple at this time”, said the expert in the most sympathetic tone he could muster.
Was it time for the Geek Squad? “I never use them”, scoffed my unavailable, computer saavy son. And then, “don’t throw good money after bad, its an old machine” the older voices of wisdom chimed in. But like so many, I prefer the devil I know. I longed to fix my old, trusted computer. Ultimately, the final diagnosis: the body is fine, but the mind has gone. The 4-year rule of obsolescence still holds and for me, it’s apple-picking season again.