rhienelleth: (dreambadcentury - nosprinkles)
That topic line should be read with a tone of sarcasm. Okay, so there is a little silver lining: I have AppleCare. Good news, this won't cost me a dime. Bad news, I will be without my beloved aluminum Macbook for 5-7 working days, and anything I haven't backed up via Time Machine is gone. 

Weirdly, it might not be the hard drive after all. The very nice Genius Bar guy ran a diagnostic that seemed to think my hard drive was a-okay. But he also said that given my symptoms, he's skeptical of that result. Also weirdly, my camera is apparently bad, something that would have really sucked come Mark's yearly trip to Japan. (We use video chat to stay in touch.) Also, my battery was, in the words of the support guy "really, really bad". As in, he seemed surprised it hadn't experienced a catastrophic failure yet. I mean, it wasn't holding a charge as long as it used to, but overall I thought it was doing okay for being more than two years old, and getting constant use. 

However, whatever is wrong is serious. It wouldn't boot up even from an external drive. When I asked about sending the old hard drive back if they replaced it, he just shook his head and told me that Apple's way of handling things is to "replace everything they touch" when doing a repair under warranty, and they won't send any of the replaced parts back. So, the good news is, I'll likely receive almost a completely brand new Macbook. The bad news is, I haven't time Machined in a really long time. :(

rhienelleth: (Default)
Well, that's it. According to those far more in the know than I (ie, the experts who hang around the apple discussion forums), it's either the HD, or the HD cable. Best case scenario, it's the cable and the data is still there waiting for me. If it's the HD, probably not recoverable, and I'm out whatever isn't backed up (which is a lot). AppleCare should pay for it all, at least. If they have the parts there, it could be an in-and-out Genius Bar fix. If not...I'm sending it off for repair. :(


Oct. 3rd, 2011 07:04 pm
rhienelleth: (Default)
Disk Utility doesn't see my hard drive. That's probably a bad sign.


Oct. 3rd, 2011 05:34 pm
rhienelleth: (Default)
I am posting this from my husband's iMac, since my Macbook Pro won't turn on. It chimes, and then the apple logo appears, with a spinning circle...and it spins, and spins, and spins, and then the apple logo changes to a "stop" symbol. So right now I'm trying to boot it in safe mode. It's been at least fifteen minutes. It appeared to be working, with the progress bar underneath the apple logo, but then that switched back to the spinning circle, which is still spinning, and spinning...

Next, I'll be trying to boot from the install disk. The good news is, I have AppleCare. the bad news is, it's been a really long time since I bothered to Time Machine. :( Oh, and I have a paper due for school tonight. And writing files that are only on my hard drive. *tries not to freak out*

I hope this problem gets resolved without losing everything on my computer and/or needing to send it off to Apple for weeks. 

Edit: I have tried resetting the PRAM or whatever, and that didn't work, so now I am trying to reset the SMC, which actually all of the symptoms sound very familiar, so *fingers crossed* this might be it.
rhienelleth: (Default)
Apple's new mouse looks freaking awesome.

Mark is going to hopefully play with one in person today.  :)


Oct. 6th, 2009 07:54 pm
rhienelleth: (baltar/six - blessedbeast)
Well, I have to say, the 13" aluminum unibody Macbook Pro?  Pretty much the perfect laptop.  Small, light, yet with a super responsive, comfy  keyboard, a clear, glossy screen, and a lightweight but durable metal frame carved from a single piece of aluminum.  It's a joy to write on.  My Macbook keys were always a little....clicky and not smooth.  These keys are smooth, and as stated, comfy. 

Of course, I spent a lot of time admiring the keyboard.  It's the most important part, really.  (The backlight is awesome!)  If I'm going to write on it, it has to be comfortable.

Also, my battery life right now?  Says 7 hours, 6 minutes.  Seven freaking hours.  That's pretty awesome, too.  Of course, I'm sure battery life is dictated by a lot of things, including that cool backlit keyboard feature.  (I'm sure there's a way to dim that some.)

Oh, there is!  The F5 and F6 keys.  In case you were wondering.

So, with the trade in of the old Macbook (it actually made me sad, saying good-bye) and the educator discount of another $100 off, the price of the new Macbook Pro was very reasonable.  The same price we might have spent on a reasonable Dell or HP.  Not bad.

The very best thing about the new Macbook?  It's so pretty and clean!  And I think the aluminum case will hold up much better than the white poly-whatever did. 

Loading all of my programs and files again was painless - twenty minutes with Time Machine, and I have my desktop back like it was never gone!  Although iTunes did something a little weird, but that was iTunes.  Everything else - even Office - reappeared as if by magic! 

Oh - and I love the button-less trackpad.  No grooves to collect dirt and grime, smooth as glass (because it is!) and with some pretty cool swipe features I barely know how to use yet.

So far, there are no cons, only pros.  I see myself using this beauty for a nice long time. :D

rhienelleth: (deathsparkly - nosprinkles)
All writers love their tools. In the time before netbooks, I was at a writing conference when someone pulled out one of these, and every writer in the general vicinity leaned in and went "Oooooooh.....what is that???"

For every writer that loves to write things out longhand before typing up their prose, there are probably two more that love having the latest portable gadget for writing electronically whenever, and wherever they want. Because everyone loves toys, and while there's a certain romanticism to longhand writing, especially with something like a fountain pen (I own five or six), nothing can beat the convenience and ease technology has given us. I remember getting my first typewriter. I was in middle school, and my grandmother gave it to me when she found out I was scribbling novels in spiral notebooks. I loved that clunky thing. I had to use white out if I wanted to erase a line or a word, but it was such a thrill to see typed pages of my work. I felt like a real writer!

My love of great new gadgets to write on hasn't much changed. Post-typewriter, I've used my desktop computer, a palm with fold out keyboard, and three different generations of laptops, including my current beloved Macbook.

What point does this have? Well. My husband and I bought our Macbooks at the same time two years ago. We didn't anticipate "upgrading" for at least three years (after AppleCare ran out). We loved lots of things about our new Macbooks as recent converts from Windows - the 13" size was very portable, but the keyboard was still comfortable for long writing sessions (very important!). The intuitive operating system and great software that came with it, the magnetic connection of the power cord, and long battery life (four hours! The longest our Thinkpads had ever achieved was three, and it faded fast.) The lack of virus vulnerability and spyware problems. Time machine, and how fabulously easy it was to restore everything, including the image of your desktop if anything ever did go wrong with the Macbook.

However, there was one major complaint: the white case sure collected dirt like no one's business. And the invisible shield protectors we placed on them only kind of worked - the dirt collected on them, instead, and around the edges of where they fit over the Macbook. Had we known, we would have splurged on the black version, but we didn't until too late.

But this was a purely cosmetic and minor complaint, compared to everything we loved. We started saying things like "Well, when we get new ones in a few years, we'll be sure not to get white." Pretty out of the box. Not so much later.

Fastforward two years, and the husband acquires an HD video camera for filming classes. But the iMovie (or is it iDVD?) crashes constantly when he tries to edit the video. We've spent the last month looking for a solution, and finally I called the Apple store. Turns out, the video cards in our Macbooks probably can't handle the HD video well enough. We knew we needed to upgrade the hard drive to something bigger, at a minimum, but the video card, like most laptops, is part of the package - it can't be upgraded.

However, we can trade our Macbooks in and get credit towards new ones. In reality, the only one we NEED to upgrade is Mark's. But the new 13" Macbook Pros sport some pretty awesome features:

~ 7 hour battery life, good for 1000 charges (approximately five years).
~ aluminum unibody case, VERY sturdy, and much less prone to showing dirt than the pure white body we currently have.
~ backlit keyboard! Words cannot express how awesome this feature seems to me - I could write in the dark! (Okay, so I'd probably never really need to, but you never know!)
~ larger hard drive. I've already had to delete thousands of jewelry photos from this one.
~ faster processor, obviously, but it's not like the old ones were slow.

Because the house refinance is taking care of taxes this year, the money we were saving for that would buy both Macbooks if we trade in our old ones (only $460 per trade, but our configuration sells for $7-800 new these days, and I wouldn't feel right selling mine for that with the obvious dirt issue. I mean, it's just discoloration, but it looks crappy. *sigh*)

And who can resist things like a backlit keyboard?? Seeing the pictures of that made me go "Oooooooh...!" the same way seeing that not-a-netbook did years ago. I imagine myself writing on the aluminum Macbook, and it's exciting the way that typewriter was. The reality is, I don't NEED an upgrade. I'll just be unspeakably jealous of Mark's if we upgrade his and I keep my dirty white Macbook! :D
rhienelleth: (baltar/six - blessedbeast)
Last night my precious MacBook did something very strange - Firefox shut down unexpectedly, and when I restarted it a warning window popped up advising me to restart my computer. I did. Instead of giving me that wonderful "on" sound like Wall-E uses, it did what in my Windows experience would've been considered a boot to DOS. Things scrolled by on a black screen that might as well have been written in Greek for all they mean to me. I had this instant of panic, wherein I realized that my many, many years of living with Windows had given me at least rudimentary knowledge about what to do in a similar situation, but with Mac I am absolutely lost.

I left to use the other computer to look up help online, and when I came back, my desktop was exactly as it should be, except for a little box that said "Mac OS X quit unexpectedly" and asking if I'd like to send a report to Apple. Cautiously relieved, I did, but then only about twenty minutes later, it restarted itself and gave me the same exact message.

Mark finally came upstairs and I explained my panic. He asked the reasonable question "Have you done all the updates recently?"

Er, no.

So I did them. Two in particular stuck out as possibly very important: A firmware update, and a Mac OS update.

Here's the real kicker: I have never backed up w/Time Machine. Yes, yes, I know. I am a moron! See, Mark had two portable HD's. He was supposed to take everything off one and give it to me months ago. He never did, yet he's backed up his Macbook via Time Machine several times. Unbeknownst to me, he had decided to keep that other portable HD strictly for school use. He says he told me that, while I don't remember any such thing. The upshot is, today I am ordering a portable HD from Newegg so I can back up my freaking Mac in case something terrible happens. It hasn't repeated its odd behavior since I did the updates, thank goodness, but it's past time I was more prepared.

And yes, we have AppleCare. :D

So, question f-list - how big a HD should I get? I am sort of tempted by this one, even though I can't actually imagine using up an entire terabite of space. Also, I sort of prefer to stick with brands like Western Digital and Seagate, I suppose.

ETA: I ended up getting this one.  I like the handy portable size, I've heard nothing but good things about the WD Passports, and I think 320GB will serve me well.
rhienelleth: (Default)
Hmm, it seems for a mere $500 more and an extra week of waiting, I could have gotten one of these, instead of my regular 13" Macbook. Of course, to get the same size HD and an even close to comparable processor speed, I'd've had to spend an extra $1800. Seems like an awful lot to get something two pounds lighter and half an inch thinner.

Nope, I'm not sorry I went ahead with the MacBook at all. :) Maybe by the time I need a new one, the MacBook Air will be a better value for the $$$. And really, the MacBook is already so much smaller and lighter than my old notebook, it already feels like a light and thin model.

Speaking of which, I went ahead an bought a screen cleaning kit (chamois, solution), a BestSkinsEver (pictured, also known as an Invisible Shield, but BSE is half the price for the exact same product), and a travel lock, so when I'm riding on planes and trains, I can feel secure that my laptop will still be there when I have to go use those teeny tiny bathrooms.

*Note: Even though my MacBook is white, all the pics of IS seem to like show the shiny protective coverings on black MacBooks. These were a real pain to put on, let me tell you, but in the end, so worth it! I like this so much, I've ordered one for my iPod as well. These are a great way to protect your valuable electronics while preserving the original look.

I seem to be rather enamored with my shiny new laptop, and more determined to keep it in its pristine original condition than I was with my thinkpad. Maybe it's all that white. :D

Hmm, some people should be receiving bobbles any time. As soon as I know they have, I'll post pics.


rhienelleth: (Default)

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