Yesterday afternoon my Apple had a catastrophic failure. It’s something big–like the hard drive or the mother board. It is especially troubling right now because this is an extremely busy week. I’ve got an antique PC that I’m using now, but I’m also having to reconstruct a lot of work because (1) I had not backed everything up since the family medical emergencies started over the holidays (yes, that was bad) and (2) my back-up drive is formatted for my Apple, not a PC. I’m accustomed living where we do, in the rural Arkansas Ozarks, to dealing with internet outages, but losing the whole computer leaves me feeling like half a person. It’s like part of my brain died.
Living where we do, getting an Apple computer fixed isn’t easy. The nearest authorized repair shops are 75 miles from home. If I want Apple to fix the computer, I have to mail it away, complete with personal data. Argh. I bought an Apple because they have always been more reliable for me than PCs; it seemed like a good investment. The only problem is that in the past when I had an Apple, I also lived near an authorized Apple store, where I could have minor repairs done. Now I don’t; the nearest stores are in Dallas and St. Louis. Double argh.
Modern life means using computers, but this computer failure reminds me that they become too much the centers of our lives in many cases. Too often instead of walking outside, looking around at the sky, sniffing for ozone, and feeling the humidity, we call up Weathern Underground or the Weather Channel to see if rain is on the way. Mr. Homesteader occasionally resents my blogging time, so I’ll bet he’s glad my good computer isn’t working. Still, I’d rather live with computers than without them.
Computers have changed the way we get news. No longer are we restricted to local papers and three or four network news channels. I can read the news from the right and the left and everything in between and use my own brain to sort out fact from fiction. I can reunite with old friends, even people I haven’t seen for a quarter century or longer. I can discuss cooking and farming and nature with people from around the US and even around the world. And for that, despite the obvious downsides to computers, I am grateful.
What are you favorite and least favorite things about computers?
Copright 2010 Ozarkhomesteader.