The day you went away…

It’s time I stopped writing about affairs in the wider world, and used this blog as the confessional for indulging private concerns that is the trademark of blogging. Because there’s something I need to get off my chest. I am in an abusive relationship. And it doesn’t hurt any less just because it happens to be with my computer.

It seems all I do is give. Constantly I lavish lavish care, affection and time on my beloved Powerbook. I shower it with gifts – a new mouse, a pretty stand. And it said I wasn’t giving it enough space, so I even bought it an external hard drive. And what do I get in return? Today, it left me.
Sure, the hollow shell of what once was my laptop remains. But the computer I once knew, with all my emails and files, has gone. And I’m brokenhearted.
I was a fool. I fell so deeply for it because of its looks. Call me superficial, but it’s just so beautiful. And not just in a shallow, exterior kind of way. If you’ve ever spent much time using the Mac operating system, you’ll know it’s beautiful on the inside too.
And I’m not alone – 472 other people on this site alone have fallen under its spell. And some guy even wrote a book about it called Love At First Boot. Not even I’m that big an Apple tragic.
But back to my heartbreak. The biggest problem started yesterday, when I turned on the computer only to get this message:
What a beautifully designed error screen! It’s so typically Apple, with multiple languages and everything. They really are good at aesthetics. Much better than the Windows ‘blue screen of death’.
But unfortunately, when I followed the instructions and restarted it, the same thing happened again. And again. Which made me wonder, sacrilegiously I know, that perhaps they could have put a bit less thought into having it display all those languages so beautifully, and perhaps more into explaining WHAT’S ACTUALLY WRONG WITH THE BLOODY THING AND HOW YOU FIX IT.
My Mac guru friend explained to me that this error is known as “kernel panic”. Which to me sounds like a stoner’s late night KFC run. But I figured it was okay. I back up daily, and MacOS has an excellent repair system – if you boot from the system DVD, it fixes itself. Only while I was booting from the DVD, it crashed again.
So I figured I’d ring the Apple support line. It’s only six months old, after all. And it came with a year’s warranty. So guess how much they wanted to tell me how to fix my wonderful, nearly-new, already-horribly-overpriced laptop?
No, that’s not a typo. It really does cost $579. For which I get three years’ warranty and phone support. Because while I’d gotten a fairly ungenerous year’s warranty with the machine, it turns out that the standard phone support is only three months. For a laptop that costs more than almost anything else on the market. It’s outrageous. It’s disgusting. And it didn’t make me feel any better when the technician said I could get one-time phone support for a mere $50.
So I restarted it, and restarted it, and eventually managed to reinstall the operating system. It worked beautifully, backing up my old system and copying across all my files, programmes and settings automatically. It even remembered my passwords. Beautiful ease of use, as usual. There’s no way a Windows PC can do that.
Except then when I restarted it, it froze like a cheap Dell with no class.
So it’s off to the repair shop this afternoon. And I just can’t function. No programs, no files, no bookmarks, no passwords. Even my simplest daily tasks, like reading the blog comments, are extremely painful. I am having serious abandonment issues.
But most of all, I just feel used.