the scariest thing that has ever happened to me

Thursday, 11:35am: after a morning filled with work and drafting out my ideas for my latest piece, i decide it's time for shower and food. I shut down all the programs on my macbook pro, close the lid, and let the tough little guy sleep. he works ever so hard!

Thursday, 12:46pm: having showered and eaten a light lunch -- a turkey sandwich-- i move back to my computer to quickly type up my proposal for my pedagogy of composition class. I pop open the lid, and there is nothing...just black greets me, with the light on...

I assume the poor guy froze. it happens occasionally. not too often, but once every month or so, it'll just nod off too far. So, i do a hard restart.

screen is still black...I wait patiently for the some sign of life. I hear the hard-drive spinning, all the normal boot-up noises. after a couple minutes, i check controls. Caps Lock light comes on, sound works, number lock comes on. i do the next logical step, which is plug in my Samsung monitor. it remains black.

I restart my computer again thinking, perhaps, if something was up, i'd have to restart the computer for it to register the second screen. After the reboot, nothing...

well, i'm not a mac pro. If this was a PC desktop, i'd fix this in about how long it takes me to drive to Best Buy or wherever and buy a new video card. Yep, my "amazing skills" deduced video chip death.

On a macbook pro, that's a huge problem. Unlike PCs towers, the chip isn't separate. Oh no, it's apart of the logic board. and you can't actually replace the chip, you have to replace the board...

I was terrified...I had a feeling, $700, $800 maybe, down the tube. hell, maybe more, since that'd prolly cover the parts...maybe...

Thursday, 1:45pm- troubleshooting and panic session over, i toss my computer into my bad and run to the nearest apple store. i couldn't make an appointment, obviously, so i just drove there and hoped they could squeeze me in. Luckily, they had a spot at 3. I'm cutting it close to class at that point, but it's worth it. I go to starbucks, have some terrible coffee, and return at...

Thursday, 2:55- i check in and wait. The Genius approaches me, and, he runs it through the "proper diagnostics" even though after i told him how i troubleshot it, he knew. Turns out, nVidia shipped a bunch of chips with crappy pins. this was music to my ears. why?

because that means, there HAD to be a product recall/free replacement plan in place. Apple always does such things. it's one of their redeeming qualities --and trust me, i'm not an Appleophile, at all. the iPad is RETARDED-- sure enough, he checks out some stuff, and it's covered, 100% free repair. BOOYAH!

then the bad news. we're backed up in house. got about 25 towers back there, can't send them out. If we do it in house, it's 7-10 days. we can send it to a central repair facility nearby and have it done in 4-6 days. Well, 4-6 isn't terrible, so, sure, why not...

AH, this is a partial repair. to do it there, they HAVE to run a full diagnostic on site. and if there is ANYTHING wrong, they fix it.

a couple things run through my head: "Man, i need a new Hard-drive in there soon...shit, they might flip it!" "shit, i think i have a loose wire running from my video to my screen. SHIT they might do something scary like replace the screen!"

those things...would not be free. So, i was staring a "send it to central, have it back faster, but possibly cost me a LOT of money and lose ALL my data (since they don't do backup/recovery without paying for it UPFRONT)" or "wait 7-10 days and know they won't touch anything else without talking to me"

well, it was a simple choice...take the chance! lol. ok, not really. i hadn't decided at that point, but i knew i better go back-up a bunch of files anyway. ya never know what'll happen when someone opens up a laptop. i don't trust these things --but i LOVE you compy!!!-- and you sign a disclaimer saying "it's not apple's fault if your hard-drive is wiped." I take the case sheet, saying it'll be free, and run away to class

Thursday, 4pm. I wander in, just in time for class. As i look around, the head professor isn't there so, i ask "who wants to let me borrow their computer?!?" basically, i just needed to restart my computer in target disk mode while having it hooked up to another computer. Then, drag and drop the files i "need" from my computer to my external hard-drive. That's when i was reminded that there IS a computer over here, and over here, and in that room there, and you could use any of those...I then sat through class, somewhat distracted, thinking instead about what files i'm going to save, just in case, and wondering if i can do a disk image

Thursday, 7:15pm: class is over, and i've run home and come back with my external drive. sure enough, you have to be able to see your screen to do it. bugger...i transfered over files, sat and spoke with a new good friend who was printing out materials to send to competitions. for a random moment, my screen pops on! I freak out and ask my friend if he has his Mac OS 10.5 disk on him! and yes, he's a big enough geek, like me, where this might have happened. He didn't, sadly, so as i stare at a screen that i know will soon be dark, i feel sad...here was my chance for a disk image, and no one had an OS disk! lol

Thursday, 9:00pm: I return home, exhausted. screen went black again. I realized that i hadn't actually eaten since lunch at noon. I had a throbbing headache. I forced down a bean burrito, let out a big and crashed soon after. don't ask me the time, my brain was dead

Friday, 8:15am: I wake up, turn on my computer, hoping for a bit of a miracle. My friend was bringing his OS disk to class in the morning, and if my screen was good, Disk Image time! no such luck, so i shower, look at my supplies, feel nauseous, and head to class. as i walk, i call the apple store, hoping to get through and set-up an appointment to drop off my poor unhappy mac

Friday 10am: pass my buddy in the hall, tell him the sad news. go into class, a bit sullen, but, again, had my head EXPLODED UPON! if i wasn't such a lazy composer, i'd prolly be a decent theorist. but that seems like it takes work. i don't like work.

Friday 11am: I leave class, head to apple. was able to score a 11:15 appointment. go, check in, and the genius grabs a couple codes of compy, and we start talking. i tell her my worries about sending it in. She says "do you have Pro-Care?" and i reply "no, i'm out of warranty and never think to buy any of the add-ons" her reply "oh, well, Pro-Care gets first priority on repairs, so if you had it, it'd move into that pro-care line." We go through the motions, get the order laid out and then i ask "how much IS pro-care?"


i sit and think for a moment...then "are you able to tell if there are any pro-care computers in, or how long, in general, would it take in house if i had pro-care?"

she clicks away for a couple minutes. stops...stares at the scream. she softly utters "wow..." She looks up at me and says "well, if you HAD pro-care...we 'd have it done today...by, 1 or 2. we'd call you at 1 and tell you if it was done or if it needed an hour."

I look at it, and say, quite quickly. "well, that's an easy choice. Best $100 i've spent this week!" i run over, cash out, while she writes up another work order form, i assume, pro-care style. I come back over with my pro-care card, and ship it off!

Friday 12pm: back at my apartment, i clean my trombone for a presentation and warm-up. an apple rep calls at 1pm and says "it'll be an hour or so. did you know you have a loose wire in your display?"

"yeah, it's in the loose joint, right?"

"uh, actually, no...i checked all those wires and everything looks good. i tightened the hinge too. actually, it appears to be in the display. we'd have to replace the whole thing, if you want it do. it's intermittent and you have to press in a one relative area"

i chuckle "ah, yeah, i know that spot...right about the hinge. why i figured it was the hinge. N'ah, it's ok. those screens are expensive. what, a grand or so? yeah, it's ok, i'll just be nice to compy."

Thursday, 2:15: compy is fixed and i pick him up. they cleaned him up nicely. i had actually just cleaned it thursday morning, but an extra round of polish is nice. the apple guy that grabbed my compy asked if i wanted the receipt. it actually shows how much it WOULD have cost. i said "yeah, sure, it'll be a good laugh and a nice reminder of how expensive fixing a mac is." so, he prints it out and hands it to me:

Logic Board: $1,155

Service, Hardware, Level: $199

HOLY SHIT! this repair would have cost me $1,354!!! HOLY SHIT! right there is enough of a reason to switch back to PC. lol. that's a whole new computer. its funny, when i showed guys (who use apple computers) the receipt they were like "damn, might as well buy a new computer. my answer "uh...mine cost $3500...it's kinda tricked out..." i can't remember the exact price. I added on a few programs when i bought it, and the total was around there. the computer was probably only $2800-$3000. still, yeah...

Two amazing pieces of luck. 1) it being a quality control issue so it was free. 2) they had the logic board IN STOCK so it could be done quickly.

it was...scary. here i am, i just bought Ableton Live so i can do this piece, all this tons of work that hadn't been backed up since i moved to KC...scary as hell. and a lot of luck. I shall be the nicest person alive for awhile, i think. Karma paid me back in spades, IMO.

life...is still good. and i am thankful

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