August 29, 2011 Jill

iMac G5My first Mac — it was (until very recently) a desktop — am iMac G5. Out of the box everything work. I was stunned. No techno-fiddling to get things to work. No days and days of effort to get everything transferred and setup. No learning curve.

A day or two after I plugged it in I was making stuff for the web.

The iMac G5 altered the course of my career.

It’s death was not so pretty.

A week ago Sunday, it would no longer turn on.

Last Monday, the guy at the genius bar pronounced the mother board fried. He also called the computer “vintage” and told me Apple no longer services it. In other words, they wouldn’t pull out the hard drive for me.

The iMac was no longer my main computer. I have a Power Book Pro that I use for most stuff. The iMac was however the computer on which I kept my iTunes library, one of my email accounts, my calendar and my address book, among other things. That’s a lot of essential info and I have spent the better part of the last week retrieving it.

First there was freeing the hard drive from the computer. No mean feat. If the idea of opening up what was never designed to be opened wasn’t daunting enough, the list of required tools was. T8 and T6 screwdrivers? FTW?! And some plastic card thing-y that you need to loosen the latches on the bezel (whatever that is).

It took three days. I did it. I borrowed the screw drivers from Bobby and MacGyvered the plastic card by gaffer taping one end of my hospital card.

Now I had the hard drive. Next came a trip to Canada Computers for a enclosure to put it in.

And then the really hard part, the part that’s kept me up all night trolling the forums and techno-tinkering. I’ve had to change permissions on hard drives and the names of files. I’ve moved so much stuff around from one hard drive to another and figured out how to start up my laptop from my desk top hard drive. System prefs and disk utilities are always open now.

I may finally be done. Maybe. I’ve said that at least 20 times in the last week.

So if I miss our appointment, don’t answer your email or can’t find your address, at least you know why.

Mean time, even though it is now defunct, the iMac is pointing out a new career for me: with the Geek Squad.

Comments (3)

  1. I feel your pain. This seems to be the week for techno-meltdown-maggedon.

    My laptop – yeah, the one with the cracked case, scratched screen, worn down keys, loose keys, broken keys, missing keys, broken fan, sticky trackpad button, totally dead DVD drive and five pounds of lint jammed inside – yeah that one – for some reason decided to get snippy with me and start shutting itself off for no frickin’ reason. Go figure.

    I immediately had that puppy in pieces – strewn all over the table – and, after a few stress filled hours, managed to get it all working again. No idea what exactly I did – except now it only runs with half the RAM and the metal cover that’s supposed to protect the RAM slots and logic board has to stay off so cooler air can seep in past the remaining lint and waft over the dead fan that every once in a while hums an ominous, yet merry, tune without spinning – just to mock me.

    Fixing these tools is always a challenge and I do enjoy getting my hands inside the gear as opposed to just trusting the digital pixies inside that make things work automagically. I suspect you do too. But it’s always best when we choose the time we allot to such hobbies. When the tools of our trade (and repositories of our memories) go down – EVERYTHING STOPS – and that’s what drives me crackers.

    One day I’ll replace this computer with one that just . . . works. But for now I’m enjoying the new challenge of having to change my typing style so I can accommodate having only one working shift key, no caps lock and having to remember where the “a”, “s”, “e”, “n”, “m”, “l” keys are.

    I refuse to be bested.

    Good luck with your data recovery.



    P.S. Remember the days when we’d get upset cuz our pencil lead broke?

  2. admin

    I have quite a bit of RAM lying around if you want some.
    And yes, I remember the days when I had to cut up my scripts and tape them back together to change the order of scenes.

  3. Oh I got lot of RAM – no worries there – just need a new machine that won’t choke on it. 🙂

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