Saved once again by the kindness of strangers

(and also the fact that Mac, for a giant company, is unusually buena gente.)

So. Yesterday I was fiddling about with the internet, as per usual, and was suddenly ambushed with Rainbow Swirly of Death. Since there was clearly nothing going, I manually shut it down. When I turned it back on, I got a white screen and a faint hard drive noise, and nothing else. Several times.

I was kind of freaking out about this. While the logical part of me was saying, “It’s not the end of the world, it’s still under warrantee, the only thing you haven’t backed up are the pictures you’ve taken this month – and honestly, worst comes to worst, you can survive in Spain for three months without a computer! You’ll certainly learn more Spanish that way,” the rest of me was way too busy having an incipient panic attack to pay any attention. I borrowed somebody’s computer to look on apple help, with no result.

Pepi took me over to the computer store around the corner, where they told me that there’s a mac store in Plaza de Colon. This was a relief, since I was a little bit worried that I was the most mac-savvy person within a very large radius; everything seems to be Windows here.

This morning we had a group excursion to the art schools to check out the offerings (I want to take bookbinding), and then I headed over to the Plaza de Colon with my computer. The store was a very mac sort of place – white decor, snazy technology sitting around – and lacked the vague sketchiness that I have come to associate with computer-anything here. I told the guy behind the desk what happened when I turned it on, and showed him. We discussed the fact that my system disk was in the United States, and he got another guy from the back room who spoke excellent English (also, very, very British English – it took me at least ten minutes to figure out that he was a Spanish guy who spoke good English rather than a British guy who happened to be in Spain and spoke good Spanish), and we discussed the problem. He pulled out some external hard drives and a system disk, any my computer failed to be very cooperative. His preliminary analysis was that it was the motherboard – this got changed to, “No, your hard drive is very dead,” when we tried to use my hard drive as an external to get the data. Apparently it was probably a power surge (I didn’t have a surge protector. I’m going to fix this ASAP. It would already be fixed, but the mac place didn’t have any, and the other place they sent me had only the fanciest model left in stock – the one that would cost over 100 euros). So they replaced my hard drive, and are trying to get the data from my old one. I was also advised to take out my battery whenever I’m working with the computer plugged in and not charging it. I didn’t know this.

I have a working computer. This is a great relief.
Hopefully I won’t have lost anything important. And I can survive three months in Spain without Microsoft Office.
Mostly, I’m just really, really glad.

Oh, and for those of you who are following the saga of my internet – in the course of my running around, I got an ethernet cable and have it plugged in to the modem. My internet appears to be slower now than it was on the wireless.



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6 responses to “Saved once again by the kindness of strangers

  1. Yikes! I’m glad it’s working again.
    If you need office software, you could download OpenOffice. I haven’t used it, but I’ve heard it’s pretty spiffy and full-featured, and it’s free. (Open source, baby!)
    Also: Take bookbinding! It is so much fun. If you do, please please show me your work when you get back!

    • So it seems that they don’t believe in surge protectors here. Or rather, they only believe in 80 and 100 euro surge protectors (which may or may not actually be surge protectors).
      I was wondering about OpenOffice. I’ve heard good things about it. Alternately, I could get a friend to send me her LaTeX template for English papers. Or I could try both.
      I’m definitely taking bookbinding unless there’s something crazy weird with the scheduling. Some of the other classes were cool – but nothing was that cool, and I think that I’ll learn more and be more able to produce something I’m happy with in the time that I have.

  2. Anonymous

    Rainbow Swirly of Death?
    That sounds HORRIBLE!! I am glad Pandora is functioning somewhat. I don’t have Microsoft Office at home so I use Google documents to save stuff. I send my photos to Walgreens online or Shutterfly so no matter what happens to my computer I have them saved in a neutral location. What a nightmare. I’m lazy about the power surge protectors…maybe I should take it more seriously…Rainbow Swirly of Death…stay away from me!
    I’m at Greyhounds Reach the Beach in Dewey Beach, DE. There are greyhounds everywhere. I went to a lecture today and the woman giving the lecture has a galgo. I’m glad you’ve seen some and I understand about not having your camera at the ready. It will work out someday that you will get a photo.
    Bookbinding is way cool! When I was at Chestnut Hill College we had a bookbinding workshop and I loved it. I know you will be far more artistic than I was. I did bind that book about my horse. And I did a Japanese binding for another class. Enjoy!
    (who isn’t missing the library)

    • Re: Rainbow Swirly of Death?
      I usually upload some of my pictures, or back them up on my external hard drive, but the internet is slow here when it comes to backing things up, so I only have the pictures that I posted to this journal.
      Oh, yay greyhounds! Did you get the jester costume all worked out?
      I went to my first bookbinding class yesterday; I think that I folded close to a ream of paper (Usé el plegador para plegar mis paginas). Not the most exciting thing in the world, but important.

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