Everybody has experienced some type of computer issues at some point in their lives. Most everyone nowadays is computer savvy to some level. Being born in the early 80’s, I was lucky enough to grow along with technology. I’ve worked in IT, software help desk to be exact. I’ve had many classes pertaining to computers, ranging from hardware to software, from basic usage to computer animation. So I can say that I am comfortable with computers. But, I can honestly say that this comfort level is on PC/Windows machines.
So yes this is a rant, but as promised, every pitfall that I have as a Newbie Writer will be put on front street for all to see. We as humans have a habit of comparing ourselves to others, never seeing the hard road they had to walk to get to where they are today. So this problem, though one can consider being a minor one. Is a problem for those who use a computer for their work. Which would include writers.
I purchased a used MacBook Pro from a coworker about a year back. I had two laptops, one I let my step-son use and he broke and another I started letting my husband use as he started his own business and needed something to work on that our teenage boys weren’t destroying. It is an older model MacBook, 2012 model. But for the most part, it holds up better than any Windows PC I’ve had.
All was well, but I noticed that with restarts after software updates would take up to two hours to reload. I just brushed it off as an older machine, because once it loaded up it worked perfectly. Until it started running slow. I figured that the cache just needed to be cleared, it had been at least a month since I restarted it and the resources were probably being hogged up.
Fast forward a week, I am unable to load my computer. It gets all the way to the point where I’ve put in my password, it starts to load, but it just sits there. No fans running, no sounds of a thinking machine. It just sat there on a loading screen. So I, not being to Mac savvy, did what anyone would do in this position. Freak out, get frustrated, and then consult the expert…”The Google.”
I read article after article and watched Youtube video after video. But it took for me to watch two separate videos with two different issues to realize what had happened to my laptop. And to make it worse, one of those videos didn’t help, it was something posted in the comments section from a few weeks prior. It seemed that the last software update from Apple had a bug in it. That bug was not playing well with my encrypted hard drive. Now mind you, I had restarted my machine, reinstalled the latest update, and repaired my hard drive after watching various videos. It wasn’t until the last video that I watched did I scroll through the comment sections. There I found that within the last month people were having the same issue that I was having. See most of the videos were for those machines that weren’t making it to the sign-in screen. But a commenter on this video sadly stated that there was a bug in the last update that kept the encrypted hard drive from loading. The only option was to factory reset the machine.
Horrified that I was going to lose all of my work, my key chained saved username and passwords, pictures and so on. I swallowed the lump in my throat and set my machine to the factory settings vowing to never again use the Fire Vault Encryption on my laptop again. But as luck would have it, the iCloud Gods were smiling down on me yesterday. I had grudgingly started paying for iCloud about eight months prior due to space issues on my iPhone. Something that I did not want to do because I already had OneDrive through Microsoft. You see, I had always been an Android user when it came to phones, up until about two years ago when the Samsung Galaxy cost just as much as the iPhone. Being an iPad lover, I figured I would give it a try. Since I had the iPad, Android phone and my Microsoft laptop which I worked from, it was easier for me to transfer my work to OneDrive and work on my documents from any machine. Well around that same time, Apple released an update where your desktop was saved to the cloud. I remember gripping to my best friend, who also converted over to Apple products, about everything being on the cloud.
Once I got back into my laptop, there they were. The most beautiful folders I have ever seen! All of my writing, my blogs, my research. It was all sitting on my desktop waiting for me to download them from the cloud! I did a cheer, a muffled scream, and of course a fist pump as I started to download my precious work. Thankfully, this worked out for me. But others might not have been so lucky. So the moral of this post is to make sure you back up not only your work but your hard drive! I’m currently in the market for an external hard drive so I can have three back up locations. My husband steals my thumb drives, so I’m not risking that the thumb drive going missing when I need it most. Also… avoid the Fire Vault unless you absolutely need it for security reasons, I.E. You work in network security or some IT field that requires it. Until next time Word Lovers!