The best day ever*

Posted on September 18, 2011

Small decisions can have big repercussions. I bought my iPhone. I walked around with it in my pocket for 24 hours, getting it out randomly to, you know, check it. When I explained to Maxabella that I was doing this, she laughed hysterically. In fact, we both did.

“You know how when you get your first car and you walk around swinging your keys just so everyone knows you’ve got one, even though they don’t care because they’ve had one for 100 years?”

“That was you?” she chortled.

“That was me.” We had to put the phone down briefly while we rolled around on our respective floors.

On Saturday, I decided it was time to join the 21st century and ‘sync’ my iPhone. I plugged it all in and was told, very kindly and sympathetically, by my iMac that my operating system wasn’t up to the task. All was not lost as I had an ‘upgrade’ disk, which had come with the computer but never been used. When you’re a Luddite like me, you use only a fraction of your computer’s capability.

I read the instructions, followed them, backed up my files, hesitated, read the instructions again and inserted the disk. The instructions made it all sound so simple.

You know where this is going, don’t you?

Suffice to say that the following 24 hours of my life were filled with dread, uncertainty, horror, shock, stress and the words ‘we’re going to have to erase your hard drive and then we’ll see what we can recover’. About halfway through Saturday, I posted the following status update: “I feel ill. Like a Dementor has sucked out all my hope and happiness. I’m needing me a Patronus right now. In the shape of an Apple.”

The good people at the Apple Call Centre (most of whom seem to have names beginning with J) did their best. They didn’t laugh at me once. The only time they left me feeling less than reassured was when the first guy said ‘oh wow, I’ve never come across that before’. Not really what you want to hear as your computer dies a slow death in front of you. As an aside, I did back-up. I just didn’t back-up my system properly. I thought I was doing it right. I wasn’t. So if there’s any doubt about your own system, I suggest you check into that right now.

Throughout the day, as I waited for this to reboot and that to reload and the other to copy – all excruciatingly slow processes – the boys were rumbling around the house. Whatever they suggested I said yes to – water paints, water games, craft, whatever – anything to keep them busy and out of my zone of stress. When they appeared, I threw food at them – oreos, strawberries, crackers, whatever. Anything to keep them quiet while I stressed.

At the end of the day, as I tucked him into bed, Mr7 beamed up at me. “This has been the best day ever, Mum. We did so much fun stuff AND we had Oreos.”

What could I do? I managed a smile and said ‘that’s nice, dear’, as I headed back to my study where my computer was refusing to restore my system back-up and was now making worrying grinding noises.

The best day ever. It’s all a matter of perspective, right?

Have you ever experienced a monumental computer meltdown?

Footnote: I seem to have recovered copies of my document files and, it looks like, photos and movies. So far there’s no sign of iTunes or my entire email folder, but I am hoping that tomorrow, when the Apple staff are back at work, a nice person, named something starting with J, might be able to help me with that. Fingers crossed, and more tomorrow.

*title may include irony



  1. Littlemissairgap

    I had a mini-stressy day like that yesterday & it too involved a phone call to Apple. The man at Apple was so lovely & helpful & I think he has solved some of the problems I was having (all totally non-Apple, router troubles most likely). Anyway, the kids had me defenseless whilst on the phone (nearly an hour) and in that short space of time, they consumed so much rubbish. For them, I think it was a great start to the school holidays.

  2. Maxabella

    Admit it, you still haven’t put your iPhone away and you are looking up while you are on calls trying to make eye contact with anyone so you can make the ‘see, I’m on my iPhone’ eyes. I know it. x

    PS – oh, and I’m sorry about the crashing computer. I hope you had back up and if you didn’t I bet you do now.

  3. House of Prowse

    oh I think I would be sick! I back my pc up on an external HD but I worry that it might fail too.
    Maybe I will now get sorted about online storage.
    Too many photos and memories to lose.
    Back back back it up I say! Do it today!
    Hope you transition to your new phone in record time…

  4. Lisa

    nope, sorry. I’ve never had problems with my computers… but then again, I don’t use a Mac. 😉

  5. Erin

    I still haven’t forgotten the day my blogs went down!! Oh my was it me or was it blogger, was it permanent and why oh why had I not backed up??? and then when the problem was fixable I had to drive until I could get mobile reception, frustrations of country living.

  6. deux chiens et un garcon

    Eek! So annoying when you think you are getting yourself so sorted and with it, and then the whole thing becomes like a albatross around your neck.

    I have had to wipe my hard drive twice. But I’m still so slack with back up. Must do this tonight.

    Cross fingers us J people can save the day.

    x Jill

  7. no-one

    I’ve never had a full system crash, but I did once have iTunes throw a hissyfit and delete all my songs. Since half of them were loaded from CDs borrowed from friends it was a huge hassle getting them back.
    Now I have my entire system backed up on an external hard drive, plus all my iTunes stuff on a 160Gb notebook that serves only as my iPod computer and is used for nothing else.

  8. Mrs Catch

    Oh no! Hope you recover all the important bits. This has happened to me so I know what an awful feeling it is. Apple is really good so there’s hope…

  9. KAT

    I can definitely empathize with you. My computer (past-tense) was struck by lightning once and another time crashed from a virus. Luckily that was several years and a few computers ago. Hope you recover everything.

  10. Dorothy

    I’m glad your boys had fun ;D

    I recently chose to upgrade my laptop to Windows 7 from Vista. Unfortunately, through no fault of my own, the copy of Vista was not legit, so I had to do a clean install. Even though I backed up all my documents, etc, all the programs, like Office, Photoshop, etc, which also weren’t legit, were erased.

    So now I have a legit laptop with hardly anything on it. Oh, well. I love being legal…

  11. Fiona

    First monumental computer meltdown: 1999. Left laptop below a window in the middle of a tropical storm. Recovered files=zero, apparently because instead of leaving the poor wretch to quietly dry out I turned it on and off repeatedly in my own version of defribillation. Patient deceased.

    Second MCM: 2002. Same deal. Husband incredulous.

    Third MCM: 2008. Cup of coffee over keyboard. Let it dry out. Sustained loss of letter M only! M for miracle.

    First external hard drive purchase: 2010. Times used: two.

    Husband: ‘There’s just no telling you, is there?’

    Good luck with the file recovery!

  12. Dolores

    Oh dear, how awful for you. Keep me posted on your progress. We are thinking about getting iPhones too since you can now get an older model (iPhone 2 or 3?) on $29 plans. Lucky Jack is techy because he already worked out that this model is compatible with our older G4 & G5 operating systems. Did you get an iPhone 4 or an older one?

  13. therhythmmethod

    My MacBook was repaired last week, the Apple staff were fantastic. Hoping they work their magic on yours and everything is recovered. x

  14. Rhonda

    I get that all the time…the people are Dell and Verizon never know what to do with me. I have started saving anything super important on my skydrive. You get so much free storage per month, but I’m considering upgrading.

  15. The Rambling Pages

    Oh god, you are not inspiring me with cnfidence. My laptop keeps misbehaving and I contacted pckard bell who told me I need to restore it to factory settings and then reload the software. Now I do live with an IT geek who could easily do this, but he gets so stressed that I never try myself, that I am intending on going it alone – ha, it could go very wrong. So far I have managed to back my things up, and that is about it! Before restoring to factory settings I may just check I really have. I hope you find the emails and other things tomorrow.

  16. A-M

    Puts it all in perspective doesn’t it… out of the mouths of sweet little babes who live in the moment. I have many moments in the ‘zone of stress’ also throwing food at my children or just leaving them to rummage and fend for themselves. They survive and still love you to bits! I hope you get all your info back. A-M xx

  17. Penny

    I hate IT stuff. IT hates me. I married a techno guy who logistically and painstakingly undoes every wrong thing I do on a computer / Playstation / Wii / iphone / ipod . And he hasn’t divorced me….yet.

  18. InkPaperPen

    I barely understand your post! I don’t back up, my iPhone frustrates me (I only have one as a hand me down). My brother works for Apple (though his name begins with S) and he definitely got all the techy genes in our family!

    Good luck on recovering the rest of your files

  19. Sarah Walton - The Hedonista

    At least you have a mac. I read somewhere a few months ago that it has been scientifically proven that Mac users have higher IQs than PC users.

    Obviously I wasn’t in the test sample…

  20. Amy

    Oh No! That sounds like my worst nightmare. God to hear you managed to recover some of your files. I am hoping you are able to recover the rest tomorrow! I have everything crossed for you.

  21. Amanda Kendle

    Ooh, posts like this make me nervous. I have never had a hard drive catastrophe. I have also never had my luggage lost despite taking hundreds of flights. Surely I can’t be this lucky? I am a fanatical important-file-backer-upperer though.

  22. Kelly Exeter

    I am so glad you’ve got some stuff back Ali – what a stress! Fingers crossed for the rest!
    As for the little ones – sometimes it breaks your heart to hear what makes their day!!

  23. Mum on the Run

    Oh no!
    The eye of the beholder, I guess.
    Definitely not your best day.

    I have had to wipe my entire hard drive. Um, twice.
    It is beyond stressful.
    And the first time was before I had ventured into the world of all things blog – but it still sucked!

    I’m glad you found some helpful folk. Before my I.T. knight in shining RAM was called in by my father in law I had only dealt with complete ***insert expletives of choice.

    Hopefully Miss, Mrs or Mr J will hold all the answers tomorrow.

  24. Lady Estrogen

    I am the Queen of “oh wow, you’re the first person THAT has happened to” pssfftt.
    Hope you get everything back!

Pin It on Pinterest