January 1, 2012

Happy New Year all

A few tribulations with my Apple computers lately. Had many things to fix and had to put it off until my FIT class was done. But finally, I had the Christmas break to deal with it all.

First I went to TekServe and after extensive queries and waiting, a manager managed to dig up a MacCuff in the basement. Apparently, these things are generally sold in bulk to institutions, not individually to people who want to get the Mini under the desk, rather than on top of it. (My desk has 7 square feet of space.) The MacCuff is a very nicely engineered piece of steel, I have to say. Easy to mount with a variety of options, all ports accessible, and the fit is snug but smooth. I guess that's what surprised me most - how well the thing fits a Mini. I'm now trying to find a similar mount for my connected external drive.

The Seagate hard drive I've been using as my Archive drive is borked. In early December, I was doing a TimeMachine backup when it fell off the desk. This damaged it enough that DriveSavers couldn't recover any data. So...19 years or more of work - gone. I'm still discovering things that are gone forever, but surprisingly, I'm not terribly upset. It feels like freedom, in a way. but I will shortly have to start a new Archive drive and will BACK THAT UP along with backing up the main computer harddrive. So frustrating.

Within the last three weeks, I've had to get service for all of my expensive Apple toys - some of it long overdue. The Mini needed a new optical drive. (The mist from my breathing treatments eventually buggers the optical sensor, I believe, as this isn't the first optical drive to quite working and the techs ALWAYS note a "white, salt-like substance" on the computer's vents and fans. (As a matter of fact, hypertonic saline is one of my meds.) For similar reasons, the 23" Cinema Display also needed service. They did about $600 worth of work, replacing the glass and LCD screen inside completely.

What AppleCare didn't cover, however, was the liquid damage to my MacBook Air. Scotch is not good for a laptop. And though the niece and nephew indirectly caused the accident, it was, I admit, primarily my own fault. Let's just say NORAD Santa Tracker is now the target of my enmity. The upside is, the repairs were cheaper at Apple than at TekServe and I now, basically, have a new early-2010 MacBook Air, given the number of internal components that got replaced.

iCloud: Upgrading to Lion has gone smoothly, mostly due to good advice from a stagecraft forum. Moving to iCloud went smoothly until syncing the Air last night. Instead of disabling the calendars on MobileMe, I deleted them - which had the effect of deleting them on iCloud and everywhere else. Undos only brought back the calendars, but not the events! Fortunately, I'd backed up the calendars before installing Lion on my first machine, so I restored my calendars and events fairly quickly. Still, I have a lot to learn about Lion.

When you upgrade to Lion, your user Library is hidden by default. It IS available as a shortcut from the Go menu with the command key held down. To get regular visibility back, type this command into terminal: chflags nohidden ~/Library.

And so my annual "deal with the hardware" is over, for now. I am ready to deal with taxes.

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