In Memorium: My PC Died!

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by midlifebear, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. midlifebear

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    OK, so I'll probably not elicit any sympathy. But I'm fraught with sadness over the demise of my six-year-old Dell Inspiron 8600 running XP II and its million updates that finally succumbed to a power surge when lightning struck my building recently in Barçelona. It was a trusty and well-made machine that never let me down. But when the lightening hit, it pretty much hosed the electrical life of the whole building. Some of the wiring was original to the building's construction in 1909 -- but not much. The power surge was so great that it melted my UPS surge protection box. Who knows how many years my Dell lap top might have continued to live were it not for this tragic act of God?

    To ease my grief, my long-suffering-lesbian-documentary-film-maker-cousin currently finishing her documentary on the Russian poet, Brodsky, came to my rescue by presenting me with a brand new, still-in-the-box MacBook Pro running OS X. It has a swell 17" screen. But in all fairness it doesn't seem much larger than my old Dell's 15" display.

    I once exclusively used Macs to produce hundreds of technical manuals for software many of you use(d) but never read. Back in the days before fire, Macs were the only game in town for desk top publishing, which is what was required by the lofty software companies I had the good fortune to work for. But one day, after fire was invented, I landed a six-figure position where I was forced to join "the Collective" and write with a PC. Still, we only used MS Word occasionally, eschewing all things Miicrosoft, and preferring Adobe's beautifully designed and wonderfully programmed products to crank out the manuals than no one ever reads.

    First rule of technical writing: No one reads the manual.
    Second rule of technical writing: Steal. Because of ISO9000 standards, whatever you need to write has probably already been written. Simply copy the text of a similar software manual, eliminate the passive voice, and replace each instance of the word "click" with "select" and you're 90% of the way finished.
    Third rule of technical writing: If caught, lie.
    Fourth rule of technical writing: Adobe products rule! (even on a PC)

    Although I'm grateful to have my new MacBook Pro, 90% of what I write is not in English. So, the standard English language keyboard so many of you are accustomed causes me some unnecessary cognitive dissonance. The MacBook Pro has an English language keyboard. Curiously, while roaming about the Apple Store yesterday I discovered that desk top Macs have international-esque keyboards. The keyboard font mapping is almost (but not quite) exactly like my old Dell's (I bought it in Texas and the international keyboard was an option). But the Mac Men at the Mac store were all over me, enthusiastically showing me how to change the language options for the keyboard and how, with a little practice and the Kekyboard Viewer open for Spanish or French, I could retrain myself to whack away in other languages than English without concern.

    Well, I'm still concerned. MacBook Pros, it seems, are not even sold in Europe with pseudo international keyboards. At 59 I'm afraid I'm too old to learn new tricks (although I have no problem cruising for them at the nude beaches).

    Have any of you many billions of LPSG-ers any suggestions for making life easier until I relearn how to use a Mac? Have any of you had similar experiences? I'm almost tempted to sneak down the street to HipCorp and buy another PC lap top. This is something that, as a previous die-hard defender of all things Mac and Apple, is a serious regression for which one cannot say enough Our Fathers and Hail Marys.

    Sniff. (tear sheds down midlifebear's cheek)

    And do any of you have suggestions what I should do with my fried Dell? I fear it may be headed for smelting in some third-world Asian country as innocent children burn their fingers and inhale the vapors of overheated mercury.

    It is the end. It is a new beginning. Until it is once again a new end. :frown1:
     
    #1 midlifebear, Jul 30, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2009
  2. rbkwp

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    Sorry to hear of....>
    I have retired' many Pcs..
    2 / 3 i think
    Been given 2 (Laptops) and dont know what to do
    with them?
    ONE was a Dell NZ.. my brother warned me .. to be careful .. as it melted his sons point
    --ie where the Power connect goes into the laptop
    So yesterday..smart ass me tries it out..keeping an eye on the ac adaptor thingy..(Keep in mind i know sweet FA re such)
    --and sure enuf .. 1/2 an hour into my session..i notice the plastic on the power point thingy..Melted.. hahha
    Lesson learnt..dont fck around with things ya dont know about?
    BESt of all with yr new m/c midlife'
    enz
    btw..ALL my family who have switched to Mac,s will NEVER GO Back..wards..they LOVE them.
     
  3. midlifebear

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    Thanks rbkwp. Odd to hear about the Dell melting the connection adapter, or whatever. My old Inspiron came with a universal converter built into the power cord so I could plug it in any where in the world -- Europe, Russia, Asia, South America (all of South America) and never had a problem. I had to purchase a power adapter (not a converter) for the Mac. Seems it doesn't like 210 and needs low octane 110 power. This, to me, is sort of insulting in the same way the USA clings to inches, feet, yards, and miles when the metric system is sooooooo much easier and accurate.

    Still, I hope the best for Steve Jobs. Always did have a mild boner for him.
     
  4. D_Fiona_Farvel

    D_Fiona_Farvel Account Disabled

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    I feel your pain, MLB! I have a MacBook and easily switch between English, Spanish, Arabic, and Persian using the QWERTY settings and/or keyboard viewer. However, when I log into my Windows partition, oh boy, it is hours of seriously irked hunt & peck for even the simplest documents. :no:

    I decided to purchase some keyboard overlay/sticker things to help, but, I have enough issues with writing foreign languages, haha - my thinking the OS is out to get me is just one more barrier to fluency (and my sole reason for using terms like 'windoze'). :09: Anyway, welcome to the MacBook!
     
    #4 D_Fiona_Farvel, Jul 31, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2009
  5. SpeedoGuy

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    My own desktop is getting creaky. Thank goodness for external backup drives.

    One never knows when the end migh
     
  6. Rikter8

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    1. Pull the hard drive. See if you can spin it up and pull your data off.
    If you need me to do it for you, send it my way. I have references here.

    It may be just the power supply...but most likely...if it took that big of a hit... It's toast. You never know.

    But definitely, pull the hard drive out and either try to recover your files, or manually destroy the drive yourself.

    ID theft is very big these days, and you wouldn't want your data to get in the wrong hands.
    C
     
  7. Rikter8

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    Oh... And I've had a few of those Fancy in the box backup drives across my bench too... they only have a 1 yr warranty, same as the OEM makers drives. DVD is the way to go, or a backup of your backup.
     
  8. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    RIPC.
     
  9. vince

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    You can get use to using a different language map on an US keyboard layout. I imagine it would be harder if you look at the keys while you type though.

    I type English on a Turkish layout pretty well now. It's just a keystroke to switch between the two languages.

    I'm surprised your Macbook is 110v only though. My Sony and the laptop before it worked everywhere in the world. The charger reads 100v-240v 50-60hz. In fact come to think of it, my old Mac G3 I bought in Canada worked over here.

    If you do go back to Windoze, wait for W7. It's like night and day compared to fucking Vista or XP.
     
  10. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    There's no need to panic dear friend!

    Two options:

    First is to get an Apple wired (via USB) or wireless (via Bluetooth) Spanish keyboard and just connect it to your machine and use that instead. You may have to set the keyboard language to Spanish in the software but that's not a big deal. The folks at the Apple store can help you. Apple says they sell the 17" Macbook Pro in Spain and so should have a bunch of compatible wireless keyboards right in the stockroom. All you really need is an Apple-compatible keyboard in Spanish. It doesn't even have to be an Apple product. I wager there are lot of them at various computer stores (particularly Apple resellers). If you go to Apple's website for Spain, you should be able to find a reseller. At the very least they have a phone number you can call.

    The other option is to bring the machine to the Apple store and just have them install a Spanish keyboard. The keyboard parts are all universal one-unit items. It would take them no time at all to make the switch. Pop out one keyboard and install the Spanish one. The problem is you're not near an Apple store. The nearest ones are in the UK or Italy and they likely don't have Spanish-language keyboards.

    Hope this helps!
     
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