Back up

This weekend was not a pleasant one for me. Not only did it start out wet and gloomy but it seemed to go down hill after I received a text from Chad asking if his friend, Stephen, could stay the night. “Just one night,” he wrote. “He has an early morning flight on Saturday.”

Last time his best friend Stephen showed up on our door, he stayed for several days drinking, smoking and arguing with me about why he hates lesbians. When I defended them he nearly threw me out of my own house.

Stephen is loud and tells long-winded stories about the good old times he shared with Chad in Arizona, Portland or Uganda. Apparently, Stephen and Chad have lived all over the world or maybe Stephen just likes to elaborate and when I say elaborate I mean, stretch the truth.

But Stephen only stayed one night. He did leave promptly the next day, back to Siberia from whence he came I suppose. I like him better now then I did the first time I met him. Maybe it was me, but the first time I met Stephen I was in the throes of cramming for my Internal Medicine Recertification Exam. Just like his last visit, he drank, smoked and argued with me about lesbians, but on his way out of the apartment early Saturday morning he said, “I leave here today with a better appreciation of lesbians thanks to you and your lesbian haircut.”

But my weekend didn’t end on that high note. In fact it plummeted further into the abyss of tragedy because I had a 10 o’clock appointment at the Apple Store, no excuse me, the Genius Bar. My Mac Book Pro was not working properly. You don’t realize how much you use your computer until it stops working. So I packed up my poor little lap top and made my way into the rain heading south toward 14th Street in the Meatpacking District.

The Apple Store is pretty cool if you haven’t been to one: white walls, spiral glass staircase, and smiley happy Apple workers, eager to check you in or ask you if you need help. They all look the same: nerdy yet cool, disheveled and wearing glasses. I was broughy to the Genius Bar where Chris ran a diagnostic on my Mac. “Looks like everything checks out,” he smiled. “We’ll need to take it in. Come back in 30 minutes.”

“Sure,” I said.

Chad and I went to French coffee shop and ate bland, organic food on organic bread. We sipped coffee from cups without handles as I listened to other people’s conversations. “…I took German while I attended a music conservatory… Are the fruit fresh? …Oh God, when will this snow clear up its ruining my entire winter wardrobe.”

After thirty minutes of eaves dropping I returned to the third floor of the Apple Store. For some reason I thought the girl who checked me in would remember my name. When she didn’t I felt as though her original genuineness was nothing more than an act. That left me feeling suspicious of her. Then she asked me to step aside while she took care of other people. I wanted to shout out to them: “Don’t bother giving your name. She won’t remember it.”

After Chris finished up with his current customer, he waved me over. I said, “Hi, Chris.” In my mind I was thinking, “See I rememeber names.” He was not impressed and immediately said, “We’ll need to change the hard drive. Luckily, you have the extended warranty. Did you back up your computer?”

“No,” I said.

Then I thought, Of course not. Does anyone really back up their computer? I mean, how do you back up your computer? I know you’re supposed to. I mean, Christ, they did a whole episode about it on Sex and the City, the one where Carrie loses all her stuff because she didn’t back up her computer. You think I would have learned from her mistake. I guess I’m just lazy.

Chris smiled because I’m pretty sure he knew the answer to his question even before he asked me. “No worries,” he said. Easy for him to say. Then he showed me various portable back up devices (just one more thing I can’t afford right now) and quickly went  through the process of how to back up my computer. I nodded even though it sounded like he was speaking Cantonese. I thought for sure Chad would know how to back up a computer. I’m positive Chad performs this vital  function routinely. Then I got slightly unnerved and wondered why Chad hadn’t urged me to back up my computer all along, knowing very well  I don’t.

Anyway, I bought a mid priced back up thingy and went home to do what I should have been doing the past several years – backing up my computer. To make a long story short, it wasn’t easy. You see my hard drive was dying. She couldn’t let me back her up because with each attempt, she was drawing on her last breath. After several hours I gave up. Resigned to the fact that I was going to lose all my most important files, photos and music, I quietly closed my laptop and though I was closing her casket.

The next day I went back to the Genius Bar at 9:45 am and for the next four hours, I sat there as Josh, Drew and Davi did there best to back up my computer files to my newly purchased, mid-priced back up device. Each time one explained the issue with the other, I could see them exchange glances that said, “No, he never backs up his computer. He’s one of those. You know, one of those people who thinks their hip enough to own a Mac but doesn’t really want to invest the time or energy to learn how to use one or get the most out of it. Then when something goes wrong, those people, people like him (and then he subtly nods in my direction)shows up here at the Genius Bar expecting us to just fix it, like where Wizards or Magicians.” I hang my head in shame, just hoping they can fix my Mac. I silently pray to Steve Jobs. I said, “I’ve learned my lesson. I promise to back up my computer. I’m even going to use the Time Machine, even though I thought that it was a just a game. I’ll even learn how to speak the lingo so that I don’t say stupid things like, ‘I got it to come up on my computer’ instead of download, or better yet, I’ll learn the meaning of acronyms like RAM or GB. I’ll even find out what kind of operating system my lap top uses. I’ll do all these things Dear God or Steve Jobs as long as you save my poor Mac Book Pro. Don’t take it out on her. It’s my fault. I’m a bad parent.

They took my lap top in and told me they would keep her for 3-5 business days. I felt like the Apple School had called social services and I was having my child taken away from me. I’m childless now. I hope they give me back my little girl. So learn a lesson from me and back up your computer.



  1. Posted February 7, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Dude!! You are way too smart to be dependent on apple… Go back to Windows!! Apple is a racket!!

  2. Posted February 7, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    I keep all photos and music on an external hard drive, I play music directly front external HD, AND MUSIC u need to get a second external HD, a small one for the most important stuff so u have an extra copy if one economic HD goes, just start saving automatically to the external HD, and set it to back up on a regular basis so u don’t have to worry about it. APPLE sux! My name is Phillip and Windows 7 was my idea : )

  3. Janson Rosetta-Cusic
    Posted February 7, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Don’t feel too bad. I just started backing up my Mac when my hard drive started showing signs of death.

  4. Posted February 7, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    Hope I’m not over commenting but I just got home and on the way I remembered I wanted to tell you that an easy way to save your pix is just to join some photo dumping site like Flickr or photobucket. I think I pay 25 a year for Flickr for more photo space that I will ever need, then your photos will be there forever and you can always download them again if you need to. Also Google Docs, and other programs have many different ways you can store documents remotely giving you both the benefit of not worrying about backing up, and also access from any computer! Your stuff will be safely stored on the Internet forever, or until the firs Electro Magnetic Pulse weapon is set off.. but if that happens everybody will lose everything so it won’t matter.

  5. Posted February 7, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Frank, Your writings always bring a smile to my face. Perhaps you should adopt a less needy child. Dana

  6. Siddharth
    Posted February 10, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    As always your blog is fun to read. RAM is Random access memory, imagine your kitchen counter as RAM: you dont store your groceries on kitchen counter, you keep them on shelves or inside refrigerator, when you need to cook or make something then you take what you need and put it on counter but there is only a limit to what you can keep so you use the counter and when you are done then you put things back in shelves or refrigerators, so shelves and refrigerator make your hard drive while counter makes your RAM, so the bigger your RAM is the less you will need to make space if you start cooking something elaborate, and if your RAM is small you will need to keep continuously put things back into shelves if you need more space on the counter, this is the simplest way to understand RAM. RAM nowadays starts from 4 GB and may go till 16 GB while hard disk is way ahead with 500 GBs or even 1 TB or terabyte.

  7. Posted February 11, 2011 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    Doesn’t Time Machine back up your files automatically?

    I thought you would just attach an external drive, and Time Machine would do its thing. At least that’s how it works on my iMac…

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