Sep

9

2011

high-tech? moi?

Filed under: about me

So when I got back from the US, I noticed that my beloved iMac was running slowly. It wouldn’t go to sleep, and it kept on hanging. And it was really, really noisy, too. The fan would go crazy whenever I tried to do something complicated, like, say, a Google search or listening to the radio.

It’s over five years old, and I was pretty sure that this was the beginning of the end of the line. Still, though, I brought it to the brand-new local Apple store, to talk to one of the techs there. I carried it in in a canvas bag, and heaved it up onto the counter. Next to the paper-slim iPads and laptops, it looked like a large, ungainly, elderly (yet still quite beautiful) white elephant.

“That’s what we call ‘vintage’,” said the tech guy. “We can’t get the parts for those any more.”

I compared my iMac with my son, who sat beside me at the counter, playing a Lightning McQueen game. My son is only a few months younger than my iMac. He is in no way “vintage”.

I described my problem, and the tech guy shook his head. “Looks like your hard drive is failing,” he said. “Best thing to do is buy a new computer. If you want to look into servicing it and squeeze a few more months’ worth out of it, here are some numbers to call.”

I went home feeling sad and broke. But I called the Apple service guy, who said that if my iMac had been totally reliable for the past 5 years, it made good sense to put a new hard drive in it to get a couple more years’ worth of use, at a cost of something just over 15% of a new computer. If I did it myself, it would cost something like 5% of a new computer.

That made me feel better. I had options.

After putting down the phone, I decided that since I had the iMac disconnected already, I’d might as well open up the back of it and give it a bit of a hoover. These things do tend to suck dust up through the fan vents. So I did. There was a lot of dust in there.

When I started it back up…well, you can guess what happened. My computer is now nearly silent. It goes to sleep at the touch of a button. I no longer get the spinning wheel on Google searches.

Net cost? Zero pounds and zero pence.

Cleanliness is next to computer geniusness, that’s what I always say.

Have you found low-tech solutions to your high-tech problems?


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  1. Genius! I am in awe. I love that your computer is ‘vintage’. At least you are unlikely to come across it in a museum (as happened to someone I know with her parents’ cooker).

  2. I think “vintage” is just a nice word that Apple use to mean “you dirty cheapo, why haven’t you bought an iPad yet?”

  3. That’s exactly what we did with our old PC! The Dell man came to fix my laptop at Christmas, so we asked him about the old coal-fired PC running slowly. He said to open it up and give it a good dust – it worked!
    X

  4. I had no idea you were so versatile with your talents Julie. Well done! x



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