Obituary for an iMac computer

Laurie’s iMac-7.1 (2006-2014) died suddenly on August 20, 2014. Loving companion of Laurie Levy, she was pronounced dead at the Apple Store after suffering a sudden attack of black screen, followed by a loud fan motor noise when trying to be revived. In lieu of flowers, contributions (both monetary and educational) may be made to Laurie’s learning curve on her iMac-14.1.

Not loving the new one yet

Not loving the new one yet

Yes, my old computer now resides in a box in my basement, awaiting recycling or perhaps my son-in-law if he wants to attempt a hard drive transplant. And after meeting with an Apple genius and two one-to-one specialists, I am still mourning my good old iMac-7.1.

My new partner has a fancy wireless mouse and keyboard that eluded the computer’s attempts to find them. After much gnashing of teeth and googling, I sheepishly discovered the batteries that came with both were dead. So simple.

Not so simple is adapting to changes, many of which do not seem like improvements to me. For one, after much searching for a slot for CDs and DVDs, I turned to Google and discovered that there was none. I guess the folks in Cupertino who designed this incarnation decided CDs and DVDs were old school.

Well, Apple guys and gals, I am old school. All of my CDs and DVDs full of photos, music, documents I’ve written on other computers, and movie projects can no longer be viewed and used in my work.  No problem. I just purchased yet another item from the amazingly crowded Apple Store – a USB Super Drive for a mere $80. That’s on top of the cost of a pretty expensive computer and the $99 for a year of free one-on-one sessions to learn the ins and outs of my new computer. And now I have my sleek new iMac sharing space on my desk with a cute little box that I didn’t need before.

But wait. There are more reasons (aside from monetary) why I am mourning my old iMac. New iMac is doing some strange things. New iMovie apparently doesn’t like anything created on old iMovie and refuses to open anything from it. New iPhoto has created yet another large folder called “recovered photos,” forcing me to spend hours going through it to see what is lurking in its depths. New Contacts doesn’t like some of my former friends and contacts. And new iCal has decided some of my events were no longer worthy of inclusion.

I know how this goes. I will spend a ridiculous amount of time getting this right and adjusting to my new friend. I will spend more money on a service call from my computer guru. Together, we will figure out the movie problem and why the back up drive (the one I just brought to an Apple genius for no charge because I have one-to-one) now thinks it’s full.

My relationship with computers began over 25 years ago in 1988 when my son’s Apple II-c ate my master’s thesis, which I had not backed up due to rookie ignorance. At work, I was introduced to Windows computers and taught myself the basics of Word and Excel. But back in 2006, the birth of my third grandchild lured me back to Apple. I fell in love with photo editing and slide show creating, and my iMac was so good at both. I admired the genius of Steve Jobs, read his biography, and launched myself into the iEverything world. Now my computer befriended my phone, followed by an iPad. But I am starting to wonder about the short shelf life and ongoing need to improve these products, rendering the old ones obsolete.

Apple no longer carries the parts for my dearly departed iMac-7.1. I guess 8+ years is a long time in the lifespan of a computer, and this obituary should include, “She lived a long and full life, beloved by all who knew her, and we were lucky to have had her with us for so long. Her work will live on forever (if only I could find all of it).”

Don’t forget, you can honor her memory by contributing to my learning curve fund. Seriously, please enlighten me. Will my second partnership with an iMac be as fulfilling as the first one?

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