Thursday, August 18, 2011

Big Mac Attack

I haven't been posting much lately but it's been for a good reason. Would you expect Mozart to write a symphony if his favourite piano was out of tune? Da Vinci to paint a masterpiece if he lost his favourite easel? Judge Smails to win a $40,000 golf match without Billy Baroo? Likewise, I've spent the last week recovering after losing my top instrument, my beloved old MacBook. The collapse occurred a week ago today, and if you've ever had a computer suddenly just die out on you, you know how much it sucks.

So within the span of just a couple of hours, I went from a fellow owning a four-year-old MacBook to the proud owner of a brand-new MacBook Pro. It has all kinds of impressive new upgrades over the old model, such as the fact that it has a gray exterior, rather than a black or white one. And I guess it's also faster and has more programs and whatnot, but still, gray! (Editor's note: Mark is a not a computer guy.)

The worst part is that I never had a chance to say goodbye to the old model….well, no, actually, the worst part is that I didn't get a chance to back everything up, since I don't need to say goodbye to an inanimate object. The bright side of owning a Mac is that they're incredibly problem-free, though the downside of that is you also don't really get any indication of when they're suffering some internal problems. There was no gradual slowdown like with my old PCs years ago. It was working fine one day and suddenly dead the next, like John Ritter. I created a backup disc about a year ago so I've got all my *major* stuff saved in some respect, but the trouble is that unless the tech dudes at the store are able to salvage my old hard drive, I'm going to lose a lot of material I've built up over the last year. To wit…

* Fantasy sports stuff. For instance, I'm right in the midst of an ongoing draft for my "historical league" team, where we pick players from the past and run simulated seasons with these players in different stadiums, situations, playing-time arrangements, etc. and see how our teams fare. It is exactly as cool as it sounds, which is not very, but still, now I've lost all my information about my team from our simulated 1985 season! Noooo!

* List of films I've seen this year. Yes, I actually keep a running tally for the sake of my year-end "Markademy Awards" post. I've mostly been able to cobble the list back together thanks to IMBD, and for all the films I've forgotten….well, if I forgot them, they probably weren't fake award-worthy anyway.

* Music. This is probably the biggest one. My entire iTunes library, gone. Only about 20 of the hundreds of songs I had on my computer were actually downloaded, and the rest were copied from actual physical CDs in my collection. It's going to take a hell of a long time to load everything back onto this new laptop, and in some cases, I don't have the original CDs anymore; I just copied the few tracks I enjoyed onto iTunes and then sold the actual discs to a used music store. Also, I had a list of "YouTube songs," or rather a list of singles that I enjoyed and often listened to via YouTube videos with the intention of probably eventually buying them on iTunes. Hindsight being 20/20 I should've just created a YouTube account and saved the videos in a favourites file there, but well, I'm an idiot.

* TV. Nope! I never download or watch television from unlicensed internet sites! I get all my TV by watching it on the networks, thank you very much, or at the very least, stream the shows on official network websites or Hulu! Online TV piracy is for the birds, kids! Only dopes do dope! Moving on….

* Minor writing projects. Thank the lord for procrastination. Had I actually gotten around to starting the novel/play/screenplay that I've been claiming I'll get around to writing for years, I would've been beyond enraged at losing it forever to a computer crash. Fortunately my 'big' projects were all on my backup disc, but over the last year I've still had a few ideas that were in the development stage. By 'development stage,' of course, I mean writing down the one-line synopsis of the idea in a big text file called BIG IDEAS. To be perfectly frank, most of these ideas didn't deserve a file with such a bold title. It's like that old Seinfeld episode where Jerry writes down a punchline that seems hilarious at 2:30 AM but later on he realizes that what he wrote down isn't funny at all. Imagine Jerry wrote that punchline 200 times and you have my BIG IDEAS file.

* Blog posts. This is also part of the reason I hadn't posted in a week. Namely, a few blog ideas I'd scribbled down were lost, lost, lost forever. For instance, my preliminary "Best Survivor players ever, non-winners edition" post will have to be rewritten from scratch. Scratch! How will humanity live without knowing how highly I rank Rob Cesternino's contributions to the game? (Spoiler alert: rather highly.)

So yes, nothing truly catastrophic came of my laptop's death. I'd been thinking of getting a new computer anyway so this just sped up the process. But while this new MacBook Pro seems fantastic, I'll always have a soft spot for my old MacBook non-Pro (MacBook Amateur?). It gave me a lot of good years. I'll definitely have to pour one out for my old homie this evening….though I'll pour the liquor far away from my new system, since I have to buy another fucking computer in the span of a week, I'm going postal in the Mac Store.

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