Saturday, March 12, 2022

The Perils of Updating

It was time for the 6-year-old MacBook to die. It was still living in El Capitan, back in 2015. In the Mac world (where they give their operating systems cute names), I was years behind. Eons and mountains and deserts behind.

Websites were starting to remind me I was out of date, if not forbidding me entrance. Some browsers didn’t even want to know me anymore.

So I decided to update my system. Maybe travel as far as Big Sur or … Monterey! But then an alert popped up: my Microsoft Office 2011 wouldn’t work anymore if I updated my computer. I’d have to update to Microsoft 365.

Aiiiieeee! All this updating! They’re talking to a person who has had the same hairstyle for thirty years, who doesn’t ever rearrange furniture, who kept her beloved Subaru for 20 years and only heartbreakingly replaced it.

I took the plunge. It helped that my sister’s office was burglarized and she had to replace her computer, so some of the replacement research was done. (Sorry, Allison.) Both of us are now proud owners of MacBook Airs.

I can say “proud” because I’m just now recovering from hysteria. The Geniuses at the Genius Bar at the Apple Store must see me and run for the back rooms. Five visits in four days. And that’s not even counting the at-home computer consultant and the chats and phone calls with Apple Support. I’ve been a one-woman disturbance in the cloud universe.

The Cloud! The misty, obscure, and unknowable Cloud. Because I decided I’d have to backup to The Cloud in case (as happened with poor Allison) my laptop was stolen or destroyed. (Allison was wisely backed up.)
First, we had to empty the brains of my old laptop into the new brain. That was a couple of visits which involved the horrors of where did my neat little highly-organized folders go? Then there was the problem of where did my photos go?

And did I even talk about passwords? I could do an entire sitcom on passwords.

That’s when Nancy the Computer Whiz entered my home. She sat down at my computer and explained how to back up to The Cloud, and she made it happen. She explained how to do the password thing, the photo thing. But poor Nancy had me as a client.

So Nancy had to put up with many hysterical emails. Tim had to put up with hysteria in person. The Geniuses don’t know how close they were to having a crazy woman run amok in the Fifth Avenue Mall.

Because everything had disappeared from my computer. It was all in The Cloud, so what if I didn’t have Internet, did I have NOTHING?!?

I find it amazing – if not reassuring – that when I have a problem and ask Google, as I’m typing it out, Google auto completes my query. It means that other people have the same problem. I type in “document not…” and Google comes up with “not loading on my Mac,” “not updating,” “not in my backup,” etc etc. I type in “photos not…” and I get the catalog of everyone else’s problems with photos.

I type in “how to calm” and it’s amazing how many people need to calm down, calm anxiety, calm a hysterical person, calm a panic attack.

Eight emails and Nancy could not reassure me. “It’s all in The Cloud! It’s gone from my computer! Gone!!” Finally, she told me to disconnect from wifi. I did. My things were still there! They weren’t stuck in The Cloud, they’d just changed locations, rearranged the furniture.

My heart rate is slowing down. I can function again. I’d started out writing about things that merely confuse me before I was distracted by things that traumatize me. Maybe tomorrow I’ll get back to mere confusion.

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