• James Parry

Parrywinkle November 12, 2015

Well, this week's weather may have been unprecedentedly wonderful for November. But as that old adage goes, into every life a little rain must fall.

Tell you dear readers, it's been bucketing down in mine these past few days. Almost monsoon-like, you might say. But with the help of a certain Hudsonite by the name of Terry Sneller, and the infinite patience and understanding of my beautiful Sunshine, I'm pleased to report that I have weathered the storm. The proof being that I am actually able to write this column in my home and e-mail it over to the office on Harwood and meet the deadline for this week's issue of Your Local Journal. At times, I thought it might never happen. Permit me to explain.

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A LUDDITE'S LAMENT - My sea - okay, make that pond - of troubles began late last Wednesday when my trusty iMac desktop computer crashed. Was working fine in the morning but when I went to turn it back on after a brief break for lunch, I knew I was up the creek without a paddle. All I got on the screen was a flashing icon with a big question mark in the centre, followed by another with a very sad face.

Oh crikey, I thought. What the hell do I do now? Repeatedly tried rebooting - while really wanting to kick in the screen in my frustration - but zip. Same mocking icons. Flashing, flashing, and flashing. “Is it a virulent virus?” I asked myself. “Have I been horribly hacked? Is my hard drive as dead as a dodo? Is my umbilical cord to the Internet and Google irreparably severed? Is this the end of the world as I know it?”

A quick call to Carmen Marie Fabio, my favourite editor in the whole wide world - and not just because she's my boss, well perhaps - was hardly reassuring. "Sounds like your hard drive's dead James." she said with a sympathetic sigh. "Have you backed everything up?"

"Pardon?" I replied, gulping like a blow fish out of water.

"Have you backed everything up? she replied with the tone of a kindly teacher talking to some confused kid in primary school.

"Er no," I admitted while feeling like a real idiot. "I always meant to. But just never got around to it."

"Oh s#*&! " I heard her say, if only in my mind. And I knew right there and that to quote Tom Hanks in the movie, Apollo 13, Houston, we've got a problem!

Short of panicking and rushing out to buy a new 'puter with all that it entailed - me being a Luddite who doesn't even have a Facebook page, a Twitter or whatever it is account, and can barely plug in a toaster - I figured that there had to be a Mac expert somewhere in Hudson - or at least close by - who might be able to save the day. If not my dear old blue iMac that - believe it or not - I had bought brand new back in 1999 and which had always served me well. Perhaps able, miraculously, to resurrect my clunker. Or at least salvage some of the irreplaceable files and photos that were somewhere out there in the stratosphere.

Compounding the problem, of course, was the fact that it was an Apple Mac. Something of a rarity these days with PC/Laptops of different brands being the major sellers it seems and for a fraction of the price. And so on Friday I turned to the Professional Directory at the back of our very own paper, YLJ. And, lo and behold, there was indeed such a guy. The aforementioned Terry Sneller, in the business evidently since 1983, and living just near the Hudson-Oka Ferry.

"Can't promise anything," he told me quite candidly over the phone minutes later. "But let's have a look with no commitment whatsoever. Sounds like the hard drive to me. Sometimes it's possible to get it up going again. Sometimes it isn't. Won't know, however, until I see it and check it out."

And so he arrived the next morning with his trouble-shooting arsenal of tools and myriad discs and, with all the coolness and dexterity of a brain surgeon, got to work. Alas, all to no avail. "Sorry James," said Terry. "I've tried everything and it's just not responding." Sheesh, I almost felt that he was describing me on life support. It was truly dead. Demised. Passed on. Kaput! And not even Bill Gates himself could have brought it back to life!

So it's time for Plan B, I told myself. Self-dillusional really, as I didn't have a Plan B!

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