Well, despite being only 4 months old, the power supply died on my new imac. I'd left the machine on all day while I was at work, and when I tried to wake it up later, it wouldn't. Powered it down, then up again using the power button, and it seemed OK, but really, really sloooooooow. Disc utility found no problems, tried rebooting again, but this time it got as far as the grey apple logo, and the spinning wheel, and just powered off again.
As it's only 4 months old, I phoned Apple and they agreed to have it repaired ... but only after I'd tried erasing my hard drive and reinstalling the OS. I'm particularly annoyed about that as the cause of the problem hadn't even been ascertained by that stage! However, the chap said that Apple wouldn't sanction a repair until I'd formatted the drive and tried a reinstall (needless to say, that failed, and Apple said OK to the repair). As the fault turned out to be the power supply, I really do feel that this 'policy' is incredibly cavalier and disrespectful of people's data. OK, I've got a backup (Time Machine, but I'll get to that in a minute), but I meet a lot of people who don't – they trust the myth Apple has created about the reliability of its products.
Anyway, I got the imac back after a week or so, reinstalled the OS, and set about transferring my data back from my Time Machine backup. This is where things took a rather odd turn. First off, one of the accounts on the backup (luckily it was my wife's and there wasn't much on there) was unavailable for recovery – the transfer assistant sat for about 4 hours calculating the size of the files (my 180gig was accounted for in less than an hour). Anyway, I had to cancel recovery of my wife's account and go ahead with everything else.
Once 'everything' was transferred and the OS updated, I started investigating the machine. First thing I noticed was that I had to re-enter lots of license details again (no worries, but puzzling, nonetheless). The next unexpected thing I found was that the 'new' imac didn't seem to recognize my Time Machine backup. It could see it, of course, but treated is as a new hard drive, yet to be set up. Basically, in order to use it as a Time Machine backup, I had to reformat it, then start again (losing the Time Machine 'history' of the past few months!).
So, the moral of the tale:
1. Make a backup (Time Machine if you have to, but at lease a clone of your mac).
2. If the Apple guy tells you he can't sanction a repair until you've erased all your data, lie to him/her. Protect your data at all costs.
3. When recovering from a Time Machine backup, keep your fingers crossed!
Monday, 21 April 2008
I've you're already employed in publishing then you'll know what a cast off is. For those who don't, then, a cast off is a calculation, based on the number of words and pictures in each chapter, for working out how many pages a book/magazine should have. 'cast off calculator' is a Filemaker runtime programme for doing just that.
'cast off calculator' will be available very soon (price to be confirmed).