Rebooted

By Patricia Morris


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I didn’t want to shop, but the Toshibas were dying. One had viruses that wouldn’t heal; the other had keyboard letters that wouldn’t work.

The day I lost my “s,” I hit the streets. In the second-hand laptop store, the two PC technicians were young and, after conversations about Seoul and Beijing, confessed they both owned a Mac.

Next, at the new London Drugs, the salesguy with long hair and a blue shirt that strained at the buttons, waxed poetic on the elegance of the MacBook Pro. In his pitch, he described the trip to the Apple Store in the Pacific Centre as if it were the Taj Mahal. I am a boomer, a cougar, not a mallrat. In my worldview, fashion outstrips humanity, and sales steal souls. Nevertheless, something had to be done. I switched my hikers for leg-fitting black leather boots with a Cuban heel.
I entered the wide threshold of stale air and florescent lighting. Twenty feet into the coffin-shaped store, I could sniff the hormones of MacGeniuses.

There were gaggles of 20-somethings touching devices in the pumped up cacophony of the place. I bumped people as I inched further into the core. I smiled at the security man. He smiled back. Then he mumbled under the microphone of his headset, “I’m PC.” My mouth dropped. My cheeks reddened. “Hmm,” I was flummoxed. Could he be interested in me? He winked at me. “I’m Bill. I make sure that no one leaves with unpaid...”

“How’s it going?” Ty, the skinny salesboy interrupted our meeting with his cool Apple talk. Yes, they do have their own protocols.

His soft sell left my mind picking through apples:
    the Beatles’ green apple logo,
    bobbing for apples on Halloween,
    the sinful apple Eve picked.

There it was on the silver laptop the transparent white apple missing one bite. I unzipped my wallet. I purchased a computer for more than twice the price of a new PC with Windows 7. I gulped as I bought a printer too.

Three months into it, I am a member of this iCult, which involves iPhoto, iWorks, iTunes, iWeb, iGotta get out of it. When I empty the trash of MacBook, the artificial sound of paper crunching comes from the speaker. I want to slap it silly for thinking it’s so smart.

So far, I’ve met with 12 trainers who trade me off as punishment. Those MacKids don’t always agree on their “work arounds” but each of them is a true devotee. With skin that never sees the light of day, they spend their days off playing with their iPads.

For the extra $100, these youngsters guide me through the “intuitive” hell of Mac OS X Version 10.6.3 and listen to my confused frustration. At each one-on-one appointment, I rant about the horrors of my files with the same transfer date and the jumble of my photos.

I tell myself to breathe deeply. But when I boot the bloody machine, the on-button blows its sound and makes my eyes tear. I experience a heavy dosage of language interference syndrome. My fingers want to move like they used to on the PC, instead of what the Mac requires. It makes me want to throw the machine out a window. But in the Mac store, surprise surprise, there are “No Windows on Premises.”

My arthritic fingers skim the track-pad clumsily. This time, I have purchased “Skin, a form-fitting coverage of silicone to save the keyboard. I’m not convinced that I can live without windows.

I thirst for that sip of sacred Kool-Aid that will make me say “Hallelujah” Mac and turn me into a true believer. I'm not there yet, so I hold BG, my security-man very close. At least he knows where and how to push my right-click button.


DECEMBER 2010 SENIOR LIVING MAGAZINE VANCOUVER & LOWER MAINLAND

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Comments

Showing 1 to 7 of 7 comments.

It's 2016 and I have just today found your story, Patricia. What fun to read after a morning tearing out my hair trying to solve the missing u, i and h on my keyboard when I typed. In desperation (and a collection of words that would shock my kids) I unplugged the darned machine. When I later re-plugged it my keyboard had returned all the missing letters. Now I dont need to replace this 8 year old.

Posted by cynthia | January 31, 2016 Report Violation

Good reading! I am probably going to continue considering a switch to Mac but will proceed with caution. I am happy that we talked about your problems with switching and I do hate the thought of losing control over dates of photos etc.-- I need chronology in my life and I have that with my PC right now. Why does life with computers always seem so complicated and full of hidden pitfalls?

Posted by Pat K | January 23, 2012 Report Violation

Patricia, you made me laugh!! loved the way you wrote this.

Posted by carolyn sullivan | January 24, 2011 Report Violation

Great article Patricia. While I'm sorry that you aren't enjoying your Apple, I'm not surprised. I've been a Microsoft guy since the dark days before Windows. First there was DOS, and Bill said...scratch that.
Just about 20 years ago MacIntosh was sporting a graphical interface that used a mouse for clicking on things. I'd already learned DOS commands and was not impressed with this "user friendly system". Then Microsoft released Windows for the personal computer (PC). Now every man, woman and child could point and click stuff.
Pretty cool I thought. I jumped on the PC band wagon and began suffering along with the rest of the civilized world. Each version of Windows was promised to be the one. Windows 3.1, 95, 98, 2000, XP, ME, and Vista all disappointed so many of us. Last Summer I began questioning the wisdom of my choice made years before. I felt tethered to this metaphorical band wagon, helping to push it through mud rather than riding in comfort while smiling and waving.
My faith was shaken to its core. Could Mac be the one true OS?
With my shoulder to the wheel I gazed beyond the fence into that greener pasture. How glorious to race over and pluck an Apple from the tree.
Then something stirred, yes! Windows 7 logos filled the horizon. I averted my eyes and began moving toward the safety of the tree. Okay, I got a little carried away thereā€¦
Windows 7 won me back. They finally got it right. I'm staying on the Microsoft side of the fence.

Posted by Dean Forsyth | December 3, 2010 Report Violation

Great piece Patricia! Hope you don't mind if I share the link with my parents; I think they'll relate! ;-)

Posted by Elizabeth | December 3, 2010 Report Violation

The short answer is no.
The MacGeniuses have taught me to live with it, like the rain in Vancouver.

Posted by Patricia Morris | December 2, 2010 Report Violation

Give me faith. I want to know when/if the files with the same transfer date and the photo jumbles ever get cleared up.

Posted by Sharon | December 2, 2010 Report Violation

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