Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Apple and the Animals They Create

My Mac computer experienced problems. I tried fixing one particular issue myself. iPhoto refused to open. Seeking help online, there were solutions under troubleshooting Macs on the Apple website. Except reading the how-tos, I could not understand the directions, or even comprehend the lingo, no less execute the instructions.

Several months ago a $99 one-year subscription for training at our local Apple store expired. Of course I did not use it as much as I could have, but did get my moneys’ worth of one-to-one assistance.

Fast-forward six months. I decided the answer to my Mac difficulties involved a visit to the Apple store for person-to-person, hands-on support.

I went online and scheduled an appointment at the Genius Bar. The geniuses are Apple techies resolving customer concerns about their Apple products. I am not quite sure what customers like me are called, but I guarantee employees have their favorite terms for poor tech dummies like me – not all complimentary, for sure.

For once I was organized, actually creating a list of recurring Mac problems.

I arrived at the store and was immediately greeted and introduced to my support staff person. I must give Apple credit – there were more than enough blue-shirted geeks to service all the customers. Most employees are young (I am guessing in their twenties and thirties) and the majority guys.

Before beginning any troubleshooting the most important question needed to be addressed: how much was this work going to cost. I was informed I was eligible, when my initial training deal expired, for a one-year renewal. I do not remember receiving an email about this offer, but that does not mean it did not arrive in my inbox. I have a habit of deleting advertising (or what I think is junk/advertising) before reviewing the contents. I probably deleted the message without looking at it.

Anyway, they (the Almighty They, the Apple guys in cyber sky) made an exception and allowed me to renew for another year. I did not hesitate – there are a lot of things, between my iPhone and Mac, I should learn to do.

So I made the $99 purchase for one year’s training – one-to-one, group sessions, and guided assistance included.

Now it was time to tackle Mac’s issues.

After answering a long litany of questions and giving Mac a quick look, the tech guys informed me the crux of my problems stemmed from the fact my Mac operating system was a different animal than the one newer Mac models run.

My Mac’s operating system – OS X – (I’m getting into the jargon!) was Snow Leopard. The new OS X is Mountain Lion. Apparently my Mac was purchased the day before Apple introduced the new system.
Snow Leopard is Out.
The best solution to my problems was an upgrade to the latest animal, involving a $20 acquisition of Mountain Lion.
The Apple Mountain Lion logo. I took the picture.
Before running diagnostics on my machine and installing the new OS X, it was strongly suggested I backup my computer. Intellectually I know this is important – I lost data in the past on other machines – but there was some monetary reluctance to follow through.

I broke down (monetarily, mentally and emotionally), purchased an external hard drive (HD), and copied everything from the internal to the external HD.

Another $90 purchase for the HD. But now I own it, and will definitely, probably, possibly backup regularly going forward.

My tech consultant asked whether I wanted to install Mountain Lion myself, or should he do it. That was a no-brainer.

The tech staff ran diagnostics on iPhoto and eventually fixed whatever the problem was. Mountain Lion was installed and my computer checked out and cleaned.

I gathered up Mac and assorted accessories and headed home, $200 poorer, a little computer savvier and, hopefully, glitch-free.

FYI - trivia you may not know, will most likely soon forget, and will in no way enrich your life – Apple OS X systems, first introduced in 1999, are all named after animals – more specifically, different cats. The first one was Cheetah, then (in order) Puma, Jaguar, Panther, Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, and finally Lion and Mountain Lion.

My guess Cougar is next. I know Puma and Cougar are the same, sometimes called Panther, but this is tech-land, not animal science…


  1. Aw, I thought Apples were problem free. Oh, well. I do admire that you took matters into your own hands.

  2. I've still got Lion, not Mountain Lion, on my Mac. I also have a hard drive that I use to back up my computer onto Time Machine. I hear they will have a new one coming out this summer, so I might just skip Mountain Lion and go to the next OS. Glad you're back up and running, hopefully stress free! :-)

  3. I don't suppose they'd consider Domestic Short Hair?