Ravings of a Do It Yourself Geek
OR HOW I FIXED MY CD EJECT FAILURE ISSUES
I am the family IT guy. Someone clicks on the wrong thing and it’s “Mom! My computer! Help!.” I think I have my own inquisitive nature to blame. And up until now I’d say it was partly that and part my own burning need to understand all of that which I command in my daily life. This includes every computerized gadget we own. It also includes the dog, but he’s proving a much harder subject.
So, over the years, I’ve learned how to understand the ins and outs of html as well as how to keep my PC safe from the evils that lie just beyond my keyboard. I’m paranoid bordering on neurotic about every keystroke and I’ll never, ever, ever click on those flashing ads on the side of my Facebook page. Sadly, not everyone in my household is as vigilant.
But no rampant virus or errant clicking led me to blog today. Today’s rant is a result of my own frustration with myself. You see, the last few years have been busy ones. Children have gone off to college, adding laptops and iPads to our inventory, each one increasing the necessity for me, the mom-geek, to stay on my toes, computer-wise.
I’ve considered myself pretty savvy. While the rest of the family has PCs, I have an iMac, and I love my Mac. I’ve even followed some youtube instructions and opened the iMac 24 up to upgrade my memory. Recently I purchased a new Mac but still have the 24 because it has my entire iTunes library on it and I don’t have the time to try to figure out how to move almost 6000 songs to the new one.
And so, it has chagrined me greatly that, in the last year or two, I have actually taken a couple of our computers to the paid geeks to repair things I should have been able to take care of myself. Or that shouldn’t have happened in the first place at all. (thank you button clickers) The amount of money we have paid for repairs pains my heart. Greatly. I now realize all this blah, blah, blah that IT guys spread around is a bunch of smoke and mirrors. The markup is amazingly gruesome and we’re all getting taken.
Last night’s experience drove this home for me. I tried to burn a disc on the old Mac for my son. He just wanted a measly fifteen songs. No bid deal, right? We get it all done and then, surprise! The disc won’t eject from the computer. It whirrs and chirps. It burps and spins. And nothing. It’s almost midnight and I’m totally frustrated. I’m looking into the slot. I’m putting the computer at all types of unnatural angles, but nothing.
Whirr, chirp, spin.
All I’m seeing in my head are dollar signs and computer nerds in crisp white shirts with pen protectors. I’m getting really angry. I know they’re going to charge me $150 up front and they probably need to take apart my Mac to get out this stupid disc with fifteen songs on it. And if I don’t get it fixed, every time I turn on the computer I will be serenaded by the whizzing disc drive as it burps and reminds me of my ineptness.
So I take to the internet. God bless the internet. I try a couple of searches and finally I search “iMac stuck disc” or something like that, and lo and behold I find an article, from Apple, about how to clear a CD eject failure. It’s an older article and it’s for authorized technicians, but I groan and read on, figuring I’m about to need a small screw driver and a large martini.
This is the point at which I become both elated and really, really pissed off. These are the instructions for the techs. Take a look and see if you can guess what riled me up.
A paper clip? Seriously? I found it hard to believe, but I got a paperclip, followed these directions, and out popped the damned disc. I was stunned, thrilled, and righteously aggravated because I know almost certainly that, had I brought this computer to the geeks, they would have charged me their fees and acted as if they’d done me some huge favor when all along all they would be doing was sitting in the back room with a GD paperclip, laughing their asses off at me. They’d probably recommend I get a new disc drive as well. Dude!! Are you kidding me?? A paperclip?
And thus the source of my frustration. Of the repairs I’ve had the pleasure of paying for, how many were rendered using simple, household items or office supplies? Never mind paperclips, how about those cool, weird little wrenches you get with everything you buy at Ikea? Imagine what I could do with one of those? Maybe the car needs an oil change.