George Engel has been a friend to the Design Center and the User Group Network for more years than we care to admit. His writings are always intuitive, informative and fun -- he has been an Apple hardware/software guru since the beginning of the Mac, and is one of our favorite contributors...
Picking up the Pieces of my Life
by George M Engel
As most of you know, I'm a crossplatform guy (which is different from a cross-dresser) who loves the Mac platform. Don't question me on that! I've started, run and served on more Mac User Groups than some of you have owned different Macs. I do my Newsletters in InDesign on my PC. So here I am doing my April/May Newsletter and looking for some specific graphics for my Book review and a Mother's Day theme on the Internet. It was getting kind of slow.
Figuring it was all my anti-virus software (3 of which is 'on' all the time,) slowing me down, I (knock on my wooden head 3 times) stupidly turned it off. Oh yeah, it speeded up all right and downloaded all the graphics real quick. Back to work on the Newsletter.
Almost done now! Save, save, save. Boy, but I'm good. Now just to... What the Hell? What was that? Why is my drive accessing like the dickens? Uh oh, better save again. Better Shut Down and Restart in a hurry. Whoops, can't shut down? Doesn't see the Keyboard? What the...? Turn off the Power Switch. Let's try it again. Turn it on and weird stuff. Can't even get to the 'Windows XP Safe Mode.' Doesn't recognize my Keyboard. Oh well, at least I backed up most of my stuff, and just before I turned the unit off, backed up my Newsletter on my external Backup Drive. I'll just re-format the drive and reinstall all my applications. Whoops! That's right, I forgot my Adobe software that only allows you two installs with that serial number that came with the software.
Needless to say, after a long time, the hard drive was re-formatted and Windows XP was reinstalled. Then came the call to Adobe Tech Support and my tale of woe, along with my appropriate tears and tale of my starving children and grieving User Group members who, with bated (that's correct, check me out) breath, were awaiting my Pulitzer Prize nominee'd Newsletter. Needless to say, they accepted my explanation and allowed me to re-do my serial number and re-activate my copies of InDesign CS3 and Photoshop CS3. Whew!
For you Mac User Group people out there, laugh your little skinny butts off. It won't happen to you - yet! And for you PC User Group people; yeah, I know-you can buy three cheap PC's for ONE cheapest iMac, but look at the price you pay! You have to, and better, keep two or three Anti-virus and Spam deflectors running at all times, and a good Firewall. That's what I have, except I turned it all off for the expediency of a fast download! What a knucklehead I am! Oh well! Good thing I also have a Mac available to turn to. Most people don't. Learn from my mistakes, my friends. Yep, I'm back up and running... mostly :)
About the author: George Engel has been a computer guru probably longer than he will admit -- as a computer expert, he authored The Naked Serviceman book, about his journey through the history of Apple's Macintosh as owner/founder of an authorized Apple Service Center. (Available from Amazon, or LuLu) He owned one of the first Apple II computers as well as one of the first Macintosh 128s. He started out with the Upstate Apple Users Group somewhere in upstate New York, and now hangs out with the 'Lakeland Mac Users Group' in Lakeland, FL.
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