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The Sassy Sandpiper: Tech Trauma

Wilson | Sassy Sandpiper | Columnist

The Sassy Sandpiper ventures into technological hell.

By M.R. Wilson, TB Reporter

I am a Luddite at heart.

I cannot say I’ve embraced technology. I’ve touched it gingerly.

When e-mail beamed into cyberspace, I soon was an AOL junkie, but that was all. Then Facebook lured me into deeper techno waters. Next I discovered I liked digital photography and learned the rudiments of PhotoShop.

But that was all.

Except I also grudgingly learned how to pay bills online and order merchandise from all over the globe. And use ITunes. And “burn” playlists to CDs. Because I got an iPod one Christmas.

Then came cell phones and they were cheaper than landlines, so everyone in the household had to have one.

I protested mightily when my nice little flip phone ascended to Telephone Nirvana, and when I was forced to “upgrade” a perfectly fine Android Smart Phone that I’d almost mastered, letting it remain not-that-smart.

A phone is for talking, not sending messages, taking photos, reading books, watching movies, ordering dinner, or playing games or music.


Maybe my descent into the world of technical marvels didn’t happen exactly as described above. Not that it matters.

What does matter, and what I hope never to experience again, is the nightmare that befell my MacBook and me this past Sunday.

For no particular reason, I decided to upgrade the operating system on my laptop (“La Máquina”) to OS X El Capitán. The existing system back up to an external drive took hours. That alone made my stomach queasy. Each step of the download and installation processes made my hands sweat.

Red wine, please.

Sassy Sandpiper| Technology | MacBook

It all looked so bright and friendly and easy on the web sites.

Everything seemed to take an inordinate amount of time. I shut La Máquina in a room by herself so the cats wouldn’t molest the delicate procedure, walking on the keyboard and launching who knows what to who knows where.

The final moments approached. Start-up was imminent when everything just stopped.

So did my heart.

La Máquina shut down, her face pale gray and unresponsive.

My BFF came to the rescue and called for technical assistance, as I was a near-tears mess. I watched and listened anxiously as they put my computer on life support.

More time passed.

Ever so slowly, images floated into view. The sign-in screen appeared. El Capitán assumed command.

It all looked different, of course. I was too weary to explore what survived the upgrade.

Monday morning I was afraid to start up my laptop.

(You’re thinking: “What a wimp you are. Not Sassy at all. Get a grip.”)

La Máquina and I are recovering together. She no longer expires unexpectedly, an alert stating in six languages that my laptop has quit because of “a problem.” Figured that.

The latest version of Chrome helped; perhaps a new word processing program would, too.

Maybe El Capitán is too big and bold for my aging 2008 MacBook.

Restore the previous OS?

Something a Luddite would do.

Not yet.

Photo courtesy of M.R. Wilson.

Sassy Sandpiper | M.R. Wilson | Technology | MacBook | Chrome | OS X | TB Reporter

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The Sassy Sandpiper: Tech Trauma
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The Sassy Sandpiper: Tech Trauma
The Sassy Sandpiper ventures into technological hell.
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TB Reporter
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