I love my Mac. When I bought it almost five years ago it was liberating to get away from the slavery of WinTel machines. Back then, all Windows had was XP, not the best OS they designed; that honor goes to NT and in the nineties and Windows 2000. They were pretty bullet proof. XP was not. (Windows 7, the OS on my son’s laptop is, hands-down, the best OS Microsoft has ever designed. Period.) I was desperate to get away from the daily crashes. the slow boots, and sundry other issues that plagued my custom built tower PC running Windows 2000 and then XP.
I was thrilled to get a Mac after lusting after them for over twenty years. I am a huge Apple fan: I own an iMac, an iPhone, an iPad and used to own an iPod until 2009. I’ve used their products and I love them. I use them for listening to music, watching movies, writing, news, photo editing, you name it. We depend on these devices. Without them we’d be in a world of digital oblivion.
However, while I can’t say the bloom is off the rose, I am a little upset over the hardware issues I have encountered with my iMac. As of this writing, on Saturday night August 20, 2011, I am in the midst of my second major hard drive crash on my late 2006 vintage iMac. The first crash occurred in 2008, barely two years after buying it. Three years later I have experienced the same problem — and know of two other examples of sudden hard drive crashes in Macs happening within the last year alone! Something is not right. I’m very careful with my machine, backing it up on a regular basis using Carbon Copy Cloner (a must-have utility for every Mac user), running repairs on disk permissions frequently. In other words, I take care of my machine. After Thursday night’s sudden and near catastrophic crash, I ran DiskWarrior 4 (another must-have utility). It was able to recreate a usable bootable disk for me from the old dead drive that took almost 20 hours to clone to a fresh new drive. I am now using this as a boot drive to fix my main drive.
I am now in my second full day of fixing my Mac. My advice to fellow Mac users is simple: beware and take care of your machines. Be religious — no, fanatical! — in your backups and maintenance routines. Shit happens and it will happen when you least expect it. In the future I’ll be running Disk Warrior at least once a week and backing up nightly, if not every couple of nights to a clone of my main drive. Do it for your continued computer mental health. If not, you will regret the day, when your precious music, photos and documents, your digital life are gone. Forever.