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My MacBook Scared the Crap Out of Me,

or how I learned all of us can be technologically challenged.

I consider myself to be quite tech literate, and most of my family and friends would agree that I have a good handle or computers, phones, networking, etc. They often rely on me as their first line of tech support when something goes wrong, or they need advice on a new acquisition, so it is with a humble spirit that I post this blog.

It started on Christmas night, as I watched an episode of “The Wire” (IMHO the best TV series of all times) on my MacBook Pro, sleep started to creep up on me. I decided to retire to my bed to watch the remainder of the episode while lying comfortably in the warmth of my bedding.

Some hours later, I awoke to realize that I hadn’t seen more than a few minutes of the show before I had fallen asleep, and that the screen beside me was now blank. Believing it to have simply gone to sleep, I closed the lid on the MacBook, set it aside and drifted back to sleep.

The next morning I awoke fully rested, and ready to enjoy a relaxing Boxing Day, determined to avoid any form of Boxing Day sales and relish some of the leftovers from our wonderful Christmas dinner.

To start the day I thought I would complete watching "The Wire” episode I had slumbered through. I flipped open my laptop, expecting it to spring to life as it always had, only to be greeted by a blank screen. Thinking that I must have actually turned it off in my sleep induced haze, I pushed the power button. No joy. It made no sound, it showed no apple logo, it showed no sign of life.

Starting to mildly panic, I pulled on a pair of sweat pants and wandered downstairs to plug my dead machine into the power outlet and revive it with a fresh jolt of electricity. The MagSafe power connector snicked into place, but the comforting orange/green LED light did not come on. Panic growing stronger, I checked my power bar, yes it was turned on, yes there were two white power plugs attached to the bar, there should be power running to my MacBook.

Why wasn’t it turning on?

Had I burned something out?

Had it overheated?

Had my precious laptop gone to the great electronic graveyard in the sky only six months after being born (delivered by FedEx)?

My next course of action was to do what every good technician does, I fired up my desktop (homebuilt computer running Windows 7) and I googled it.

I found nothing that sounded like my symptoms, but I did try several different key combinations; to restart the computer (control key, the command key, and the power button simultaneously and hold for three seconds); to reset the PRAM (pressing the power button, hold down these keys simultaneously: Command-Option-P-R); to reset the SMC (Left Shift-Control-Option along with the power button once). None of these actions produced the slightest bit of activity in the dead laptop.

Thinking I now had no choice but to book an appointment at the Genius Bar in Vancouver and be without my laptop for a number of weeks, I was growing more despondent. Unable to even admit to my wife that my pricey toy prematurely met its’ end, I spent the next couple of hours cleaning up around the house from the previous days frivolities and only retired back to my den after the house was once again ship shape.

Deciding to give troubleshooting one last chance, I started at the wall and traced the power cord to the power bar, green led glowing, so power was getting to the outlet. The MagSafe connector was firmly in place, and there was no lint or scrap of paper hindering the connection. The cable was firmly connected to the inline Apple power brick. Following the cord back to the power bar, I came to a sudden discovery!

The cord from the brick to the power bar was not plugged in!!

While there were two white cords plugged into the power bar, neither one of them was the plug from my laptop power connector.

The plug had slid under the pedestal of my desk and looked like it travelled to the power bar, but in fact, it was not plugged in. I jammed the plug in, hit the power button on the laptop.

Magically, the SSD stirred to life, the LCD flashed me the Apple, and all was once again right in my world.

My relief was tainted with embarrassment as I admitted to myself that the last few hours of grief were entirely due to my own incompetence. I had failed to follow my first law of tech support.



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