Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Never Give Up

If you spill coffee on your keyboard and then the computer doesn't work, try this.

It worked for me. It did take a couple of days to get it dried out enough and I had to tend to it. In order to keep it from getting too hot I actually had to turn the oven off after a minute or two, even with it set on low. The first time I'd turned it on, I left it and went to do something else and it got really, really hot and my thermometer was ruined.

From then on I gauged it by touch. When it was about as hot as it would be if you left it on the sidewalk in direct sunlight on a hot day -- almost too hot to touch -- I turned the oven off.

Also, after that first time, I turned it so that the screen wasn't inside the oven.

I say "never give up" because when I'd spilled coffee on the keyboard before, it was enough to just put the computer in front of the air conditioner and set it to dehumidify, but that didn't work this time. The screen was black. Nothing.

I had given up after that first day, Sunday, and Monday morning I bought another computer. But of course I eventually remembered that all the data in my old computer was lost. I hadn't backed things up to my external hard drive in five months. So I tried another day in the oven but it still wouldn't start.

Then, before I left for work Monday evening I thought I'd plug it in. These MacBook Airs have a flash drive instead of a hard drive and if the battery goes dead you lose everything. So I plugged it into the charger and started walking away and voila, I heard it start up.

iPhone Mania

I'm almost glad it happened. The new one has a bigger screen and a million times more memory and I think it cost less than the old one cost, and the old one was a reconditioned 2010 model.

At the Apple Store I had to wait in a line in the hot sun because people were there buying the new model iPhone and almost all the Apple Store employees had called in sick, apparently. But I had a very nice conversation with an elderly gentleman in a bow tie who was there to buy a new iPad.

He had sparkling blue eyes and looked straight into mine whenever he smiled. He had what I think was some good advice. He was getting the smallest iPad because "they'll be obsolete in a few months anyway."

I gathered that he was doctor or perhaps an administrator at the VA hospital. As we went from topic to topic he kept opening up his old iPad and referring to it. He demonstrated, by holding it up and walking around me, how with some new kind of software, that's he's really looking forward to getting, you can walk around something taking pictures of it with your iPad, and the software will translate it all into a three dimensional image, which can then be printed with a 3D printer, or you can play around with it. He wants to use it as the basis for artwork.

We talked briefly about childhood education. He has grandchildren. He said cursive writing is no longer being taught in schools.

"We've got a whole generation that can't read cursive writing," he said, smiling, looking straight at me.

He didn't seem alarmed, but I was. But then as I listened to him talk about something else, I realized that for him, it was just one more thing to be astounded by.

He had quite an outlook on life. As I listened and watched, I got a little glimpse of what it must be like to look at life like that. No cursive? No problem. No problem, no class divisions, no hunger, no wars, no worries about trucks that sooner or later are going to break down.

I worry all the time. Just one more thing to be astounded by. I hope I remember that guy. I hope I never give up.

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