Monthly Archives: July 2008

RTFM Really Means “I Love You”, (But Only If You Were Paying Attention)

Part One: I Get A Wild Hair

Several weekends ago I was reminded that “impulse control” is the woeful precursor to “anger management”. Specifically, I decided to swap out the logic processor on my near-vintage Quicksilver G4.

I’d watched the videos, memorized the moves. I tore open the box, found the processor, pulled the old one, and began to install the new one.

The warning signs were visible early on, but had not yet penetrated my chattering monkey mind.

I plow on.

Part Two: Darkness

Everything was going too smoothly. Didn’t drop any screws, hooked up the fans. Whoo boy. Plugged it back in. Pushed the “on” button.

No signal.

Oh. Shit.

Now I had Terry Schiavo. It lit up, but no brain activity. I re-inserted the old processor, but no life. In my fugue, did I forgot to plug in the power lead? No. There was no brain function.

With a creeping dread worthy of HP Lovecraft, I discovered the install manual. And like the fabled Abdul Alhazred, I begin to page this late-surfacing Necronomicon. Therein were the incantations I did not perform, to wit, the firmware downloads. Of course! This was OWC, not Miskatonic University.

Back to the 21st century.

I called the Apple Store. Of course this all happened when they’d unleashed the 3G iPhone, and all the techno-weenies were howling, or at least texting, with their base desires. I got an appointment for 24hrs later.

Part Three: Dorkness, Unto Light

The lad at the Genius Bar looked at my G4 with an antiquarian’s amusement. Since I’d installed a 3rd party device, they weren’t going to touch it. Besides, they didn’t have the elderly 733Mhz processor card that was original stock. Of course not, it was sitting at home on my desk.

I needed big-ass professional help. Several references led me to Louis Katz. Not too long afterwards, he swung by my office. I led him to the scene of the crime. He smiled enigmatically.

“It needs to come to my workshop”. And off it went. Several days later, Louis calls.

“Larry, how you doing?”

“Louis, I was hoping you’d tell me”

“Well, it’s not looking good”

“I kinda thought so. I didn’t think you were out there eating birthday cake…”

“Sorry for the bad news”

“Yeah, I’m not thrilled either. But hey! it’s a dead computer, not a teen pregnancy…”

Long and short: the motherboard was fried. D-E-A-D.

I turned to face the light. My elderly G4 had run its last lap. I was going to make the long-overdue upgrade that I’d postponed. Lucky for me, it happened at a quiet moment, not in the middle of a crunch. This wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, but here it is.


NEXT: Mr Pre-Press signs off on the fiscal proctoscope(s) to finance a new beast.