I write a monthly column over atÂ AlliOSNews. Itâ€™s a techie site â€“ extolling all the goodies and gunpowder on the Apple OS. (SHINY TOY!) Iâ€™m TechMom. And these are my stories on how technology is really used. This is what you must deal with, as I am a Silicon Valley nerd by day.
Iâ€™m well aware itâ€™s Thursday. TechMom Tuesday is typically published the first Tuesday of every month, but this month your techie insights were delivered lateÂ because I went on vacation and then the regularly scheduled belated column was derailed due toÂ technology fire drills. I reserve the right to rant more or less as the technical goings-on, wellâ€¦go on.
Todayâ€™s column is brought to you by the theme of â€œWell no kidding Captain Obvious.â€ But I shall share this tale of terror as a reminder to everyone out there.
Under no circumstance, should you use your laptop in the presence of liquids â€“ especially any containing sweetener. Syrup will congeal to create quite the sticky situation within the innards of your technological device.
Last week I tucked the TechTots into bed and retired to the comfort of the couch. For company, my crotchety old dog curled up beside me, my 13â€ MacBook Air, and a delicious adult beverage Iâ€™d just concocted. I leaned back to grab my napkin and my fancy glass tipped forward.
I saw the small pooling puddles breaking off in militaristic formation across my track pad like angels of death; splashes sullied the bright white markings on the black keys. The napkin was now mission critical. I sopped up the spill and, heart pounding, continued working on a much-delayed TechMom Tuesday for you. I thought I may have escaped unscathed.
But the series of unfortunate events was just beginning.
When my OS X baby was next undocked for my relaxation and writing ritual the following evening, I noticed a distinct lack of clicking when I attempted to navigate the wonders of the inter webs with my mouse. (Just to be sure, I rebooted. Because that is what one does whenever faced with a potential technological problem. You are likely not shocked that nothing changed.)
As I twisted and turned my machine around within various visual points of view, the contraband goo snuggly stuck within the track pad â€“ mocking me with its vice-like sticky grip â€“ as I stared into a kaleidoscopic precipice of horror.
My first reaction was to flip my technological appendage onto its back and immediately pry the casing off. All I needed was some glass cleaner and I could wipe my track pad off and be back in business in no time!
Ladies and gentlemen, this is very very wrong.
For starters, Apple doesnâ€™t use standard screws. You need a special tool to breach the defenses of outer realms (which is totally not fair because the liquid intruder just oozed right on in). Using a standard Phillips head could result in stripping the screws so that no one can get in. Ever again.
Second, the innards of your computer are tiny and tricky to navigate â€“ including both the battery (which could potentially warp and explode) and the hard drive (without which you have a very large paperweight).
I was strongly encouraged to leave this to the professionals.
I made an appointment at the Genius Bar, finding one only slightly way out of my way because they had a next day appointment. PRIORITIES, PEOPLE!
It was all planned out â€“ our TechFamily would head down to the Farmerâ€™s Market, enjoy some local produce, then Iâ€™d dash over to the Apple Store, get a quick wipe down and continue about our idyllic sunny summer Sunday.
Suddenly the fog of an out-of-body experience overcame me. Apple employees in blue shirts moved around me, customers swarmed the shiny screens and I heard a muted voice cutting through the haze.
â€œGood news, I didnâ€™t find any indication of liquid damage. But the track pad is completely warped; I recommend a replacement. Now, we do have the part in stock, so would you like to go ahead and check in your computer? We can quote you now, and should be able to give you a call that itâ€™s ready by tomorrow morning.â€
What? I was expected to voluntarily hand over my laptop to these strange people for multiple hours? They wanted me to exit their establishment without my machine?
PANIC AT THE DISCO!
I wasnâ€™t sure what to do. â€œI donâ€™t know how long I can be without my computer,â€ I muttered feebly at the very nice genius. â€œIs there any chance I can get it back today?â€
Oh how our device addiction strangles us. I was still in possession of my waterproof iPhone and my iPad. I could still write â€“ all of my key documents live in the cloud. Aside from the frenzy of stress stemming from my own careless grip on the stem of a wine glass, the only real burden would be attempting to brave the workday with only iOS devices.
See, I work in a BYOD environment. From a corporate perspective this translates to â€œBring Your Own Deviceâ€ â€“ an option for employees to use the technology they prefer. For many employees, this translates to â€œI donâ€™t want to use that bulky bulk-rate PC you otherwise typically provide.â€
Weâ€™ll see how the iDevice experiment goes (although maybe Iâ€™ll just start with a weekend â€“ a whole work day sounds a smidge too traumatic for me) and just maybe my next computer will be an iMac.
One that will live in a transformed clean room where no dust can enter â€“ much less a drop of liquid.