Just to prove that I’m an equal opportunity malcontent, I will relate the story of the past 5 hours.
There I was, happily working away on my iMac. I needed to print a document from AppleWorks out as a PDF — a usually-very-simple prospect of File, Print, Save as PDF. Except that AppleWorks crashed when doing so in some great and amazing way that ground everything else on my Mac to a halt.
So much so that I actually had to power it off and power it back on again. And when the lights came back on, woe betide, my mouse wasn’t working. I tried all the usual voodoo: unplug and replug, plug into a different port, try a different mouse, reboot, etc. Nothing doing.
So I called the friendly folks at Apple.
It used to be, in the good old days, that, warranty or not, Apple would help you solve your problem on the phone. No longer. Now, unless you have purchased an extended warranty (for $299!), you have to pay them $69 to solve “an issue.” Reasoning that I would expend more than $69 of my own sweat by thrashing around for an answer myself, I took out my credit card and paid my dues.
And then I spent 2 hours on the phone with various Apple people, spending most of the time waiting for various rebootings to reboot, and decanting various mystical key combinations during said reboots in a very Twister sort of way (things like Control+Option+O+F).
The Apple experts eventually concluded that my problem was related to “third-party software conflicts” and said my only solution was to reinstall the operating system. They promised this wouldn’t screw anything up, and would take about 20 minutes.
That was only partially true.
The installation of the operating system took about 20 minutes. And now I’ve spent the last hour loading all the various security and application updates down through Software Update to get things back to where they were before.
The whole experience has been almost (but not quite) as frustrating as a Windows Debacle. Proof that maybe technology has become just too darned complicated for us to keep it floating all the time.
Some days I pine for the simplicity of doing a brake job on a 1978 Ford F-100 pickup truck, where everything is obvious, and all frustrations can be solved with a hammer.