Disclaimer: The entries you find in these pages are based on my individual opinions and thoughts. Some of the entries may be just plain wrong, and others harmful. Should you choose to act on, or try, anything you find on this site, you assume any and all risks associated with your actions. So there.
September 1, 2006
We had a little storm blow by, Ernesto, a tropical depression/storm/hurricane wannabe, on Thursday. I have a love/hate relationship with storms like this. On the one hand, they are a nuisance / menace, on the other hand, they can be good for business. Many people go around in a panic right before such a storm, doing things they otherwise wouldn't do. This can be totally avoided with a simple, well thought-out contingency plan. More on that later.
Anyway, on Friday I got a call from a user who had unplugged her iMac on Wednesday in preparation for the storm. She came in to find it wouldn't start up. I see enough computers that spend their lives always plugged in, and left on, to know that many of them are temperamental if they have been left unplugged for a day or so. I told her to be sure that it wasn't the outlet, and to have a bit of patience. In other words, keep trying what she was doing-- in this case, unplugging it, giving it a rest, plugging it back in, holding down the power for a few second, etc., etc.
A couple of hours later, she called back, and had given up. So I swung by. 30 seconds later her computer was merrily booting up. I wish I could have told her the "trick" I used. But, really, it was just a tiny bit of patience. All I did was what I told her to do, which was try a different outlet, and hold down the power button for just a couple of seconds. She was flabbergasted.
Most of the time, when I perform a bit of "magic" for a client, it has nothing to do with expertise or knowledge. It's just a bit of patience and clear-headedness. I'm constantly telling people to plug and unplug, wait a bit, look at their watch to make sure they have waited 60 seconds (or 5 minutes, whatever). And I am astonished at the number of people who just won't do this. I guess I should be happy-- after all, I make a ton of money from people like this. Still, I hate to make money this way, and I the more I help people like this, the more dependent they are upon me. I have a family-- I don't need any more dependents.
See my next entry for more on backup.