Sunday, January 3, 2021

COMPUTER EVOLUTION AND MIGRATION

Seven years ago, soon after my dear husband died, I bought my first computer. We had always had a PC since my husband was a very linear man and needed it in his legal work. But the one we owned at the time of his death was infected with so many viruses, that my son-in-law, who is a computer expert, told me that it couldn't be saved, and I would have to buy a new one. My son and I both had Apple laptops, so I decided to get at 27" iMac desktop.  I went to the Apple store, did some research, spoke to several salespeople at the store and walked out with a box containing my new computer.  I loved its sleek design and easily adapted to its use. It has been constantly in use ever since. However, last year Apple told me that the computer was now categorized as "vintage," and this year it has entered the ranks of the "obsolete." It became increasingly slow and started to freeze unexpectedly, so I decided it was time for a new one.  

I couldn't just go into an Apple store this time and ask for an iMac 27 and carry it out.  I discovered that each desktop has to be built to the purchaser's expectations, as there are now 10 different choices one has to make in how the computer is configured. One has to decide on the Intel Core processor, and how much Turbo Boost it should have, how many GB memory, how much SSD storage (up to 8 TB are available), how much Radeon Pro memory, how much internet GB, whether one wants the new Nano-texture glass, a Magic Mouse and a Magic Keyboard, and whether one wants Apple Care. Once I made all these decisions, after talking to my son-in-law and also my business partner, I ordered the computer and signed up to trade in my old one for a very modest refund.

In a few weeks the computer finally appeared at my door. I called Apple for help since they have a handy "Migration Assistant" that supposedly can transfer everything from the old to the new computer.  I had three different Apple assistants, none of whom could complete the migration which was threatening to take a lot longer than 24 hours each time.  At that point, I realized that the old computer's habit of duplicating and triplicating and quadruplicating my photos was just clogging the migration. When the problem first occurred, the computer was new, and I spent the first three years, hauling my computer up to the Apple Store in hopes someone could help me fix the issue.  Everyone at the store got to know me and my computer quite well, but no one could understand why it was doing this, or how to fix it.  Eventually, I started calling Apple, and spoke to many a Tier 2 person, but none of them could help. I started my business, and occasionally would work at deleting duplicates, but it seemed like a hopeless job.  

Finally, I convinced the Apple return people, after many conversations, that my son-in-law thought he could resolve it when he came down for Thanksgiving. He started downloading all the pictures to a hard drive in the morning, and they were finally downloaded by the end of the day.  Then it took another day for him to run the hard drive through a program he had on his computer (also a Mac). At the end of the day, the program had deleted 50,000 duplicate photos. He uploaded the 15,000 that weren't duplicates to my new computer, and I spent the next day, deleting everything from both iPhoto and Photos on my old computer.

However, that wasn't the only issue with the migration, although it was the worst.  Because my old computer was so ancient, I couldn't just transfer some of the programs to the new one, like my financial program, password program, Scrivener for my writing, and Adobe Elements, which is the heart of my greeting card business.  I had to purchase new versions of each of these. So I waited for my son-in-law to come back for Christmas, at which time he helped me move or download everything else I needed from the old computer, and he wiped it at long last!

I called Apple to request a new label so I can now ship the old one back for my refund. They had already shipped me three boxes to return the computer, and I kept telling them that I wasn't ready to send it back because of the flaw in the old computer.  They finally said they would just send me a new label with the date the computer had to be returned, and I felt a great sense of relief, until I read the information that came with the label, and it said I was returning my new computer!  I called Apple back and explained the issue, and they said they would escalate my issue to a specialist but that it would probably take at least 9 days for someone to get back to me.  So I have the old computer in the third box they sent me waiting for the correct label, but at least now I have only one 27" screen on my desk so I can see my garden again and I am enjoying a computer that has the speed I was hoping for and does not chug along like an old jalopy that may give up the ghost at any moment.  I just hope that I can finally get the correct label, get the computer returned, and get my refund at last!

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