computers Science & Technology

An Apple Story

My heart sank when it froze, then my screen went black, and in the morning, after a fitful night of hard-drive-crashing-thoughts-of thousands of “un-backed-up” photographs, my faithful Apple MacBook would not boot.

“I’ll have to take it in to the Apple Store,”  I told Jerry, and so around 11:00 we headed down the hill and into the city of Rancho Cucamonga,  about a 45 minute drive from Crestline. The Apple Store is in the beautiful “cutting-edge” outside mall named Victoria Gardens.

He smiled widely, did the young man who greeted us at the door. I spoke of the freeze-up and the black screen when he inquired of our needs. “My computer is sick. I need someone to look at it.”

“Hmm. Could be bad. But don’t worry, we have excellent techs, and we’ll see what we can do.” I hadn’t made an appointment, so he left me for a minute to see if he could work me in, returning quickly, smiling ever, saying someone could help me in about half an hour.

Mark was the tech to whom I was directed when it was my turn back at the Genius Bar, and after he asked, I told him how my computer had happened to go down.

A few days before the problem, a message had come on my screen saying my start-up disc was nearly full. I learned this referred to my hard-drive, so I bought an external drive with the thought of transferring my more than 8000 pictures there, thus creating more space on my internal system. However, when I tried to connect it to my computer, I ran into some problems, and decided I would, the next day, get someone to help me with it. In the meantime, I began discarding expendable picture files, in that way reducing the stress on my hard drive. As I did so, my computer froze, then the screen went black.

As I was telling this to Mark, he turned on my computer, and voila! it booted.

Bottom line: The computer had not crashed, but being so close to full had shut down and just couldn’t co-operate.

Second bottom line: Mark took the external drive I had brought, and using his fast system began transferring my pictures. “It’s going to take hours,” he told me. “You may either hang out here or leave and we’ll call you when it’s ready.”

I gave him my cell number. Jerry and I left to do some shopping, winding up a couple hours later at The Cheesecake Factory for lunch. As we finished our meal, my phone rang and it was an Apple Person saying my computer was ready.

The friendly young man at the door remembered my name, and someone took me right to the Genius Bar, bypassing the line that was now there. “It’s finished,” Mark said, and he and another young man brought it out, and we went over the method for using the hard drive for all my pictures, and what to do when I traveled without the hard drive.

The cords were wrapped up, my computer and the hard drive were in my case. Mark smiled. I looked about for the cash register, and seeing none asked, “Do I pay you?”

“Oh, there’s no charge, Shirley. That’s the privilege of being an Apple owner. You never pay for tech support. No one is ever charged for service at the Genius Bar.”

I was stunned. Stammered about a bit, patted Mark on the hand, thanked him profusely and went out the door and to the car where Jerry waited. “Guess how much it cost,” I said immediately on seating myself, trying to make my face grim and ominous.

“I don’t know, Shirley. How much?”

He was as stunned when I told him as I had been, and at that moment I decided to write about this incident. For I think most of you will agree that too often these days, the service we receive from many business places is abysmal, and the charges we incur are exorbitant.

Not so with Apple. And besides that, the stores are bustling with friendly people who are eager to help you, you can dink around with any of the computers, there are little tables and chairs with computers for toddlers, they treat you with dignity even if you are as barely geeky as am I, and they remember your name. At least that is so with the Apple Store in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. I highly recommend it.

Tell them Shirley sent you. 🙂