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When the World Comes to an End.

When the World Comes to an End.

“For english, press one. Para espaniol, pruhuhumini numero dos.”


“Thank you for calling AppleCare Customer Support Help Line. Please speak the name of the product for which you need support.”


“Okay. I can help you with that.” (New Voice) “We estimate your hold time will be approximately 1,477,826.42110 minutes.”

Oh boy here goes the cell minutes.

There comes a time in every computer user’s life when, shortly after pressing power and shortly before seeing a monitor flicker to life, the world quite simply puts, ends. Yesterday at 5:50 p.m. was that time for me.

I’ve got a major project due today. By major, I mean to say that my client is about to publish her second book and runs her own publishing company. In other words, she’s about to spend a gazillion dollars (read: lots and lots) printing and marketing a book this Christmas season. That is, if we get the book to press by today’s deadline.

Deadline is an interesting word. It means, frankly and bluntly, in no uncertain words, that past Point X your project is, quite simply, dead. The deadline for this project is 5:00 p.m. today. Beyond that, our reserved press time will be given to someone else, meaning the printing of this book won’t start in time to get it on shelves for Christmas. We’ll forfeit the five-figure deposit we’ve sent in, and I’m sure at some point on some rosey-future day, I’ll get a little blue letter of service from the Courts telling me I’ve been sued by a former client.

Alas, here I sit on a borrowed machine…a winTel laptop. My Mac (and all of the software with which I run a design and marketing consultancy), is dead. A new one is on the way. But it won’t be here before my deadline, now will it?

The world officially comes to an end in that moment between the POST test and when you first press power. That moment when, instead of your nice chime to inform you that the computer is working normally and all systems are go you instead get a blank screen and little wavey, flashing, strobe-like lights on your monitor.

You only hope your last backup is still good.

Mine was. Deadline is safe. See you later, as I now have no life and 12 hours of work to do before five.