On Saturday my computer died. I hadn't even touched it or moved it for hours. It was playing some music through iTunes. Perhaps the Mail app was open. Then it started making a crunching noise. Not a good, "wow, my CPU is really churning through some data" kind of noise. But a "wow, that sounds like my hard drive is eating itself" kind of noise. Without running through my complete list of tech repair maneuvers, let's just say it was the first time in my computing experience that it truly seemed dead.
Enter Apple Computer tech support. If you're a gambler like me, you don't buy the "extended care" plan you're always offered whenever you buy a piece of tech gear. If you gamble and you lose, what Apple wants you to do is go down to your nearest Apple Store and belly up to the "Genius Bar". You can sign up online for a place in line, so you can limit your waiting to 2 hours or so. During which, you watch helpless souls try to figure out why their iPod doesn't play anymore. You watch a friendly "Genius" explain to an elderly couple how to set up and use a Mac - which is slightly more difficult than plugging in your VCR and setting the time. You check your place in line on the iMac G5 nearby. You check it again. And again. And again. At this point you start to wonder where you can buy the new Apple "ProCare" card. Only 99 bucks for the ability to actually schedule an appointment with the "Genius" of your choice, instead of waiting in line with cheap bastards like me.
And then... my name was called. I told the Genius who called himself "E" that I ran the hardware test CD and it said my drive was dead, so I wanna use my warranty while it's still in effect and put it in the shop. He told me to hold up and then plugged in his firewire drive. He couldn't find an OS. He asked me if I backed up my computer recently. I had done so, and he promptly erased my drive. He had me install the OS right there at the bar. Voila! Good as new. E is a goddamn Genius.
The moral of the story is this: Back up your computer as often as possible. So DO IT NOW. If not, I'll look forward to reading your rant in the near future.