This week’s hard drive failure did teach me a couple of valuable things about why I’m glad to have a Mac computer, living on the road. For one thing, when they work, they really do work. Effortlessly and seamlessly.
For another thing, they have good, built-in encryption in the File Vault program. My husband and I share our concerns about laptop theft on the road frequently. In an ideal situation, someone breaking in and stealing our computers will get… a computer. They won’t also get our hard drives of data, our passwords, our bank accounts, our browsing history, or anything more valuable than a couple of machines.
But there’s another reason to use a Mac, a really big reason, and it has to do with the times when it doesn’t work.
When a PC breaks, you have to fix it yourself or take it to some computer repair person to fix it. Most of the time, we fix these things ourselves, because finding someone to fix a computer is… not easy, to say the least. For most people, the “computer guy” is a friend or a relative, your neighbor’s nephew– basically, some kid with a lot of know-how and an ability to dig right in and tackle it.
When a Mac breaks, you can try to fix it yourself, but you’re going to end up calling Apple for parts anyway. In my case, I have AppleCare on my computer. The couple hundred bucks it cost me was more than worth it the first time I took it in for service, over a year ago. Because Apple is one company, when you take your machine to an Apple Store’s Genius Bar in New York, and then take it to another Genius Bar in Las Vegas, you end up with the same level of service. The technicians (sorry, Geniuses) have a repair history on file, based on your computer’s serial number.
Now, because of the uniformity of service, you can’t really count on someone going the extra mile for you. After all, they don’t really know you that well. They just know you came in with a dead hard drive (or battery, or DVD drive, or logic board…. yes, I’ve had a lot of computer problems.) You’re not building an ongoing relationship with the individual Genius who helps you with your machine. But you do have an ongoing service record, so the next Genius can be interchangeable with the last Genius.