At midnight on Friday at the start of a long, three-day holiday weekend, my computer turned into a pumpkin. A very dead pumpkin. When I pushed the power button, it gave off a faint, sputtering glow, then instantly died. No power. Which meant — gasp — no computer for…how long? Finding kangaroos on Fifth Avenue would be easier than finding IT guys this weekend, so we were talking at least a week here with no Mac. Maybe even (groan) two weeks. Wow. I hadn’t gone that long with no computer to play with since…I honestly couldn’t remember when.

My Mac’s rebellion was not unexpected. Though less than 10 years old, the machine had been labeled that dirtiest of words in Apple-land — OBSOLETE. Apple no longer listed or sold parts for it.

And why you ask, didn’t I simply buy a new computer? Reason one: this Queen of the Frugalistas wasn’t a big fan of parting with largish sums. Reason two and the primary reason: I hated being robbed, hated putting more money in Adobe’s pockets. Though I already own Adobe graphic software to the tune of Photoshop, Illustrator and a web design program, Adobe couldn’t care a fig less. When I buy a new computer, Adobe’s policy won’t allow me to simply upgrade my existing software. Instead, I have to trash all my perfectly fine programs and shell out big bucks to Adobe for brand new, full versions of their over-priced applications. This ticks me off big-time.

On Tuesday morning my Mac arrived at my computer crackerjacks, Digital Society, a few minutes after it opened. By Wednesday, Abdul had checked it out and called me with a preliminary report:

  1. The patient had been revived, BUT…
  2. I was to back-up all files immediately.
  3. The patient’s heart was weakening. It’s logic board was on its way to digital heaven.
  4. The only question was WHEN…

Next Abdul put my Mac through an overnight Apple stress test that was to last 18 long hours for a thorough exam. Would my Mac survive such a harsh test? Would it make it till morning?

It did. The stout-hearted patient survived to live another day. And it’s with me now, somehow working as smoothly as ever. But if I suddenly disappear again, you’ll know there’s been a fatality in the family and the digital baton is in the process of being passed to a younger, faster  contender.

With stores offering many appealing deals for the student crowd, this is a smart time to purchase a computer or replenish office supplies. See Back to School Bargains for Grown-ups.

Additional Stressful Moments in NYC: