Archive for the 'Crazy Apple Help Desk' Category

24 MarThe CARS Total Backup Plan

Fuuuuuuuuuuck...

“Speed reduced by disk malfunction”? Ooh. That doesn’t sound good.

My friends, have you accepted backup into your life as your personal savior?

You should.

BECAUSE ONLY BACKUP CAN SAVE YOU.

I’m John and I am a hard drive failure SURVIVOR.

(Hi, John.)

Here is my story.

After hearing from this guy and that guy last week about how important it is to back up your data regularly, I decided to embark on my biennial backup routine (“Every other year, whether it’s needed or not!”, that was my motto!) of my MacBook Pro and my wife’s MacBook (the “Pro” is for “douchebag”).

The backups completed, I returned to the couch where I lie in a prone position shoving fistfuls of Screaming Yellow Zonkers into my face and railing against the government to no one in particular.

Occasionally, however, I break from this reverie to watch various forms of entertainment with my “special lady” (my wife, just to be clear). One show that we find full of jocularity is Community which we sometimes enjoy online through a crappy-assed interface known as “Flash”. That particular point is not salient to the discussion of backups, I just like to point out that Flash sucks.

Recently, however, her MacBook had been crapping out during our viewings. At first I thought it was just the battery dying. Then I thought it might be a video card. Then I thought maybe it just didn’t like Community. Then I thought it might be evil humours. Or the doings of that witch that lives across yonder field. Or Larry.

We still don’t know the root cause of the problem, but one thing we know as of last night is her disk is royally fucked up.

In olden days they would have said “‘Twas the backup that cause ye disk failure!” And then they would have stoned the backup disk and thrown it in a well. Fortunately, these are more enlightened times when we realize the cause is entirely unimportant. These things happen. Are you going to be a victim? ARE YOU?

Of course you’re not. Because you’re going to implement THE PATENTED CRAZY APPLE RUMORS 7-STEP PLAN FOR TOTAL BACKUP SECURITY.

Which I just made up this morning.

Did you know Kinko’s now has a patent office? You can get something patented in 15 minutes, unless there’s a line.
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THE PATENTED CRAZY APPLE RUMORS 7-STEP PLAN FOR TOTAL BACKUP SECURITY (brought to you by Kinko’s)

1. Weekly full backups – Use SuperDuper! or the backup software of your choice to make a copy of your whole disk.

2. Daily, incremental backups – with Time Machine or SuperDuper! or whatever.

3. Offsite storage – I can’t emphasize this enough. Here’s an example: I just Googled your name and found out where you live. I could drive over to your house RIGHT NOW, gain access to your house by pretending to be your mistress (OK, I’d have to stop at Ross Dress For Less first) and while your wife went off to make tea so that we could discuss this like civilized ladies before having a pillow fight (that’s what happens in these situations, right?), STEAL YOUR BACKUPS AND SLIP AWAY INTO THE NIGHT. Or day. Whatever. The point is, in a matter of moments of gaining entry to your house, I’d be running down the street with your LaCies. In a dress.

Assuming the lure of the pillow fight wasn’t too great. Which is not at all a safe assumption.

Anyway, there are any number of facilities in the Mojave desert that will rent you gigantic storage facilities starting at just $500,000 a month. Don’t your family pictures deserve the same level of secure storage as our government’s cyborgs? DON’T THEY?

4. Rotation – This is a vital component to offsite storage. Your data will never stay fresh unless you rotate it frequently. That’s why every two weeks I drive out to the Mojave desert and turn all the hard drives a quarter turn. That may seem like a pain, but it’s nothing compared to losing a Word document of ideas (“Vanity social security numbers. Kevlar manatee. Soup?”) or a piano cat video.

5. Off-planet storage – You only have to see 2012 once to see how this pays for itself. And you really only should see it once, if at all. But don’t see it in 3D. That’s just bullshit. It’s like $6 extra dollars to see some ash falling in front of your face.

6. Alternate media – Hard drives are great and they sure are fun to whip at cars on the interstate late at night, but one giant electromagnetic pulse and kiss your ones and zeros good bye. That’s why I painstakingly write out all the ones and zeros that make up the data on my hard drive no fewer than three times a day on the wall in the safe room in my basement.

Now, people may laugh when you tell them you do this, but they’ll only laugh once.

They tend to get uncomfortable when they realize you’re not kidding and then they pretend their cell phone is ringing.

7. Sacrifice to Gorto – This one needs no explanation.

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Implement this system NOW. Don’t wait for data failure to take advantage of you like that college English professor!

What? You ended up marrying him?

Three kids?

Oh.

Hey, have you seen the Rickster recently? Whatever happened to that guy?!

Investment banking? Suicide? Ha-ha! Oh, man, that guy cracks me up!

01 FebFriday Feature: Crazy Apple Help Desk

Every Friday, the staff at Crazy Apple Rumors Site used to answer common help questions based on our vast experience with Apple products and our fervent belief that we know more than you do.

But not any more.
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[THE TOP-SECRET CARS HEADQUARTERS. THE OFFICE IS ALMOST EMPTY, THE DESKS ARE CLEARED AND A LONE FIGURE SITS PUTTING ITEMS INTO A CARDBOARD BOX.]

MOLTZ: Macworld media badge. Boba Fett action figure. Lock of Nancy Heinen’s hair. Unreleased CD of HyperCard for OS X. Copy of Schillerworld magazine. Hey, there’s my Apple iPad! Man, how did I not see that was just a Newton with a sticker on it that said “iPad”? Ha-ha! Ahhh, I was so young! Well, 37.

[TAKES A SWIG OUT OF A BOTTLE OF TRES GENERACIONES ANEJO TEQUILA THEN SHOUTS TO ABSOLUTELY NO ONE:] This isn’t a box of objects it’s a box of memories, dammit!

[LOOKING INTO THE BOX] And, um, something wrapped in aluminum foil that says “Rob Enderle’s liver”. I’m kind of afraid to open that. That’s from a weekend in Vegas I don’t remember anything of at all. Which is probably a good thing.

But…

Good times. And now… it’s all…

[SUDDENLY, A LOW HUM BEGINS TO FILL THE ROOM. IT CONTINUES TO GROW AS A WHIRLWIND BEGINS, SCATTERING PAPERS AND FLINGING THE BLINDS ABOUT. AS THE NOISE REACHES AN ALMOST DEAFENING LEVEL, A BRIGHT BALL OF WHITE LIGHT APPEARS, SENDING BOLTS OF ELECTRICITY SHOOTING TO THE NOW-EMPTY OUTLETS IN THE ROOM. A FIGURE EMERGES AS THE BOLTS OF ELECTRICITY CEASE AND THE HUM DIMINISHES. IT IS THE ENTITY, STILL IN THE FORM OF THE HOTNESS THAT IS JENNIFER FRICKING CONNELLY.]

MOLTZ: Hey! What are you doing here? You already left.

THE ENTITY: Re… appearing.

MOLTZ: Right. Well, it’s not that I’m not glad to see you, but we’re not really supposed to be in here. Our lease ran out today. I already gave the keys to the landlord. He just let me in here to clean out my desk.

THE ENTITY: Forgot… [WALKS OVER TO A TABLE AND PICKS UP A PEN] …my pen. Double booked in 4 billion years.

MOLTZ: Huh?

THE ENTITY: [THE ENTITY REGARDS THE PEN THOUGHTFULLY] Interesting. Future uncertain. Again.

MOLTZ: [RAISES THE BOTTLE OF TEQUILA] Well, you got that right. [TAKES A DRINK]

THE ENTITY: Unknown forces now in motion.

MOLTZ: Uh, is that something I should be concerned about?

THE ENTITY: No. Yes.

MOLTZ: Thanks. That’s helpful.

THE ENTITY: Well… goodbye! [TURNS TO THE LIGHT]

MOLTZ: Has anyone ever told you that you’re kind of odd?

THE ENTITY: Jean-Louis Gassée.

MOLTZ: Yeah, well, he’s one to talk.

THE ENTITY: [NODS, THEN TURNS BACK TO THE LIGHT BUT DOES NOT ENTER, AS IF CONSIDERING SOMETHING FOR A MOMENT. THEN POINTS INTO THE LIGHT.] You?

MOLTZ: Uh, you want me to come with you? You want me to step into the light?

THE ENTITY: Yes.

MOLTZ: But, uh, wouldn’t that mean I’m dead?

THE ENTITY: No. Opposite. Alive. Everywhere. Everywhen.

MOLTZ: Oh. Hey, you mean just like Captain Sisko?!

THE ENTITY: No!

MOLTZ: Uh, OK.

THE ENTITY: Stupid!

MOLTZ: Well, it seems pretty much the same. How’s it different?

THE ENTITY: Booze! Wii bowling!

MOLTZ: Oh. Well, those are good differences.

THE ENTITY: Pudding!

MOLTZ: You’re three for three.

THE ENTITY: Baked Lays!

MOLTZ: That’s not terribly surprising.

THE ENTITY: Manual stick transmission!

MOLTZ: OK, now it seems like you’re just shouting random things.

THE ENTITY: Crab!

MOLTZ: Oh. Chesapeake or Dungeness?

THE ENTITY: Don.

MOLTZ: Oh. Two B’s.

THE ENTITY: Yes. Or… not.

MOLTZ: Aye! [NODDING] There’s the rub.

THE ENTITY:

MOLTZ:

THE ENTITY: Coming?

MOLTZ: You know… um… no. Thanks. As tempting as spending eternity in a parallel universe is, with all the booze and pudding I can consume, surrounded by Mac pundits of yore and energy beings who can turn themselves into Jennifer fricking Connelly at will… I’m gonna stay here. But… thanks, man. For everything.

THE ENTITY: Ah. Chicken.

MOLTZ: What? No! Hey, I did go to the center of the galaxy with you to fight Tentaculous, if you remember.

THE ENTITY: Cross-town bus!

MOLTZ: Oh, fine. Maybe it was to you, but humans aren’t used to interstellar travel. And the in-flight movie was “Catwoman”! Dear god, that made me sicker than zero G and all the radiation combined.

Anyway… you take care of yourself.

THE ENTITY: Affirmative.

[THE ENTITY TURNS AND STARTS TO ENTER THE LIGHT]

MOLTZ: Oh… hey.

THE ENTITY: Hmm?

MOLTZ: What’s your name?

THE ENTITY: Name?

MOLTZ: You never told me your name. After all these years. Do you have one?

THE ENTITY: Yes.

MOLTZ: What is it?

THE ENTITY: [PAUSES BEFORE ANSWERING] Moof.

MOLTZ: Moof? No. Really?

THE ENTITY: [NODS, THEN SHRUGS] Coincidence.

MOLTZ: [LAUGHS] OK. See you around?

THE ENTITY: [NODS] Round. Like… waffles.

MOLTZ: It always comes back to waffles, doesn’t it. Almost as if the universe were waffle-shaped or something.

THE ENTITY: Kumquat.

MOLTZ: Um… right. Well… you have a nice flight.

[THE ENTITY TURNS AND ENTERS THE LIGHT AS THE HUM RETURNS, BUT ONLY BRIEFLY. THE LIGHT SHINES BRIGHTLY AND THERE ARE SPARKS AND THE NOTHING.]

[MOLTZ LOOKS AROUND AT WHAT IS NOW ALMOST OFFICIALLY THE FORMER TOP-SECRET CARS HEADQUARTERS.]

MOLTZ: I guess this is it. Jeez. Everybody’s gone but me. Chet. Vinz. Albert (whoever that is). Masako. Howard. Ugluk. Thor. The angry Scotsman. The highly effeminate half-Orc. Gloria the Sexbot. Tentaculous. Apple’s friend Gary….

[SCOOTER THE MAILROOM BOY BURSTS INTO THE ROOM, LABORIOUSLY CARRYING A LARGE BOX.]

MOLTZ: … Scooter the mail room boy…

SCOOTER: Oh! Mr. Moltz! You’re still here!

MOLTZ: Scooter, don’t interrupt me. I’m not through reciting names. Gordy, Glaarku…

SCOOTER: Oh, well, it’s just that… there’s a package for you.

MOLTZ: Really?

SCOOTER: Yeah. It came earlier. From a Mr. Skiller?

MOLTZ: Huh? “Skiller”? I don’t know any… Wait. Schiller?

SCOOTER: It’s kind of big. Do you mind giving me a hand? I think maybe it’s a monitor or something.

MOLTZ: You’re kidding.

SCOOTER: [READING] “30-inch Cinema Display”.

MOLTZ: No. Frakking. Way.

SCOOTER: That’s what it says.

MOLTZ: Well, how do you like that?

SCOOTER: Uh, well, it’s OK, I guess. It’s a little big for me, though. I live in an efficiency.

MOLTZ: Uh-huh. Yeah, well, fortunately that was a rhetorical question. Let’s load it into my car, Scooter, my good man. Because my work here…

…is done.

[THEY EACH GRAB AN END OF THE BOX AND MOVE INTO THE HALL. MOLTZ SHUTS THE LIGHT OFF WITH HIS ELBOW AND SWINGS THE DOOR SHUT WITH HIS FOOT. IT CLOSES WITH AN AUDIBLE CLICK OF THE LOCK.]

[THERE IS A BRIEF SILENCE.]

MOLTZ: Ah, crap. I think I just locked my car keys in there.

And my box of stuff.

And my bottle of tequila.

[THERE IS THE SOUND OF THE MARIMBA RINGTONE.]

And my iPhone.

[FOLLOWED BY THE PLAINTIFF BLEATING OF A SMALL BOVIDAE.]

And, uh, apparently, the evil goat.

Darn it.

25 JanFriday Feature: Crazy Apple Help Desk

Every Friday, the staff at Crazy Apple Rumors Site answers common help questions based on our vast experience with Apple products and our fervent belief that we know more than you do.
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Q: I have a Titanium PowerBook that I’m trying to use as a printer server on an 802.11g network. I bought a g PCMCIA card, but every time I have the PowerBook on the network, my wife’s MacBook gets terrible network performance. Web sites are slow and… um… hello?

A:

Q: Hello?

A:

Q: Uh… hmm. Helloooo? Is anyone there?

A:

Q: Huh. This is weird. I wonder where…

A: Sorry! Sorry I’m late! Oh, man.

Q: Oh. Hi. OK, so, I’ve got this PowerBook and…

A: I just got out of an all-day staff meeting. Holy crap. I can’t believe it. There’s some serious shit going on here.

Q: Great. OK, so I’m running an 802.11g network and…

A: The Entity called this meeting and said he had a big announcement. We just rolled our eyes, I mean, the guy’s practically incoherent. How could he have a big announcement?

Q: See, I just need to serve this printer and…

A: So, sure, it took forever to get it out of him… her… whatever… what he wanted to say. After all, he is an enigma wrapped in a mystery wrapped in a flour tortilla and served with sour cream and guacamole…

Q: Getting a lot of dropped connections and slow load times for web pages on the MacBoook…

A: And then there were the inevitable Baked Lays breaks. You know, you watch Star Trek and you think energy beings pretty much power themselves. Well, I’m telling you, that’s crap. And it’s no different now that he’s Jennifer fricking Connelly. He still packs away a case a day.

Q: Er…

A: [sigh]

Q: OK, so, I’m not sure what going on but there’s some kind of interference or switching or…

A: But the announcement!

Q: Oh, for crying out loud…

A: He’s leaving!

Q: Are you even allowed to call yourself a Help Desk anymore? I mean, isn’t there some kind of ISO minimum standard for seconds of actual help supplied?

A: Yeah! Now that the Cyber Apocalypse is over, he’s going back to his dimension! He said his mission here is complete!

Q: So that’s a “no”?

A: I always knew this would come some day but it’s just shocking now that it’s happened. I mean, I was hoping it wouldn’t be for another 500,000 years.

Q: You know what’s shocking? The poor performance my wife’s MacBook is getting.

A: The thing is, without the Entity, we’re pretty much broke. I mean, we get some good income from advertisers and that generally covers our not insubstantial liquor bill, but after that there’s just not much left to run a site.

Q: Oh. You call this “running a site”?

A: He dropped this on us and then just floated out of the conference room. No one said a word. Everyone just got up and walked out. Went home.

Q: Can I call one of them?

A: I gotta think this over. I gotta go home and drink some tequila and… I don’t know. I just need some tequila.

Q: You need some tequila? Dude, if I don’t fix my wife’s MacBook problem I’m going to need an ambulance.

A: This is probably the end of CARS. Seriously. I mean, no Entity, no money, no site. I… I gotta go… drink.

Q: Uh…

A:

Q: Great.

A:

Q: So… uh… I’ll just lock up then?

11 JanFriday Feature: Crazy Apple Help Desk

Every Friday, the staff at Crazy Apple Rumors Site answers common help questions based on our vast experience with Apple products and our fervent belief that we know more than you do.
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Q: Hey, I’m going to Macworld next week! Can you provide any helpful hints about making my stay more fun, enjoyable and sex-ay?!

A: You bet we can! In fact, we’ll devote the whole damned Help Desk to it!

So, buckle your seat belts, undo your fly and put your iPhone on vibrate, because…

We’re goin’ to Macworld!

Tip #1 – Hotels do not provide their own mosquito netting. I have no idea why this is but you must bring your own mosquito netting. This is very important. The San Francisco mosquito is 8 inches long and travels in packs of up to 100. They can suck a human body dry in 45 seconds.

Tip #2 – Avoiding Killer Robots. This will be particularly important this year. The best tip is to get yourself some good tennis shoes and run as fast as you can the whole time you’re there. That’ll work well against the big, clunking robots. Unless they shoot lasers from their eyes. Which most do. However, it won’t work a damn against liquid metal robots. You could cover yourself in tin foil and pretend to be one of them, but they’ll start asking you stuff like “Who won the Robot World Series?” to make sure you’re really a robot and who the hell knows that? I mean the team names are all in hex, fer crying out loud.

Tip #3 – If you’re attending the keynote, you should know that Moscone Center security – at the request of Apple – does a full cavity search. And, uh, it’s considered common courtesy to the security personnel to… um… well… “clean yourself out” before hand. Ahem. Uh, there are several pharmacies located near the Moscone Center so… Well.

Tip #4 – If you’re looking to get into the keynote and you think a good way to ensure that you do would be to kill someone with a press or VIP pass, steal their pass and then skin them and wear their skin on you to throw security off even further, don’t. I can tell you from experience that it’s a mess. If you’ve never skinned something before it’s not as easy as you’d think and all that blood is going to draw a lot of attention. Plus, then you’ve got this skin of some Apple journalist lying around your house. And who the hell wants that?

Tip #5 – When Steve Jobs announces something cool, for god’s sake don’t squeal like a little girl. You look like an idiot.

Finally, and this isn’t so much a tip as it is a request, but please, please, please, if you have a Darling Furball t-shirt, make sure to wear it.

Don’t feel bad if I pretend not to notice you. It’s just because you people kind of creep me out.

So…

See you there!

04 JanFriday Feature: Crazy Apple Help Desk

Every Friday, the staff at Crazy Apple Rumors Site answers common help questions based on our vast experience with Apple products and our fervent belief that we know more than you do.

Today: You’ve got questions about the Cyber Apocalypse, we’ve got answers!
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Q: I understand there’s this big showdown going on between Apple and vast hordes of killer robots which, I understand, are powered by Windows Mobile.

A: You’re more educated than most people, sir.

Q: And I know that these foul behemoths are bent on destroying Apple because, more than any other company, Apple makes technology work for humans, not the other way around.

A: You got that right.

Q: Further, from my close following of your fine site, I have learned that things have escalated to the point where the robots have the Apple campus surrounded, putting Macworld Expo in jeopardy.

A: Sing it.

Q: But what I don’t get is why I haven’t seen any signs of all these robot battles that are supposedly raging about me. What gives?

A: Well, think about it. If robots were going to annihilate the human race and set up their insidious New Robot Order, don’t you think they’d want people to think nothing was going on?

Q: Uh, well, I guess so. But…

A: Of course they would! Now, if you look closely, you can see the sure signs of a fever-pitched battle for the fate of civilization as we know it.

Q: Like what?

A: Well, if there were no Cyber Apocalypse raging between man and machine, would people feel the need to torture captured Pleos to try to extract information?

Q: That’s just weird.

A: Don’t deny the truth that’s all around you!

Q: Oh, the hell with it. There’s nothing good on TV because of the writer’s strike so the Cyber Apocalypse is all I’ve got.

A: Hmm. Well… I guess I’ll take that.
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Q: Cyber Apocalypse? This is stupid. And you’re stupid. And your mother dresses you like a retard.

A: Oh, well, fine. It makes me no never mind. When their vicious metal pincers are pulling you apart like fresh bread, don’t come crying to me. And, I’m sorry, do these “retards“, as you so eloquently put it, shop at Sears?! I think not!
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Q: OK, so what’s the deal? Do I need to do something? Am I supposed to make a contribution? Reboot? What?

A: No, no, no. It’s gone far beyond that. It’s up to Apple now. Apple will need to break the blockade and destroy the Central Plexor.

Q: Oh.

A: Eeyup.

Q: OK.

A: Um, aren’t you going to ask me what the Central Plexor is?

Q: [sigh] Do I have to?

A: Well, let’s just do this and wrap it up, OK?

Q: OK. What’s the Central Plexor?

A: The Central Plexor is the robots’ main central hub. It connects all the robots together so they can carry out their evil plot.

Q: Oh. So it’s like Skynet.

A: What?! No, no, it’s nothing like Skynet.

Q: Oh. Then it’s like Colossus, the Forbin Project.

A: No! Look, um, no. The point is, uh, just that if they destroy the Central Plexor, the robots will go back to being dumb hunks of metal.

Q: So, OK, William Gibson, where’s the Central Plexor?

A: Inside the lead robot.

Q: The lead robot.

A: Yeah.

Q: OK.

A: His name’s Kent.

Q: Oh, fer… Are you even trying anymore?