Saturday, July 12, 2008

Why You Should Never Write Things Down

Last week, I documented my cell phone issues here. On Tuesday, I went into Verizon and got my new phone—no whistles or bells other than a camera (which almost all of them have nowadays), just a phone—for free; the salesman even transferred all of my old contacts over from the old phone. I leave the store content.

Yesterday, I wrote about the woes of my computer: the beeping, the dying hard drive. What I omitted is how much time I spent on this problem: a couple of hours Googling and searching the Apple support site, almost an hour in the SoHo Apple Store, another half hour at Best Buy considering different hard drives (all of which were almost twice as expensive as the ones at OWC, where I ultimately bought my new drive), another half hour looking over the options at OWC before I chose my drive, another half hour blogging about my computer... all told, about 4 or 5 hours, including travel time (I walked).

Last night, as I sat on the couch ordering groceries online, Catherine heard the beep again and realized it was coming from near my desk, not from my computer. We'd already eliminated my new phone and my Palm as the culprit by moving them somewhere else and waiting for the beep to come again. We tried this again and, after 10 or 15 minutes of waiting and listening, Catherine realized the beep was coming from my bag, next to my desk. Where I'd dropped my old phone into a pocket and completely forgotten about it. Three days ago.

Because I always take my computer out of the bag and then put the bag down right beside me, the sound had always seemed to be coming from the computer. I'd thought all along that the beeping sounded more like a cell phone battery warning than a computer, but it was obvious to me and everyone else that my new phone was clearly not the culprit. And now I know why no one online or at Apple had ever encountered this problem. And why the Genius at the Apple Store had said to me, after taking my computer into a back room for 10 minutes or so to run the diagnostic, that it didn't make the sound while he had it (the store was incredibly loud with iPhone-mania, so it's not surprising that I couldn't hear the beeping still with me then).

When you hear hoofbeats, think horses—not zebras.

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