Finally, as I am about to make my Australian blogging debut (or as the Aussies pronounce it, “day-boo”), how very conveniently, the laptop dies.

Because I left my my Powerbook G4 at home in the western hemisphere, Kirk and I have been sharing his laptop, as civilly as two monkeys can share a banana. Last night I went to use the computer for the usual activities: checking email, having a peek at the credit card balances, some perusing on Facebook, adding to my newest blog draft. Upon opening the case, normally the hard drive yawns awake with a few robust disc spins and the screen blinks on, cheerfully requesting a password to assure it’s granting access only to its proper owner. This time, however, it didn’t wake up. Just, nothing. Thinking that Kirk maybe had shut it down completely, I tried the power button. Still nadda.

I asked Kirk. “Hey, did you shut down the laptop?”

“Nope, why?”

“It won’t wake up.”

After testing the battery, resetting the RAM and PRAM and performing a host of other technical checks that Kirk would have to explain to you with PowerPoint slides and a lecture, the diagnosis was grim. (For you tech gurus, what appeared to be at fault was the NVIDIA graphics card. The laptop, sensing the problem upon start-up, wouldn’t even try to finish booting the OS.) The laptop was in a self-induced coma.

Now this was a problem. Computer repairs are never cheap. Not to mention the fact that we’re in Australia – the island where everything’s more expensive! Great slogan, eh? But so true, especially of their foodstuffs and electronics. Luckily we weren’t somewhere in the middle of the outback, but rather just a couple km’s from the largest metropolis in the country. A repair shop shouldn’t be too hard to find. But most importantly, how long would this take? How will we survive without our lovable electronic best friend? Our window to the world beyond? Our stock imaging cohort? Photography and videography endeavors would come to a screeching halt. Every time we’re out shooting with the 7D, we manage to fill nearly all of our memory cards, about 20GBs total. Before we can shoot again, all those photos and videos need to be dumped off the cards and onto the computer. Without the computer, we have nowhere to put any of our new material. No more photography, no more video.

Oh the humanity! What do we do without the camera? Experience each day for the sake of experience itself? Such nonsense.

The laptop had to be fixed. This morning we rushed it to the emergency room. It was about 11AM, just about lunchtime. The line was long. We were told we’d have to wait. Probably a while.

We sat. We watched people of all ages, nationalities and Mac competence levels bring forth their problematic devices to be treated by the professionals. “Hi! What seems to be the problem today?” asked the amicable Genius.

The Apple Store Genius Bar. Your learn-it, fix-it, replace-it, make-it-all-better shop for your beloved Apple product. Emergency room, it is not. More of a Soviet Union era bread line or Central American health clinic. Two hours later and a handful of empty “you’ll be next!” promises from the appointment scheduling employee, we were fed up. Even if we did manage to sneak in some face-to-face Genius time in between everyone else who already had scheduled appointments, we had been told that the in-house repair department was backlogged with over 600 repairs. It would be at least two weeks before seeing our laptop again. Two weeks?! That’s an eternity. It was time for Plan B.

Hunting down an Apple Authorized Reseller.

Would this work? Resorting to an Apple Store impersonator? Actually yes. So conveniently did it that we kicked ourselves for not shedding our pride and trying them first. Nary a three block walk and two steps from the front door to the “Ring for Service” bell and – voilà! – service. A pleasant and patient technician ran a quick diagnostic – normally $70 – for free. “Yep, looks like the NVIDIA card. Since this is covered under warranty with Apple, there’s no charge.” Good news! “The part should be in within two to three days, so you should be able to pick it up this Friday.” Even better news!

Hallelujah! What a relief! The laptop would be in good hands. Fast, free, and fun – yes, fun – service from Next Byte, an Apple Premium Reseller. Who knew? We walked out onto the sidewalk smiling with glee, our worries consoled. “Now what?” asked Kirk.

Enjoy life. Something along those lines, right?

“Let’s get lunch.” ☼