I returned from Robertsport on Sunday evening to discover that my Macbook wouldn't start--at all. It didn't even make noises to indicate that it intended for me to believe that it was making an effort to start. The only signs of life came from the power cord and the battery, both of which are fine, even blameless. When I shut the computer down on Friday evening, it was fine. When I left it, locked in my bedroom, on a nice pile of clothing, it was fine. Sunday evening it was so broken it couldn't even muster up signs of brokenness.
I thought perhaps that a DVD stuck in the disc drive might be the problem--because the efficient design wizards at Macintosh somehow haven't considered including an overriding manual eject option in case of troublesome discs. I used all the advice on the internet to wage ineffectual warfare against the paperweight until I willed myself to sleep out of pure stressfulness (this upcoming work week is a monster).
In the morning, the lump continued and my queries of the local human network of computer users resulted in the dreary news that the two people in the country who might be able to fix the problem have left for one month vacations.
I tried disassembling the pile in order to extract its evil drive and ran into a tangle of wires that intimidated me--also, I couldn't figure out how to disconnect the mouse cable without breaking it. So, I bought a pc around 2pm (which isn't something, at any time of day, that anyone with shallow pockets is dying to do in West Africa) and got back on my work week before most of my colleagues were done with their coffee. Thanks to the traders at Sharp Showroom for stocking quality lap tops, for being so helpful and for hooking me up with good software. That softened the blow, for sure.
But it is now 2am. Downloading appropriate browsers, add-ons, virus protection, spyware tools, etc. can only be done at an hour when most Liberians have turned their computers off.
There was a moment this evening, when I thought I might have been a bit rash--that moment came when my technically inclined roommate pushed macintosh dissassembly further than I would dare and managed to physically extract the DVD I had been holding responsible. After sweating and fumbling through the process of screwing everything back together (which was so much more fun after my screw driver and tweezers developed opposite magnetic charges), the p.o.s. still couldn't manage a whirr, a flashing light or even a death rattle.
Such spectacular, unprompted and irremediable failure is what I will forever associate with the little vanity box that only managed to impress me with its easy-to-use partial screenshot feature.
Lots of things, of course, are on the hard drive of that machine. But, let's not get into that.