September 2014 Archives

I had been rolling along with my 5 year old Mac Pro. Software was all working well and it felt good to hear that Bong each morning, knowing that things would keep going smoothly.  I kept rolling photos and video off to external drives when assignments were completed, so I kept my main drive fairly free.  And I kept up with my regular maintenance schedule, remembering to keep my Disk Warrier disk within reach for when the computer started acting weird. ( I can't recommend enough purchasing this magical Mac cure-all. )

Most important, at least weekly I used a  program called Super Duper to backup my files and operating system.  It was during one of those backups six weeks ago that I left my office for a while.  On returning I was surprised to hear...nothing.  Had I turned off the computer?  I didn't remember doing that.  That sinking feeling started to settle in as I tried again and again to boot.  Still nothing.  Deep breaths.  Luckily it was the weekend and I'd just delivered a big job.

First thing Monday morning I took the Mac Pro to a local repair shop where I got the bad news.  There was an oily substance on the processor board.  Repair would not be worth it.  That was it.  The good news was that my internal hard drives were all fine, and I had the backup drive to boot.  I also had two laptops that would keep my business running.

First call when I got back to my office?  My photo business insurance agent.  Computer equipment is covered up to $10,000 on my policy, so I got the written verdict from the repair technician and submitted a claim. 

Second call?  Apple and B&H Photo to compare new computer prices.  I'd been reading reviews for some time on the new Mac Pro, but also checking out the specs on the 27" iMac.  The verdict?  The iMac, fully loaded with the most powerful processor, 3 TB fusion drive and 32 GB of RAM should work for me nicely.  I ordered it from Apple that day. (I'm a longtime member of the American Society of Media Photographers -ASMP- so I used  one of the membership perks to reduce the price).

Luckily the insurance claim went through without a hitch, and I received a check minus the $500 deductible in two weeks. Working with the iMac has been pretty darn good.  The biggest problems lie in updating all the software and dealing with annoying glitches.  But it's going to work out.  I'm looking at buying a new RAID before too long, so I should be set for a while.

The main lesson for me is almost a cliche: recognize that any computer will fail eventually and be sure to backup, backup, backup.  Also invest in business insurance that includes computers as well as photo and video equipment. You also should have the liability insurance that comes with most policies.

I think back to 1978 when I started in business, and it does seem like a different world.  Like it or not photographers are going to spend a lot of money on computer and peripherals these days. It's the world we live in.  Just remember to put some time, effort and preventive measures into that computing department.  Backup, and breathe deeply when you don't hear the Bong!

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This page is an archive of entries from September 2014 listed from newest to oldest.

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