I accidentally killed my MacBook Air last week. I spilled a bit of coffee right on the keyboard – maybe a quarter mug’s worth. The screen went black immediately. I turned it over. Used paper towels to try get the liquid out. Within 30 minutes I had it in a trash bag full of rice, but I was pretty sure it had gone to the great Cupertino in the sky.
Three days later it was still completely dead. The apple store estimated the repair would cost $800, if it is repairable at all. I’ll get it back next week.
A few lessons learned:
– Regular and redundant backups are crucial. I have a weekday backup at the office (a bootable backup via Superduper) and Time Machine at home. I’m positive at least one of these backups were executed within the 24 hours prior, and there’s a 50% chance that Superduper ran in the few hours before the incident.
– A personal articles insurance policy is a great idea. I’ve had one for years, covering my laptops, camera, any jewelry in the house, etc. These items are also covered under homeowners insurance, but the deductible on a homeowners policy is typically $500 or more. A personal articles policy is inexpensive enough that mine has a $0 deductible. That means that my insurance company will pay for the repair or replacement of my laptop at no additional cost to me. (Thanks Dad for teaching me this.)
– It’s a great idea to keep documents you work with often in Dropbox. I am able to access every document I use on my laptop because my Documents and “Current docs” folders are both on Dropbox. Lifesaver. Evernote and Google Drive helped a lot with this too.
– There’s only so much you can do on an ipad. I am using my iPhone and iPad for everything outside of work right now, and aside from iTunes, I don’t miss my laptop much at all. But at work, I need a laptop. Ipad apps that can handle Office and Excel documents are buggy and slow, possibly except for iWork, but that will convert all your documents to iWork format. Google drive is awesome for new documents, or existing google drive documents, but I share documents with others in my office who are on Word and Excel, so it wasn’t of much use to me. This makes me wonder how people travel with just an ipad… unless they just need to keep up with email. (At the office I am using my wife’s big, slow Dell. It’s helping me relearn how to be patient, like it or not.)
– An Apple Bluetooth keyboard makes working on an ipad so, so much easier. If only I could figure out how to keep the battery from getting worn down when I put it in my messenger bag. I took it home over the weekend and the battery was dead a couple days later, without having used it at all. That thing really needs a physical on/off switch.
– Only submerge your laptop in rice if absolutely necessary. It’s tough to get all the rice and rice dust out of the air vents.
– You can’t assume that you can charge an ipad from just any USB port. Neither my wife’s nor my friend’s PC sent enough power to the USB ports to charge.
– Don’t pour coffee on your laptop. (I think I’ll get one of those Contigo mugs someday.)