Now I Really Need To Look Up The Word “Genius” Because In The Context That Apple Uses It To Describe Their Service Personnel It Really Doesn’t Mean That

Cell phone rings, it’s one of them geniusesses from the Glendale Apple store.

First thing out of his mouth after introducing himself is “You don’t have any RAM in your computer.”

“I mull that weirdly accusatory statement and offer a rephrasing that was more specific: “My computer most certainly had RAM in it when I dropped it off, so any RAM that the computer doesn’t have now was removed by someone there after I left it in your hands.”


Turns out what the genius saw as no RAM was in fact no additional memory chips installed beyond the 512 megs that came with the computer and are apparently a part of the motherboard, which is what needs replacing.

Good thing I could help him figure that out, though I’m sure that anyone using an Apple computer with anything less than 1 meg of RAM inspires snickers and calls of “wanna-be!” amongst the geniusesses, but that’s just how I’ve rolled this last three years.

Then he tells me that all he’s getting is the folder-with-the-question-mark icon when he boots it up and that clearly means my hard drive is done for.

So I then have to counterpoint out that after the phone session with the Applecare tech I was getting that same icon but that after a minute or two of just letting it blink it would cycle over and everything would load in fine at least until the motherboard got pissed off and put the whole machine to sleep, which is why the machine is in their in the first place.


So then he tells me he’s trying to complete the data transfer but that it’s going reeeaaaaaallllly slowly and he’s not sure if it can be done, and I envision all my files just going poof because he’s sitting there shaking the thing vigorously to see if he can’t loosen whatever’s blocking the bits ‘n bytes from being moved to a safe back-up haven.

I change the subject: “Has the motherboard arrived?”


I’m heartened by that good news.

“Well then answer me this: is it feasible to remove the old motherboard and install the new one without doing anything to the hard drive?”


My mind reels with accusatory WTFs as to why the data transfer needed to be bothered with, but I know it’s useless to get into a debate about that topic so instead I offer up what I called “Plan B,” wherein I suggested that if the data transfer doesn’t succeed, just leave the drive alone, install the board and let me have my computer back.

The genius agrees and tells me he’ll keep me posted.

That was Tuesday.

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Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."