Have you ever been completely stumped by a piece of technology? I’m not talking about being held up for a minute, but rather a deep despair that reaches into your gut—a wall that separates you from any hope of successfully completing your task. You feel inadequate and incapable, wondering how this could have happened to you.
The other day we purchased a Mac for my wife. On the following day I wanted to listen to some music, so I hit the eject button for the CD/DVD drive. A sharp little white icon appeared on the screen, but nothing else happened. I visited the “Applications” window, clicked on the eject button for the drive, and this time a dialogue box told me “Thanks for playing, but the CD drive is busy and cannot be stopped.”
So my wife’s Mac was too busy to eject a CD for me. I should have stopped there.
Of course I could not lose to the Mac, I wanted music. It’s not much to ask of a computer, but our Mac just couldn’t stop its important work to help me out.
Things escalated. While fearing that I would irretrievably ruin the computer, I tapped, deleted, and pushed everything that seemed like it could help. Squinting hard and looming large over the Mac, I tapped and clicked, tapped and clicked. If it wasn’t my wife’s computer I probably would have jabbed those keys a bit more.
My mind raced and my stomached tightened as I scrutinized the Mac and repeated my attacks, pleas, and scowls. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me. It seemed like a referendum on my youthfulness, on my technological aptitude, and overall claim to being a young adult in our technologically advanced world. I had to win, but despair flashed on the screen over and over.
And then I remembered the simple mantra of all IT support wizards, “Reboot” “Reboot” “Reboot.” The simplest solution is always the last one you try.
I rebooted. I hit the eject button. The CD jumped out of the slot as if to say, “Ta da!” I won without having to call a more knowledgeable friend, and so it was a victory by the narrowest of margins, but a victory nonetheless.