The White Screen Of Death Can Be A New Beginning of Sorts…

Well, I was greeted with the white screen of death on my MacBook Pro the other day. Similar to the blue screen of death on the Windows machine, the white screen of death means something has gone terribly wrong. It’s Apple’s way of saying “you will not be able to use this machine.”

Regardless of the situation, the reality is you are handcuffed. You are sidelined. You are “S.O.L.” as they say.


And it sucked.

It got me thinking how tied we are to our devices and how drastic the ramifications seem to be if something goes wrong. I don’t necessary like this dependence but the more I think about it the more I realize there is not much we can do.

Are we really at that point in society where a broken machine means a broken life? If your laptop goes down, will you still be able to be productive each day? If you are like me, the sad reality is probably not.

What would happen if your current device was stolen, lost or died? And what about the information on it? Would the information on it be lost forever?

Laptops Need TuneUps Too

As I diagnosed my situation it became clear the issue was with the OS and I was needing to re-install a new operating system.

For background, this machine was given to me by my co-founder when we started Seconds about 16 months ago. It is a 4-year old MacBook Pro, which he had used previously for his dev work before he upgraded. As he gave it to me I realized it was stack full of apps and programs used for development work – stuff I wouldn’t really be using. I also noticed it was running Lion, an older version of the operating system for Apple. I basically got lazy and didn’t upgrade when Mountain Lion came out.

During the last year or so I started to notice the ‘stress’ on the system and felt this specific outcome was approaching in the near future. I was also seeing that pesky pinwheel more and more (which I have to say is one of the most frustrating things). It was only a matter of time before the straw broke.

It broke on Sunday and I was sidelined.

Anyways, my current CTO Justin help me re-install the operating system. We went through the process and booted it up only to see a brand new experience with none of my old files there. They were all gone!

The amazing thing is I wasn’t upset.

Being Smart And Use The Cloud

When I was handed the keys to Seconds as the CEO (and handed this machine at the same time) I made a conscious decision to start storing all my important docs in the cloud. The combination of using Dropbox, Google, gmail, and Google Drive has allowed me to have pretty much everything at my fingertips, safe and ready to use on whatever web connected device I am using. I do recall a few random docs and images on my hard drive which are now gone. But nothing which would be devastating to my life or my business.

If you have not made this decision you must make it now. Do not save anything to your hard drive any more, save it to a cloud storage service. If you must save to something physical, go get a extra hard drive and start the habit of backing up once a week. But do not make the fatal mistake of saving something important to a mortal machine. You will regret it sometime in the near future.

So I am back to square one with this machine. There’ s a small amount of apps on here right now but not much more. I will need to download some design/wireframe/task oriented apps that I use during our product development cycles, but that is about it.

But it feels great to have the machine back up and running. I shedded the excess weight. The machine runs faster, and with the new OS Mountain Lion it feels swifter and more up to date. It feels like a new machine.

It also feels like a new beginning.

At times, we just need to press the “restart” button and start fresh like I have done that with my machine.

Maybe it’s something you can do in other areas of your life as well.

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