About 25 years ago I heard one of my best friend's dad, Jack, suggest that his son "RTFM". It's an acronym I have relied on ever since.
Case in point:
This weekend my beloved MacBook crashed and crashed hard. Every time I tried to fire her up I'd get a big empty blue screen. I saw lots of pretty blue but no hard drive icon, no drop down menus, no tool bar, nothing. Ordinarily it was enough to make me cry but lately I've been slightly more zen about these things. It's hard to get too worked up over this sort of thing when there are still women living under the Taliban. In fact that's another mantra of mine. When things seem to be getting tough, I think "Stop whining and remember it sucks more to be a woman in Afghanistan." That always puts things into perspective.
Still, after much nervous nail biting and time on Dad's computer I found some tips but none of them worked. Finally I remembered Jack's suggestion to RTFM. For God's sake RTFM, Lucy! What doesn't RTFM stand for? RTFM means Read the Fucking Manual. When all else fails RTFM has gotten me out of a lot of jams and this weekend was no different. It's apparently become a well know phrase according to a quick Google search.
I dusted off my MacBook's micro manual and quickly realized I had no choice but to reinstall my system software. See? RTFM and it all becomes very clear. Of course reinstalling system software typically means losing all contents of your hard drive. Ouch! I figured I could take it to a computer repair person who would likely come to the same painful conclusion but they would charge me to tell me what I already knew to be true. Instead, I decided all I really cared about was the contents of my iPod and those files were, after all, backed up on the iPod itself. I also realized I'm a terrible Auntie because a good Auntie would have been traumatized over losing pictures of her niece and nephew but that loss was nothing compared to the iTunes situation. Bad Auntie! Bad Auntie!!!
In the end it was only a minor pain the the arse. I had to find the right version of iTunes to sync with my iPod (I'd apparently not updated it in a while so the version was a mystery since I couldn't find the info on my iPod.) I then had to upgrade a few apps but the real difficulty was trying to recall all of my Bookmarks. Sheesh! People, I'm telling you right now, go print out a list of your favorite links because you will not remember them when you need them. Also, don't be cocky, like me, and think having CDs is a good system to "back up" your music. I've been ripping my CDs, in alphabetical order, to iTunes all night and I'm only up to the Beatles. It's a bummer. I'll be ripping for weeks. (Btw, Shandon, I'd be forever grateful if I could once again borrow Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" along with your Keane and Kasey Chambers, if you don't mind.)
I did learn something new about iTunes. If you need to completely rebuild your iTunes Music Library, iTunes will sync all of your previously purchased music for free. The CDs I own, and have previously uploaded, are not considered "secure" so they won't sync those. Annoying! I'd say I own about 99% of the music on my iPod but I guess the Fleetwood Mac, Keane and Kasey Chambers is contraband and Apple refuses to be an accessory to my crime. Lame! I'm a 41 year old woman not a high school teen who has never actually purchased music in their life. In fact I've purchased most of my music numerous times. First I bought stuff on vinyl then again on CDs. God knows they are working on newer technology to make my collection obsolete once again. Greedy bastards. Oh, and the other bummer is that the fun Scrabble game and my copy of Under The Tuscan Sun (purchased to help with those especially torturous flights) were not recorded in my iTunes "purchase history" so those don't seem to be downloading to my computer. I suppose I'm expected to re-purchase them again. Naturally I emailed Apple to complain. We'll see what kind of reply I get.
It sucks to be a woman in Afghanistan, it sucks to be a women in Afghanistan, is sucks...