It seems to be an iron law of freelancing that whenever you think you might, just, if everything goes to plan, get everything done that you need to do by the time you need to do it – that that is when fate will throw a massive spanner in the works. Or rather, fate doesn’t need to throw anything, it just needs to sit back with its feet up and watch as I leave my laptop power cable on a desk in an office in Guildford, travel blithely up to Palmer’s Green, spend forty minutes or so using the laptop unplugged in, realise I’d better feed it and only then work out what I’d done.
Thanks to the magic of Dropbox, my files were all fortunately available online. All I had to do was borrow my sister’s laptop and I could still get the work I needed to do done, until I was reunited with my own laptop’s power cable. And this is where Fate twists the dial slightly for extra sadism, as my sister’s laptop is a Mac, a wonderful sleek, shiny, MacBook Air that the whole of Twitter suggests I should switch to whenever I moan about my Windows laptop. So wonderfully sleek and shiny that it hides distressingly ugly unglamorous things like scroll bars from you until you give it the right esoteric gesture on the touch pad (two fingers, appropriately enough). So slim and minimalist that it doesn’t have a delete key, only a backspace key and it doesn’t have a page down key because that’s what the scroll bars are for only YOU CAN’T FIND THE SODDING SCROLL BAR because it has hidden it from you when you stopped using it for a second.
Having spent an hour or two last night resisting the temptation to turn my sister’s laptop into a sleek, aerodynamic, shiny frisbee, I thought I’d better get up early this morning to give myself time to get on with some work, adjusting for all the time I was going to have to spend hunting for the disappearing scroll bar. Which was when I remembered she had a password on her mac and I had forgotten it, and the guest account had parental controls on it, and apparently one of the websites that had been banned was one that Word wanted to visit every single time I clicked on it. Who knows what naughty things Word wanted to look at (illicit scroll bars, probably, the dirty tart) because there wasn’t any way of telling it not to bother and it wouldn’t do anything until it had done so so I was stymied until someone in the household got up and could remember the password.
Anyway, thanks to Backonmybike, and an afternoon spent travelling around approximately two-thirds of the Southwest Trains network (it’s always nice to get the full use out of your Oyster card…) I have been reunited with my laptop’s power cable and my laptop is once again in use. After a brief pause to play ‘guess where the Mac has moved your file to mysteriously without being asked’, I have transferred my work back onto the undoubtedly clunky arms of my own computer and all is more or less all right with the world again, for, slow and annoying though it most certainly is, it is my slow and annoying computer and I am used to its little ways.
And now, as a bonus, I have a post I can point people to on Twitter the next time they smugly suggest that I get a Mac. Now all I have to do is spend a pointless day fruitlessly trying to make a linux installation work without having to hand edit a config file, and my life will be complete.