Monday, December 21, 2015

That's not an apple; that's a cloud.

About a month ago, I downloaded an OS update to my very old iMac. I knew it was risky business, but the specs said my computer could support it. Although the user reviews were all pretty bad, none of their complaints were things that mattered to me, and I figured if they're offering an update, I may as well get it, rather than letting my computer plunge deeper into the stone age (2008).

Speaking of outdated things, I'd been using the Address Book app (represented by a beige book icon with an "@" emblazoned on it) to keep my holiday card list. Address Book is a disconnected, local app that you can't access from anywhere but your computer, but that suited me fine.

Old: bad.New: good!

Apple disagreed. I downloaded the upgrade and installed it, and then days later it was time to start my holiday cards. I went to the dock and discovered that the beige book was gone and in its place was a slightly browner one with an encircled portrait silhouette called "Contacts." I opened it and it was empty. The upgrade had apparently wiped out my address book.

My concern deepened when I couldn't find the physical notebook in which I'd kept the list of people I'd sent cards to last year. It didn't have addresses, but at least it would have been a starting point. I'll leave that aside, since Apple isn't to blame for it.

Some googling revealed that iCloud might be the solution, although no one reported my exact problem. I attempted to log into iCloud but it did not accept my password. After resetting my password I tried again, but now there was "a problem logging into your iCloud account."

After some screaming and swearing I gave up, and began the process of rebuilding my address book, entering information into Google Contacts as it came to me (so THERE).

Fast forward to today, when my iMac gently suggested I download some software upgrades, because that had worked so well LAST time. I complied, and after a restart, my computer asked me to enter my iCloud password. It took several minutes, but the login seemed to be working. After I'd accepted some terms and conditions and agreed to a few other things, ultimately the login failed. I was too jaded by this point to scream or cry.

Then it occurred to me to try logging into iCloud via my laptop. Envision a video montage with silly background music as I dig through piles of things in my apartment looking for my laptop. The laptop is brand new. I got it a few months ago after my iMac did something that made me very nervous. Since then my iMac has been working fine, and I'm too lazy to move things over, so I'm still using it as my primary computer. Anyway, I logged into iCloud successfully from my laptop.

Now imagine the Legend of Zelda secret sound (or if you can't, click here) as I turn to see a dialog box pop up on my iMac telling me that I've logged into iCloud from another computer. "How do YOU know?" I wondered, since my iMac was ostensibly not connected to iCloud, however all signs now pointed to connected. I opened Contacts optimistically, and at first there was nothing in there, but seconds later it populated with all of my entries from my old address book. HAPPY ENDING! iCloud had indeed sucked up my info, and was just holding on to it until I pushed the right boulder out of the way causing the secret passageway to appear.

Next stop, Ganondorf
The notebook remains at large.

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