When It Rains, It Pours

I had put my MacBook Pro on that counter before, a thousand times before. I had no reason to think last night was any different.

No reason until it came tumbling down, open, about 10pm last night. And that’s when today’s nightmare began.

I thought it was fine at first: Everything was working properly, no readily visible damage, at least not in the piss-poor lighting of my apartment.

I always work with my laptop on my lap, so the first, “Oh fuck” didn’t cross my mind until I put the laptop on the coffee table so I could get up and start doing my foot stretches. I noticed it wasn’t quite sitting level.

Okay, that’s not too bad, I thought. Then I tried to eject the DVD I’d been watching, and it bonked against the case in a futile fashion. Crap, that’s bad.

I decided to call and get some estimates in the morning. Taking it in to a reseller (who I thought might get me a better price than Apple directly, since Apple’s warranty doesn’t cover butterfingers), I noticed that when I closed it, the lid was obviously bent at a weird curve.

That was when I knew this was going to be REALLY expensive.

On any laptop, if you seriously damage something related to the casing around the screen, nine times out of ten you have to replace the whole screen, even if you’ve been lucky enough not to have the screen itself break on you.

Since the screen is one of the single most expensive parts of any laptop, and particularly expensive-ass MBP’s, this was going to cost me.

The reseller gave me an estimate in the mid $1300’s, but advised I go to the Apple store since they’d have to send it in to Apple for a repair that serious anyway, and perhaps I could throw myself upon their mercy and get something at least a little cheaper.

And a little cheaper it was: If I wanted to have all the damage repaired, rather than just the more egregiously fucked bottom part of the case (and the full repair is necessary to keep the warranty in force), it was $1240.

The good news is, the $1240 figure covers ANYTHING else they find wrong with it. If I fucked up the disk drive too, then that’s covered. If they have to just send me a whole new computer, it will still be $1240.

I would also be without my computer for anywhere from 5-10 business days, necessitating renting a temporary computer, since the only work I have right now is freelance tech consulting, for which you need a computer.

The only place they could find that would rent to individuals (as opposed to buisnesses) gave the fairly reasonable-for-these-things rate of $170 for two weeks.

So immediately, I would be out $1460. Considering the computer itself cost $2800, this was a fairly substantial sum. It is also, I’d like to note, more than my incredibly steep rent for one month.

And in case you’re thinking it, nope, renter’s insurance won’t cover it since it was a very obvious drop. If it’d been stolen or lost in a fire, maybe. Not dropped.

I briefly considered just bagging it and getting a new computer for the same money, but the problem is that I didn’t get the cheaper MacBook for a reason: I do audio recording which strongly benefits from more advanced ports (firewire 800 vs. 400), as well as web design and photo stuff that really needs the extra boost of the bigger screen and better graphics card.

Plus, the glossy screen drives me batshit to absolutely no end. I’d been helping a friend set up her new MacBook and had been ever more convinced I’d done the right thing springing for the Pro.

I probably could have sold the busted Pro for parts, but I had no idea if it’d bring in enough money (around $1000-1200) to pay for the difference between the cost to fix it and a new Pro. Without that knowledge, I was kind of up a creek.

So I sucked it up and decided to get it fixed. I’m now typing on the rented MacBook (which, by the way, is good for basic stuff but is heavily reaffirming my decision to just get the damn Pro fixed).

Now I will admit, I’m EXTREMELY fortunate that I have some deep-freeze funding that I’m being allowed to access (which I normally would not have access to, but the parental units who control it deemed this a worthy exception) to pay for this debacle.

I’d be super-duper-mega-extra fucked without that, and I’m REALLY not happy I had to access that in the first place, especially since this was due to my own carelessness.

Lord knows when the busted computer comes back from the shop, I’ll be velcroing the fucker to my desk/coffee table any time it’s not on my lap.

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