Disaster at TAM!

I was thinking of doing a quickie post about the silliness that’s erupted in the antivaccine cranksophere over the IACC hearing that I mentioned yesterday. (Of course, a “quickie” post for me is usually only 1,000 words long, as opposed to the usual 2,000.)

Then disaster struck!

My hardy, reliable MacBook Air, my main traveling companion for all trips in which I need to do work and/or give a talk died. It died hard (although not like the movies; there were no explosions or fires). It would not boot. Given the craziness at work with grants in the weeks leading up to TAM, I didn’t have the talk completely done, although it was close, my having polished it up as much as I could on the flight to Las Vegas. My original plan had been to finish tweaking it yesterday afternoon. but that’s when disaster struck. I tried all the tricks that I knew, starting with the basics and moving up to Disk Warrior, having fortunately brought a bootable external hard drive with me, but it was no go. The best I could do was to get the internal drive to the point where I could copy the essential files over to the external drive. I still couldn’t get the computer to boot. Reformatting the drive was not an option, except as a last resort, and, unfortunately, my Time Machine backups were nearly 2,000 miles away.

Fortunately, I had the file containing my talk on DropBox; so I didn’t lose it. However, no one had a computer to loan me. So off to the Apple Store in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace I went. I managed to score a 7:45 PM appointment at the Genius Bar. By 9 PM, my wounded machine was up and running again. I had wasted about three hours trying to get my data back before deciding to go to the Apple Store and then a couple of hours driving to the Apple Store, with no progress on my talk.

But the Geniuses at the Genius Bar got it running, and it seems to be running OK, at least for now. So here I sit, tweaking my talke at the last minute, trying to run through it, and hoping it isn’t as choppy as I fear it will be, given that this is the first time I’ve given this talk, and only around 10% of the slides are repeats. Wish me luck…