All kinds of things can happen – just like when any other machinery dies. And a computer is a machine – if a special kind of machine.
I will only talk about what is most likely to happen. And that usually is the hard drive (a relatively delicate piece of machinery). It can conk out partially or completely. If it goes out completely – that is easy enough to diagnose. The computer is completely dead, and it will do nothing.
If it only partially conks out – as mine did – it can be harder to figure out. A repair technician will simply replace it with another – with the operating system (usually Windows) on it. If the computer works fine – the problem, obviously, is the hard drive – and you need a new one.
What happened to all the precious data on your old hard drive? Unless you backed it up somewhere else – it is gone forever.
In my case, this was no big deal because my important data – my blogging files – are automatically backed up by WordPress.com – an excellent service, by the way.
But I also downloaded a bunch of files from Audible.com – recorded books. When my computer died, they died also. But no big deal, I thought. Audible still had them on its site – just like Google had all my Gmail and Chrome info. All I had to do was switch computers – back to my old Windows Vista computer, which was still working – and they were still there – courtesy of the Cloud.
The problem, as I found out, was iTunes. Its files, the ones it used to sync to my iPod were gone – and it became useless! iTunes is a stupid program. So I went to work to find a replacement – and I worked on that all morning – trying several different programs. With no luck. Because Apple designed the iPod only to work with its stuff – and no other stuff.
How does it do this? Easy (but here it gets a little technical). Every time something wants to talk to an Apple device (such as my iPod) it has to use a secret handshake. If the device doesn’t get this handshake – it refuses to talk to it. This is why my iPod, when it is connected to an USB port of my computer – doesn’t show up as connected to my computer. Apple keeps all its stuff in its walled garden – where nothing else can get in.
That means, boys and girls – that I am screwed – by the big A.