Wanderlust Wendy

Computer Mayhem

So continuing from the previous entry, I will relate the process of getting my computer fixed here au Cameroun. In the US, this is what I would’ve done: Get in car. Drive to the Mall. Drop it off at the Apple Store Genius Bar. Get a latte at the Starbucks while waiting. Return to the Genius Bar. Drive home. Voilà. And below is what happened here (graphic flow-chart to come):

After working out the USPS Global Express Guarantee to Cameroon as mentioned in the previous entry, and realizing the Guarantee did not indeed guaranty delivery. I decided it was time to raise some hell at the Bafoussam post office.

Friday morning – post office package lady says trucks come in on Fridays, to come back on Monday.

Friday afternoon – went back to hound the post office. Package lady had gone and took the only existing key to the package room with her. I begged the other workers to call her. (When asked, what happens if the lady looses the key, the worker responded, “I guess we’d knock down the door and then get the lock changed.” That makes all kinds of sense…) No luck – come back tomorrow, the worker says.

Saturday morning – went back to the office. They supposedly searched the place – nothing. I left them my phone number and said to call if they have something. Meanwhile, one guy said, “oh, if it’s Express, it may be in the other office.” The other one that isn’t open on Saturdays and he failed to tell me about it yesterday when it was open.

Monday afternoon – I get a call that they have something for me. So I booked it from Batié to Bafoussam. As quickly as one can go in “public transport” here. I get to the package lady. She goes to search, comes back with a package my aunt had sent me. Not what I was looking for. Disappointed. Then I made the worker who told me about the “express office” to walk there with me. We get there, and finally my little Express Mail Extremely Urgent envelope was there. And it had been sitting there for five days. The guy even yelled at me for not having a “notice slip”. I checked the freaking mailbox on Friday and there wasn’t a freaking notice slip. Incompetency. But I got my mail at last, so I said nothing.

Late Monday afternoon – the real problem began when I attempted to fix the computer and it wouldn’t work with the disc. I thought I would start crying. Thankfully, Thryn came to the rescue and said I can bring the computer over and she’ll find a way.

Wednesday – brought the computer to Thryn and began the 12-hour long computer revival. First she booted the machine in Target mode – no go. Then she used DiskWarrior and it doesn’t even see a hard drive. Then she had the genius idea that we’ll just move my computer to an external hard drive. Found ways to reformat my hard drive so we can install Mac OS X on it. But then my optical drive was sketchy and won’t install. Many ridiculous solution solving loops later, Gabe’s 2nd generation firewire iPod saved the day and worked as an installer drive.

Thursday – after getting the Macbook to boot from my external, the next hurdle was getting Internet working. I was nervous about installing windows on my computer, because that crashed the thing last time. (I need Windows to run the Camtel Internet system. Not cool enough for Macs yet, I guess…) I worked out how to turn a Mac disk image for Windows XP Thryn had given me into a workable one. Then I researched and figured out how to work the hurdle so VMware would let me run windows from an external.

After three weeks and too many geeky moments later, I am back in business, and back in Posh Corps. 😉

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