Note: over the course of this narrative, I'm going to put in bold every statement that turned out to be a lie.
On Saturday, I brought my 3.5-year-old iBook into the Apple store in Soho, bypassing the serpentine line of suits clamoring for their new iPhones. The Genius at the bar told me everything was fine. "It's a software problem," he said. "That's easily fixed."
No sooner had I turned to smile hopefully at Mr. Ben than the Genius changed his mind.
"Oops," said the Genius, a word they should be forbidden from uttering. "Spoke too soon. Your hard drive is failing. Luckily you caught it just in time. If you want to buy a new computer today, we can transfer everything over. No problem."
Downstairs we went, kids in a candy store, to pick out a MacBook. Neurotically, I kept urging everyone to hurry. "Don't worry," the saleslady said. "It'll be fine." She entered our info into the queue so that the data transfer would happen ASAP.
At the register, I gave the checkout lady a username and password for the new computer. "Okay, great," she said. "We'll call you in 24 to 48 hours and you can come pick them up!"
Three hours later, my cell phone rang. "I'm sorry," said the Genius. "Your hard drive pulled a Tim Russert -- sudden collapse, nothing we could do. I hope you backed everything up!"
The next day, Mr. Ben and I dragged ourselves back to the Apple store to get our new machine and the sad empty shell of my old one. "At least we'll be able to set it up tonight," said Mr. Ben, trying to be comforting. And indeed, within minutes, shiny white Mr. Macbook was glowing on the desk like a beacon. Forget the past, it seemed to say. I am the future. I am Eve. What is your password, please?
I entered the password. No, it said sweetly. The password.
Mr. Ben and I tried every permutation of the word we could think of. We checked the receipt: there the word was written correctly. But whatever Genius had set up our machine for us must have misspelled it in such an ingenious way we couldn't guess the mistake. Exhausted, irritated, and hot, we shut off Eve and went to sleep.
This morning a Genius in Austin, TX, sounding anxious about my commitment to Apple based on the sourness of my recent experiences, guided me through resetting the password. Once Eve allowed me in, I found a document that reported what the old mis-typed password had been: there was an "e" where an "a" should have been. "Sorry about all of this!" chuckled the nervous Genius.
The Mac is dead! Long live the Mac!