Two weeks ago I sat down to my trusty 10-year-old 15” MacBook Pro to work on a project I had just received. The computer was running slow and seemed to be doing some funky things, so I restarted it.
It starts up fine. Then in a blink of an eye, everything goes black. I hit the space bar and I can see the load up screen, but as soon as I lift my finger off of the space bar it goes black again. I try this several times and get the same response.
I restart the machine numerous times, try some the things you do on a Mac when it’s not working correctly, such as reset the PRAM. That’s such a fun little thing to do. While restarting your Mac, hold down the following keys: P, R, Command, and Option. I decided long ago whoever came up with this drill had very large hands.
Anyway, after trying everything I could think of, I knew the day I come that my trusty 10-year-old MacBook Pro was done. I couldn’t blame him, yes all things electronic are male. After all, I’d been flogging him the last two years to perform duties that were way beyond his capabilities. I closed his lid, said goodbye and thank you to my well and trusted servant and headed to the Apple store.
Since I knew this day was coming sooner than later, I had already decided since I spend 98% of my time working with my 27”Apple LED Cinema Display I was going to get a 13” laptop this time. I just couldn’t justify almost an extra $1,000 for something I’d only used 2% of the time. Besides, it would be a lot lighter to travel with.
When I arrive at the Apple store, I’m in what I like to call my “light panic mode.” When the store greeter asked me how he could help, I blurted out, “I need to buy a 13” MacBook Pro now.”
“Okay let me see if I can get you a salesman.”
“Thanks, I’m in the middle of a project and my 10-year-old MacBook Pro just died.”
“Sure, hold on one second.”
Mike the salesman greets me with the usual, “Hi, how can I help you?”
“Hi, I need a 13” MacBook Pro with a 512GB hard drive and at least 8GBs of ram. I’d prefer silver, but I’ll take whatever color you have.”
“Okay, let’s come over here and I’ll get one for you.”
“Thanks. By the way, I have the 27”Apple LED Cinema Display with a Mini Displayport connection and I’m sure I’ll need an adapter to make that work.”
“I don’t think there is an adapter that will make it work. See all of the new Mac use USB-C now.”
“Okay, whatever that is. You mean to tell me, I’m just supposed to throw out a six-year-old perfectly good $1,000 monitor also? Really?!
“Well, Apple doesn’t make monitors anymore and that type of connection is really old.”
“Okay, in the real world, six years old is not old. And not all of us have unlimited budgets to buy something new every time Apple thinks we need to. Is there someone else here who might know if there is an adapter.”
“Let me go ask in the back.”
Mike comes back with three other salesmen and a conference begins. After about 30 minutes, and lots of searching on Google, the four of them discover that there is an adapter that will make my monitor work.
“Great, I’ll take it and whatever else I need to make all of my other regular USB devices work.
Once back in the office I start the process of transferring everything over to my new computer with my Time Machine backup. When it was finished, I hooked up the monitor.
Nothing, but a black screen. I’m on the phone with Apple tech support. Try as we might, nothing works to get my beloved 27” Apple Cinema Display back to life. I look over at my old 15” laptop and say, “Really?! I get you were done, but you had to take out the monitor too?!
On Sunday, I ordered a new 27” ViewSonic monitor. For those in the graphic design world who didn’t use Apple monitors, I knew ViewSonic was popular. And a bonus, it had the USB-C connection.
The monitor arrived on Tuesday and with great excitement, I set it up, plugged it in and there was nothing, but a black screen. Really?!
After working with ViewSonic’s tech support, and using an HDMI cable with my cable television box we discovered that the monitor worked. It was decided that there was something wrong with the computer.
I called Apple’s tech support back and after a couple of hours with them, it was decided there was something wrong with the operating system and I needed to wipe the hard drive clean and start over.
“Okay, I know how to do that,” I said to the very friendly Apple tech guy who was in Idaho and freezing.
On Wednesday, with a new operating system, I plugged in the ViewSonic, and again, I only saw a black screen.
Once again, I’m back on the phone with Apple’s tech support. And, once again only this time with someone who is northern Ohio and freezing, it was decided I had the wrong connection.
Off to BestBuy to get the “correct one.”
Buy now I’m sure you can guess, that one didn’t work either.
Finally, after another two-hour late night call to Apple’s tech support and working with a senior tech, it was decided there was a hardware issue with the computer. By this time I was not in the mood for pleasantries and have no idea where he was located.
“I agree, and said, I’ll be at the store at 10:00 am tomorrow morning. Thanks for everything.”
“Sorry, we couldn’t get it to work, have a great evening.”
As I was being greeted at the Apple store, “Hi, I bought this last Friday and there is a hardware issue.” I blurted out.
“Hold on, Tom would you please help this lady.”
“Hi, what’s up?”
“I just bought this last Friday and after about 10 hours over the last couple of days with tech support, it was decided there is a hardware issue.”
“No problem, we’ll exchange it out,” he said with a friendly smile.
“Thanks. But I’d like to make sure it will work with my 27” monitor before I leave.” While waiting for the new computer to be brought out, I told Tom everything that had gone on.
We tried to test it out, but, there wasn’t enough battery life, so said: “I’ll just take it and hope for the best.”
Once I got back to the office, before doing a completely new setup, I plugged in the ViewSonic. Again, there was nothing.
About this time, Darrell my partner looks in my office window and asks if I’d like some pancakes.
“Yes, please! Thank you!” I knew pancakes were going to fix everything.
Full and now running on sugar I head back to the Apple store with the new computer.
Okay, the greeting went much the same, and, Tom and I started to investigate the problem.
After about 30 minutes of not getting anything he tried to work, he went and got Perry to help. “Perry has a lot more experience than I do,” he said.
The long story short after trying multiple things and an hour and forty-five minutes later, we discovered when it comes to a 27” monitor the USB-C port and cable doesn’t have enough power to power up the monitor. You have to have a USB-C Thunderbolt port and cable in order for it to work.
Looking at Perry, I said, “My 27” Apple may not be dead after all?”
“No. It probably isn’t.”
“Great, what kind of adapter do I need?”
“We don’t make anything. I don’t why.” Perry then begins a Google search now knowing what he needed to find.
Long and behold he found an article on Apple’s website explaining exactly what I needed.
With new hope, that my beloved 27” monitor was still alive I thanked Perry and sped back to the office to order the “correct adapter.”
The adapter arrived on Sunday. I held my breath as I plugged it in. Nothing! “Really?! I said again to my 15” laptop off to my right. Really?! You had to take out the monitor too. Maybe he wasn’t done!”
As I sat down in my chair, defeated my beloved monitor was gone, I look over at the new 13” laptop and noticed that it looked like the connection was not plugged in all the way. I pushed it in a little harder. I hear a snap and immediately my 27” Apple LED Cinema Display was back to life. “Good one rocket scientist, you have to plug things in all the way,” I said out loud.
A week later, 10 hours on the phone with Apple tech support, two trips and two hours in the Apple store, an $18.99 third-party adapter from Amazon fixed everything.
Oh, the 27” ViewSonic was packed up and shipped back Monday morning.