Updating one's IPhone is akin to playing Russian Roulette: either the latest operating system will install smoothly, gifting you with more bells, whistles and emojis, or it will crash and burn like my college dating career. The result, instead of a broken heart at best, could be a crashed phone. Or, at worst, you become the proud owner of a very expensive paper weight.
That is what greeted me Monday morning. My first day back from vacation (What did I do on vacation? Binge watched Vincent Price horror movies and built model kits, like any normal person - thank you for asking). Up to my elbows in catch-up work, I synced my phone to the computer to back up my contact list, apps, photos and anything else on the drive. A practical all good nerds and nerdettes should get into the habit of doing.
Now comes the honey trap. ITunes pops up on my screen, seductively whispering in my ear that an Operating System update for the phone has become available. The new OS would feature more Emojis. More Emojis? Hasn't mankind already invented all of the Emojis a civilized world could possibly need?
That, by the way, was my way of saying I don't use Emojis. Except for the “thumbs up” one. It’s pretty cool. Aside from that nod to Millennials, I am always a first adopter when it comes to the fixes and features each Apple OS update promises. So, I did it.
I went about my work as the download proceeded, smooth as Frank Sinatra. Until a message popped up, informing me the update had failed. “No problem,” says I. “Just try it again and Bob’s Your Uncle, as the Brits say.” Or, to be more hip, Robert’s your Father’s Brother.
The result of my effort? Strike Two. Or, as the computer told me, something had gone seriously wrong and there are only two cures: try to install the update yet again, or wipe out the phone and start from scratch.
In my rush to be among the first to get the latest OS, I forgot how fickle The House that Jobs Built can be. The "System Error" screen's ominous appearance quickly refreshed my sieve-like memory. The sequence:
Update. Restore and Update. Update. Restore and Update. Set up as new phone. Set up as Robert's phone. Restore from Robert's Backup.
Restore. That move would, of course, would wipe out a ton of emails, voicemails and texts that needed to be answered. Today. Like, right now. A week’s worth since, as I mentioned earlier, I’d been on vacation.
My phone, which I had considered to be one of my best friends for years, stared at me with its blank face, offering no help in my dilemma.
I’ll call my Bride. She always provides insights that help dig me out of whatever hole I've fallen. But I don't remember her number - that’s what my contact list is for. Stymied!
There is no other choice - erase, restore, update, and pray to the Geek Gods my vital information has been saved in Heaven...I mean, the Cloud.
Many minutes of white knuckling later, my phone returned from the dead. Perky, updated, and with all my information intact. I breathed a sigh of relief, chastised myself for my lack of faith in the Almighty Apple, and went back to work - older, but wiser.
And THAT, Boys and Girls, is why you should back up your phone often.