Essex Father Of Two Cures IT Meltdown With This One Weird Trick

I had a major IT hardware malfunction last week; the backlight on my Macbook Pro suddenly failed, with no options for repair. This was exacerbated by the sinking feeling I got when I realised that the most recent 40,000 words of my manuscript for the The Green Man had not synced properly with my online drives, and was only saved locally on my laptop.

Cue much caterwauling and gnashing of teeth.

Extracting the data from the SSD yielded no fruit, as the adaptor needed for the NGFF drive is almost impossible to get hold of; getting it professionally done would have cost many hundreds of pounds, as would a repair.

Then, in desperation I trawled the Mac support boards for any sort of help, and found this One Weird Clickbaity Trick.

If your Macbook backlight dies, then there is one way to get out of Dodge. Assuming the OS is still operating ok (mine was – the fan and caps lock light still worked), you can log in using voiceover control (Command + F5), and then… if you shine a strong torch onto the screen in a darkened room, you can just make out the faintest ghost image of the desktop. I was in!

So, skulking around my desktop like a pound shop Chloe from 24 I managed to locate the cursor (black on a black screen – not easy) find my errant files and email them the hell out of there. I now have set up some triple-lock redundancy on my precious materials.

So, just a useful reminder – back your stuff up, and get some redundancy!

Published by Dan Jones

I'm a science fiction writer and podcaster. My debut novel Man O’War was published in 2018 by Snowbooks, and I’ve had a few short stories published here and there. I also host Chronscast, the official podcast of SFF Chronicles, the world's largest science-fiction and fantasy community. Away from writing I work for the UK Space Agency on a programme of space robotics for advanced satellite and planetary exploration technologies. All of which comes in rather handy when coming up with new ideas for science fiction stories.

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