Delta Is Nice to Your Humble Blogger (Plus Seeking Tech Help)

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Your humble blogger was supposed to be flying back to NYC today, having done a bit of aging parent duty in Birmingham.

I booked a cab, then had to rebook it due to a light delay. Originally booked cab arrives on time. I call cab company to tell them the screwed their driver and find out what happened regarding the later pickup, since the cab wasn’t rebooked properly. They had booked a new cab at the later time and not cancelled the earlier reservation.

At the revised appointed hour, no cab. I call and cab is supposed to get here 15 minutes late, which means it could be even later.

My mother’s cleaning woman happened to be here. I commandeered her for pay to take me to the airport. But in the panic about the change in logistics, I managed to leave my laptop.

Now I do have a second laptop in NYC. But I changed ISPs in the last month and the company had tech installation supervisors change the network settings. I stupidly didn’t have them do that to my other laptop. And with my ETA at my apartment being late evening, I didn’t have a lot of confidence re being able to reach someone who’d be able to walk me through the setup.

I go to the gate to see if the flight is further delayed, since it might have been possible to have the cleaning woman run to the airport again with my laptop. Nope, boarding is starting in 15 minutes.

I call Delta from the phone in the gate area and told them my problem and asked what my options were for getting on another flight. They rebooked me on the same flight for Friday. No upcharge. They waived the $200 ticket change fee. And no, I’m not an elite flier on Delta.

But this is a reminder that I need to make sure I can use my backup laptop as a backup (it’s also out of date on some key passwords). Plus I could use some help on doing updates without going to the current version of the Mac OS, which is widely reported to be a horrorshow (it has bricked computers like mine, a 2015 MacBook Pro, which is a pretty thuggish way to force obsolescence). I’ve been putting off all sorts of updates because I am concerned they will presuppose a later OS and I won’t be able to roll them back.

So any Mac support people in NYC who are willing and able to do what in theory should be simple (copying recent files onto my backup machine, updating software, which is mainly browsers and browser related stuff) but may not be due to the need to stay compatible with current OS, please ping me at Put “Mac support” in the headline. I know a lot of tech people are very insistent that their clients run the current version of the OS, so if that is your point of view, you are not the person for this job.

This by the way is another example of Mac crapifcation. I went from 2003 to 2015 not needing any tech support. I now seem to need it every nine months due to Apple not caring about its computer users any more.

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  1. Jeffrey Kegler

    Btw when I worked in a hospital where the backups HAD to work, they switched backup and “main” daily. Today’s backup worked yesterday, and would be the production machine again tomorrow. That’s trouble to do but you might consider going forward.

  2. flora

    re: ‘aging parent duty’. been there, done that.

    imo, there is no greater honor, nor no greater or harder and more difficult task. Threading the needle of being both child to an aging parent, remaining a child to the parent, while at the same time now more able than the loved parent to deal with the bureaucracies and demands of modern life , while caring for and guarding the aged parent’s dignity as a competent adult who now needs help is …. well…. when you get there you will know…

    I’ll come back when I’ve considered the rest of the post.

    Let me emphasis: This is a great honor, to care for the parent at the end of their life, in a way that maintains their dignity, as they cared for you, as you began your life. Maybe the hardest work their is.

    1. flora

      adding: this is never talked about, really. So I emphasis this as one of the most human requirements of family life. What? No TV shows about this? (Of course not. It wouldn’t sell advertising. )

      1. Clive

        It really isn’t, is it? I do from time to time have a joke at my mother-in-law’s expense, it is a rich seam I can’t help but mine now and again because it’s a pure caricature of insulated small-world narrow-outlook middle-England but it’s the only family I’ve got left and while I’m not dealing with truly old age or geriatric care, if someone if in their 70’s, living on their own and comes from that era where the husband went out to work and looked after, say for example, all things financial while the wife took care of the house and the children (thus enabling the said husband to devote themselves in their entirety to a career and become a high-earner that would have been difficult to sustain if they’d had to keep house) it’s no use expecting that person, now widowed, to suddenly pick up a whole load of life skills they never had to learn before.

        So when I get asked by friends and colleagues what I’m doing on a particular weekend or on a holiday day and say that I’m visiting my mother-in-law (which starts the askanced looks) then asked what the occasion is and advise that it’s nothing special, merely helping sort out some niggle with the bank statement, look at some scary-sounding letter from an insurance company or try to make sense of a utility bill from the power company which is apparently doubling as a NSA entrance exam test of cognitive ability by inscrutable puzzle solving or look at some problem with her computer — well — why are you bothering to do such menial things is the usual reaction.

        Sometimes people make an attempt to hide their amazement, occasionally they just come right out and say it — what a waste of time that is, sorry you got stuck with that one, couldn’t you do something to get out of it?

        If, however, I dare venture — having been informed of some demented-sounding runaround involving their children (words fail me here to convey my astonishment at parents under, say, 40, who appear to spend every waking moment indulging their offspring in a dizzying whirl of play dates, after-school activities, expensive days out, shopping trips at pricey stores, fixing things they’ve broken, getting in with the right crowd at their child’s next rung on the schooling career, converting to Catholicism or Judaism to achieve the same ends or other time and/or cash consuming task) — that sounds both exhausting and not entirely certain to produce independent well-rounded adults from their kids, I get informed pretty bluntly that I simply didn’t understand the demands of modern parenthood and if I was raising children that’d they’d probably report me to social services for neglect.

        No, in short, I don’t think we have the balance right here.

        1. The Rev Kev

          When push comes to shove, I would say that your mother-in-law’s generation didn’t do too bad a job of raising their kids going by how you turned out but I have extreme trepidation on how those kids are going to grow up as raised by your friends and colleagues. I would say that as your friends and colleagues grow to old age, their kids will bundle them off to an old age home at earliest opportunity without a moment’s regret. And not to a nice one either but likely one that featured on “60 Minutes”.

        2. ambrit

          Done that too.
          The subtext to the modern drone parents is that if you cannot afford to underwrite said play dates, sports enthusiasms, and so on, you are not worthy of association with. This is nothing new, as I experienced growing up. When I was little and teen we were really lower middle class in an upper middle class town. Disposable income for children was assumed. I remember going out for lunch with school mates during a school outing. I had no money, so I sat at the table playing the sophisticate. The restaurant saw through that pose and ejected me. My ‘friends’ laughed and wished me ‘bon voyage.’ The pernicious aspect of this, as you mention, is that higher income behaviour becomes the default state in social behaviour. The ‘less fortunate’ are either excluded entirely from ‘polite society’ or punished by the social enforcers. The truly wealthy people that I encountered were completely different. Their behaviour was more dependent on their ‘character’ than status. As one man explained to me; “We do not have to impress anybody.”
          Oh yes. “The Other” in all its’ splendour.
          Lining up the children and pre-planning for Mom and Dads senescence has become a topic of discussion for Phyl and myself lately. The possible ‘silver lining’ of the cloud of poverty engulfing the younger cohorts is that they have to learn more communitarian thinking and social skills just to survive. This should translate later into better management of aging issues. Here’s crossing our fingers and our toes!

    2. Eclair

      Flora, thank you for your compassionate and lovely comment. Three friends are now caring for their 90 plus year old moms, at home. Two moms are physically strong, but have Alzheimers; one is totally physically debilitated from multiple strokes and severe arthritis, but is mentally sharp and has a ferocious sense of humor that enables her to make jokes about her condition. Fortunately, all three have siblings that can provide much-needed support and relief, as well as home help aides that come in on a regular basis. But still, I marvel at their commitment, their quiet acceptance of their role, their firm resolve that this is where they need to be at this point in their and their moms’ lives.

  3. KLG

    There was a time when that was completely normal for Delta, and probably most carriers. Back in the 1980s, I think it was, Delta non-pilot employees donated enough to the company to pay for a Boeing 757(?).

  4. The Rev Kev

    Probably not much help here but have you considered using Boot Camp ( on your Mac to set up a second operating system on your laptop? Doesn’t matter if the second is Linux or Windows but the point is that if your Mac system ever falls down through a bodgy update, your laptop is not then useless as you can then log onto the second operating system to hopefully bail you out and still use the net. My son did that when he had a Mac and was able to virtually have two laptops in one.

    1. flora

      Bootcamp creates a second partition on your in-laptop (~) harddrive. This is fine unless you need *disaster recovery*. i.e. your hard drive has crashed or your laptop has become unavailable. For disaster recovery (see prior) you want something not dependent on your laptop or it’s harddrive; that is to say you want a recovery method external to the original device’s hard drive.

      For external recovery data options there are various programs without going to corporate Cloud (“uhg“) solutions. Running something like SuperDuper to an external hard drive, running TimeMachine to an external hard drive, or running a WesternDigitial or other external harddrive manufacturered stand alone external hard drive “cloud” accessable (ip connected device ) based solutions (so long as your are careful to secure them with strong passwords, elsewise everyone can see and access them, etc.)…

      Well,.. I’m sure the NYC tech crowd will have many good options here.

      OK. I’ve made way too many comments on this thread. The NYC tech crowd will be able to sort this, no prob.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Of course there is the old operating system on a flash drive trick. Could be handy to have one with the laptop – sorta like an ace up the sleeve. Something worth considering.

      2. Octopii

        I have found Carbon Copy Cloner plus a USB drive to be invaluable tools. Make a bootable clone every week or so and you will always be able to boot into something usable. After a while one tends to accumulate old USB hard drives around the office, which count as long-term backups.

  5. flora

    OK. I’ve read the rest of the post and have come back.

    A lifelong (from childhood) friend of mine is the guy to gives the tests and passed/failed the guys who gave tests to the guys wanting to renew their pilots licenses. Lets just say the guy who vets the guys who want to be pilots (and has a keen understanding of all the domestic airline carriers). A long way to say my friend knows the airline industry from the ground up and knows how various airlines operate and by implication their company culture. (You have only my word for this of course, what ever that’s worth.)

    I asked my friend what airline he would fly these days. His answer? “Delta. ”

    In my book, can’t get a better recommendation than this from my friend’s. Based only on that I always try to book Delta if available on the flight I need. So I’m glad to know they are still treating customers like real human beings and not like cells on a spread sheet.

  6. Elizabeth

    I was recently booked on Delta, and the day of my flight an unexpected circumstance arose, which prevented me from flying from my original departure city (Des Moines). I called Delta to find out if I could fly out Minneapolis instead, and they rebooked me with no change fee or additional charges. I’ve flown Delta many times in the last several years, and always had a good experience. I would definitely recommend them. Also, someone said it helps to buy your tickets directly from the airline, and not some other source. I don’t know if this is true or not, but I’ll keep buying directly from the airline.

    I’ve also done ageing parent duty, and like Flora, it’s hard work, but I look back on those days, and I’m so glad I was there for my mom. Flora, you’re right – this part of life is never really explored in our society. It seems it’s always about finding the right nursing home or other care facility to put them in. I was fortunate in that I was able to devote my time to my mom’s needs, but I realize this isn’t possible for many people. Thanks, Flora for giving voice to this.

  7. Altandmain

    Good luck Yves.

    I suppose that among the US carriers, Delta may be among the better ones, along with perhaps Southwest, although there has been tons of crapification along that front.

    I am wondering if Apple no longer cares that much about its Mac OS X. They don’t seem to be giving it much of a priority and in some ways seem to have regressed to a worse OS. They seem to be mostly a phone company now that just makes laptops and desktops, but doesn’t give them much priority.

    Interesting rant about this:

    Louis Rossmann on Youtube has some good and I think valid rants about why Apple’s hardware also has issues.

    You might be able to contact tech support at the ISPs and have them walk you through the process to change the network settings. There may also be some guides online that you might be able to follow. I wonder if this is another consequence as well of smaller stores like Tekserve shutting down.

  8. Jerome

    I can ask my helpdesk guy in NYC if he wants to visit & help you out. How should we get in contact if he’s in?

    I’m also going to recommend he sets you up with the 1password password manager/vault because if you can forget a password, your life isn’t as convenient and secure as it could be. It’s a subscription but the first year is on me.

  9. Whoa Molly!

    Re: Aged parent.

    I have a unique perspective on the Aged Parent issue.

    I am one.

    Having loving, caring children is one of life’s greatest blessings.

    As for Mac backup, I’m no help whatsoever. I handle my own backup by buying duplicate two year old Dells (cheap). I keep identical work-related software, including upgrades, on both.

  10. Norwegian Rock Cat

    Yay, after so many years, I can offer a constructive comment!

    I’m not in the NY area, but I can offer a little advice for backing up the Mac with some software I have used for years. It’s a program called SuperDuper! (yes the exclamation point is in the title) from Shirt Pocket Software. All it does is that is do a byte-by-byte copy of a disk to another disk (let’s say an external USB disk). The bonus is that the disk you copied to is now bootable. So, when something goes wrong with the internal disk, you can plug in the external disk and boot from that! This does work, and you can even test it after the first backup. It’s usually the first thing I do before a major upgrade.

    The free version you download from their website will do exactly this. A registered version turns on a “smart copy” where it copies or deletes what is on the backup disk to match plus a scheduler. Any backup that is not automated is not a backup. Yes, you can do all this with built-in tools on the Mac, but this does it all with the press of a button.

    I have no affiliation with the people that make SuperDuper!, but helping people get their backups squared away is something I feel important about. I’ll be using it tonight to run the monthly backup on the last remaining Mac I have, which I’m also avoiding to upgrade. Good luck!

  11. PressGaneyMustDie

    True that, although the Windows 10 experience is pretty bad, too. Windows 10 keeps forgetting my 12 year old Brother laser printer requiring me to delete & reinstall the printer daily which is annoying but takes only 4-5 minutes. It won’t manually update Windows patches; you are dependent upon the OS deciding to install updates even if you go to the update menu in control settings. I am testing various Linux distributions at this time. As an aside, LibreOffice has been a rock-solid alternative to MS Office.

      1. justsayknow

        Started using Libreoffice recently. Much easier sort function than gnumeric in the spreadsheet. Pleased overall.

  12. Big River Bandido

    Delta has a standing policy, although I’m not sure it’s actually publicized: with any flight which is 2 hours delayed, the airline allows passengers to rebook without charge.

    Granted, that doesn’t explain why they were so nice to you, but it’s nice that they extended what that industry used to consider common courtesy.

  13. Elizabeth Burton

    I have the latest OS installed on both my 2015 Macbook Pros. Because I was an early user, I had to deal with the usual plethora of “updates,” which I belatedly learned were to gradually move the OS from 32-bit to 64, and which ended up causing issues because not all the apps I use were with the program. I finally ended up doing a clean re-install, and haven’t had a problem since. Ram is 16 on the big one and 8 on the little one; the latter does need frequent cleaning to ensure sufficient memory to work with.

    All of which is to say the issues people are having with the new OS bricking their computers could be app-related, as we know how people are inclined to hang on to outdated software because “it works exactly how I want it to work.” So, if you have some of that, do NOT upgrade.

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