This morning, my Macintosh computer refused to start up. All I've got on the screen was a gray apple icon and a little revolving circle of dashes. Clearly, my Intel iMac (purchased in April 2010) had crashed. The people at the Fnac store in Valence had kindly warned me, 20 months ago, that Apple products are now manufactured in China, and that they seem to break down more often and sooner than before. So, they advised me to take out insurance, to cover repairs. I'll be depositing my machine with them tomorrow morning, and I should have it back home in a fortnight. And repairs will be covered by the insurance.
Meanwhile, I'm using my old iMac, purchased in 2005, which still runs perfectly (using the Leopard system). This is the machine I've been using already, regularly, to run the precious FreeHand tool for genealogical charts, which does not exist for the latest Mac system.
I've already hooked up the external disk that was being used for automatic daily backups on the iMac that crashed, and I'm relieved to see that everything is there, intact. Normally, on my Time Machine disk, I should have copies of the most recent stuff I was writing (about the famous thatched house in Blackbird Street) just before I went to bed last night. So, I won't have lost anything at all... apart from time spent driving to Valence and back. And it's unsettling to have to move back to an older computer system for a while.