1. CD-RWs do not play in every CD player. As a matter of fact, they seem to refuse to play in ANY CD player. Buy CD-Rs for burning music, and use CD-RWs for saving documents.
2. Saving documents - since the floppy was rendered virtually obsolete, especially for us Mac kids, little do I think of actually "backing up" things. From now on, back up at LEAST once a month, if not twice, or every time I make any changes anywhere. Buy that circle CD case you've been wanting for the past two years and use it for all of your computer files and pictures.
3. Organization - don't worry if you don't have the most practical system of organizing your photos. Don't wait until inspiration strikes you with the most perfect organization system ever. BACK YOUR SH*T UP.
4. Print - Print more photos. Buy a scanner, and scan in old photos like you've been meaning to, and BACK THEM UP.
5. RAM - RAM is like short term memory. The more you have of it, the less you need to rely on long term memory to do different things at once. Buy more RAM.
6. Invincibility - Just because someone ran over their powerbook and it still didn't break, that doesn't mean that the computer is totally invincible. Buy a laptop carrying case, and quit carting her around in the back seat of your car.
And finally, something that hasn't changed: Macs rule. People have asked me several times if this incident with my laptop is the end of my love affair with Apple. "You've only had that thing two years and it's broken? Why not switch to a PC?" This is the first time I've ever heard of a Mac busting up this early. And to be clear, I've had her for over 2.5 years, and she's not given me one iota of trouble until now. My mom has had to purchase a new PC desktop every 3 years, and when she does try to get them repaired, the repairs last maybe 3 months before they start SUCKING ASS again. Furthermore, why buy a PC when the newest Macs run Windows as well as OS X point whatever, AND they can run both simultaneously?!
If anything, this experience has made me love my Mac even more. I checked my status online today - the computer is already on its way back to the Apple Store at the Grove. How's THAT for customer service?
I can't wait till she's home.