Today at work, I found out that I had missed the announcement of a change to the internal email system. It was just as well; I've been using Eudora at work for the past four and a half years, and every now and then it crashes and costs me a day of cleanup, and it's been a weird mix of IMAP and POP, and this morning before I found out about the change I thought to myself "Isn't it time you switched to Mail.app for work mail, and learned to use IMAP properly?" I answered "No, not yet, but soon," and checked email, and there was no new email since Saturday, and I started trying to figure out what was wrong, and discovered the change announcement that I'd missed.
So I took that as the universe responding to my question by saying Yes, Jed, it is time to leave Eudora behind.
So I made the switch, and set things up, and then spent several hours trying to get Mail.app to sync with the server.
I eventually figured out that the problem was probably just too damn much email in my inbox on the server, so I improved that situation, and then set Mail.app running again, and by now it was evening so I figured I'd watch an episode of Gilmore Girls on my iMac while waiting for mail to transfer.
But my iMac was running Windows. (I left it in Windows so I could use the new Digital Photo Converter I'd acquired, which is Windows-only, but more on that anon.) I figured I would try watching the DVD in Windows, just to see how the other half lives. Put the DVD in, and it told me I would need to install Windows Media Player. Heck with that, I thought; it'll only take 30 seconds to boot into OS X, where I can watch with a familiar interface.
Cue ominous chords.
I left the DVD in the drive, and rebooted.
And got a blank white screen, a couple of whirrs and thumps from the DVD drive, and nothing else.
After fifteen minutes of increasingly frantic rebooting with various keys held down and unsuccessful attempts to find helpful information online (the disk-eject keys didn't work, the boot-into-safe-mode keys didn't work, the pick-an-OS key didn't work, etc etc etc), I finally noticed that an external hard drive was plugged into my iMac (as it's been for weeks without any problem, through several reboots into each operating system). So on the off chance that it was relevant, I unplugged the external drive and rebooted again, and everything worked perfectly.
So then I watched an episode of Gilmore Girls while eating dinner, and the mail download started working properly, and everything got much better.
But it would probably be best not to let me too near any important machinery for a while.
(Hey, maybe the Amazon thing was my fault. I did consider buying something from Amazon on Sunday, before the news broke. . . . :) )