In the past month I’ve had bad luck with electronics. Last week Her was using her computer to look up some stuff, and then turned to me and uttered those dreaded words, “I think that the internet is down.” If you’re a home networking amateur like myself, you know that finding the problem of the internet outage is equavalent to taking the Mensa exam. Is it the router? Is it the modem? Is it the network settings? It it only the wireless connection? Is it the ISP?
Fortunately, it didn’t take too long to find out what was wrong: the wireless bridge (Dlink DAP-1522) was not working. After whacking it a few times and plugging it into different outlets, the thing would not start up.
Begrudgingly I bought another new one online for $70 after seeing nothing equivalent on Craigslist or eBay. While I was waiting for it to arrive I read that someone else had the same problem and that it was because of a faulty power supply. When the new wireless bridge arrived, I grabbed the power supply, plugged it into the old wireless bridge and, lo and behold, it was the power supply after all. A quick search on eBay resulted in me finding and purchasing a $7 power supply replacement; the “new” wireless bridge is now on its way back to the retailer. It’s a nice feeling to be able to salvage an old, working piece of electronics for 10% of the new purchase price.
My second problem with electronics didn’t go so well. I’ve had a nicely specced, refurbished iMac in use for almost the past 3 years. I never powered down the machine, but it did go to sleep after a few minutes of inactivity. One day I went to wake it up from its slumber, but I got nothing. I tried holding down the power button. Nothing. I unplugged all of the peripheral devices hooked up to it and then tried the power button. Nothing. I begged it to wake up. Nothing.
I took the poor iMac to nearest shop and awaited their $29 diagnosis. I then received a call that no Mac owner wants to hear: the logic board is dead. The cost to replace was going to be $859, labor included. There’s no way I’m going to fix a 3 year old computer for that much money. I opted to have them salvage the hard drive for $99.
The irony of this situation is that if I had purchased AppleCare, I would have had about a month remaining until it ran out. I bought a MacBook a few months ago, and will be purchasing AppleCare for that.
How do you deal when your electronics break? Buy new ones? Go without? Let us know in the comments.