Jump to content

Recommended Posts

A month ago yesterday, HWMBO was dusting my desk. (It needed it!) She hit something on my computer keyboard and the computer went bad.

I bought the computer from a local little store in town.

In part because I want to support the small Mom and Pop stores and in part because a few years back Best Buy gave me a real hard time replacing OJ'S Lap Top even though I'd paid $300 for an extended warranty. This puts Best Buy on my list.

First thing Monday I had OJ run the computer to the store.

The owner informed him it would be ready tomorrow.

I called and it wasn't ready.

I called the next day and was told it would be ready on Saturday.

I forgot that they closed at 1300 on Saturdays.

I called on Monday and the store owner's mother said he was sick.

I visited the store last Monday and was told that I needed a new motherboard, which was coming in.

I called Friday and the Mother of the owner said he was out on a house call and that he'd call me back. - He didn't.

I called today and was informed that the motherboard was in and my computer would be ready late tomorrow or early on Wednesday.


If the guy had just said "Hey I don't know when I'll have it fixed, it might take a month!" I might not have been happy. But to tell me it was going to be ready tomorrow and then take over a month!!

I'm now peeved.



Link to post
Share on other sites

I hear your pain.

I do IT consulting and for my small clients who have any PC problem, I just tell them to buy a new computer. The larger ones already figured it out and buy spares. It just ain't worth repairing a PC anymore. I charge $100/hour to troubleshoot. A motherboard will run at least $150. If it takes me 2 hours to identify, order, replace and configure the computer, you are looking at least at $350. For under $300, you can get a replacement which will be faster, be running current stuff and have more space than the dead one. Think about it, they work flawlessly for at least 2 years then become obsolete. They will probably work another 2 years before you have a problem. You are fixing something that is no longer being made and has no value.

I don't buy a new monitor or other accessories. Just the PC. I also buy only one brand which keeps everything compatible and makes the transitions simpler.

For me, its just in the budget. My son has my old one, about 3 years old. When it dies, I go buy a new one and cascade mine down to him. If my mother's PC dies, I buy me a new one and give her my son's, and my son gets my old one. This guarantees I have the best and fastest! Perks for paying the bills I guess.


Now don't get me started on laptops!



Link to post
Share on other sites

The only consistently positive experience I had dealing with hardware problems was with Apple. Our youngest son went to a private high school where Apple laptops were required. Apple offers a service where, after an initial telephone diagnosis, they would send me a shipping box overnight, I would pack up the laptop, ship it off, and usually get it back in two business days.


My experience with local repair shops has generally been positive - certainly no one month delays.


I get nervous dealing with the service departments in some of the "big box" dealers. Over the years we purchased products at CompUSA, a chain that is no longer in business. They always tried to sell extended service contracts and we always declined because I never had the confidence the store would be around to honor any such contracts. Turns out I was right.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Something doesn't seem right here. You wife was dusting & hit something on the keyboard & it crashed your PC? Did anyone try another keyboard? It is possible the motherboard is shot but if your computer is relatively new, I doubt it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have pretty good luck with computers. I can only think of one time when I had a crashed hard drive. And (knock on my old XT cabinet) I still remember most of the old DOS commands (DOS 3.1 anyone?) But that's the PC side. I also still have a MacPlus, a MacSE and an SE30, not to mention the old MacII and a IIci that we bought a very long time ago. They are all still just as fast as they were when they were new. (remember the installer and multifinder?) I have a slightly used PowerMac that has a SCSI interface!


In addition, because I take students out in canoes (with gear, including computers) I scrounge notebooks from the surplus flow (usually turned in because they're obsolete or broken) and I swap parts until I have working units. I can take three hulks and have a working unit in about two hours.

Then I let the students use these working (but worthless) computers - and in case one goes overboard, no one will care.

I also keep some classics around just for fun. I still have one old 386 running Windows 3.1 (remember the MFM and RLL hard drives and expanded memory beyond 640K?) and with a 5.25 real floppy drive and a tape backup...imagine. I show them what a floppy used to look like and tell them it held about 360K. They say, "K ????!!!!"

Doncha love it? When I finally kick the bucket someone is going to have to haul such a pile of junk!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dusting around a computer is the kiss of death for the unit if there is static shock. Yes, she could have killed off the computer by dusting the keyboard. That is why they use air to spray dust off of computer equipment. We had a cleaning lady take out a computer system at work by "dusting off the top of the computer box." And unfortunately, yes, the #1 victim of such static is usually the motherboard. This is why technicians go to great lengths to ground themselves and use anti-static gloves and special plastics to surround computer equipment. Ever notice how much static electricity is in the styrofoam that the computer is packed in? Be careful, very careful.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, those guys were incredibly lucky.

You should see the students' faces when I challenge them to solve some trig problems - they get to use their calculators and I use my slide rule. Of course, heh, heh, I get to choose the problem.;)


Edited for dusting: I used to think that was true. So I took a computer that I was going to trash (it was still working) and I applied the spark from one of those spark igniters off a gas grill. I sparked everything I could find on the motherboard, the CPU, the controllers, the keyboard, just about everything. I never could kill that computer. Keep in mind it was an old XT that eventually had .45 holes put all through it (another story) but the sparks didn't do anything. Could be that I'm just lucky.(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Naughty, naughty! Well, I guess I learned basic math, during elementary school using, what else? An abacus.

Then in 1995 when I was shopping in the largest, most modern department store in Shanghai, China the clerks would work out the amount owed using...you guessed it...an abacus. And they were FAST! Of course I'd basically hand them a credit card and they'd then take the amount they just calculated using an abacus and enter that into the machine and then slide the card. I wish I had a video. To buy a single small item required at least 4 clerks. How is it that they're kicking our butts economically?

Again....the abacus. ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember having to learn how to use an abacus. It was elementary school, the 3d or 4th grade, and time for "new math."


EagleSon has been on Apple products most of his teen years. His university has damned good IT support, but it helps that I bought it at the bookstore :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Computer store didn't call!!


I'm using a six year old lap-top.

I do have a newer one, but this one has Windows XP, the other one has Vista. There is another one somewhere that has Windows 98, but the screen has gone bad.

OJ has an Apple laptop which I'm not allowed to go near.



I never really thought about how much time I now spend on my computer. The other day I was asked to do a survey on my TV viewing. I was surprised at how little time I now spend in front of the telly.

What is strange is that I now am home a lot more than I used to be and I now have something like 620 channels from the cable company. I still end up watching PBS!!



Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...