If It IS Broke, Fix It!
Posted by Midwest Mom | Filed under Midwest Mom
We’ve all heard, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” It means, “Don’t make work.”
But what about when it IS broke? How did we get to this place where we don’t even TRY to fix it? Where we just chuck it and buy a new one. And almost certainly a bigger-shinier-fancier-substantially-upgraded-in-every-way new one.
Well, I’m broke. (Now I’m using the other sense…the one where you don’t have any money.) When you’re broke and something breaks, you don’t buy a new one. You do without or you fix it. And really…isn’t repair a lot greener?
We had three computers. (Yeah, there’s four of us here.) One is my husband’s laptop that is critical for his job. It’s about five years old and over the winter, the display broke. OK. Now he can’t use it as a laptop anymore. He has to use it at his desk at work or at home where he can connect it to an external monitor. Not ideal, but free. He already had the two monitors.
Because of my work, I had a 5yo PC and a 6yo Mac. In the spring, the Mac broke. Wouldn’t do anything but beep. OK. I don’t require a Mac anymore, so for the past two years it was just the kids’ internet and homework machine. They can share the PC with me now.
In the middle of summer, the PC broke. I don’t need to make the case that I’m well past the point where I’m going to go without a computer. If you’re reading this, you’re likely perched on the same point.
I took the PC to a computer repair store…the core voltage on the motherboard was shorting. Or some such. Long-story-short…it’s non-repairable.
I consider my options. With my husband’s laptop, I go to my library’s website and order a book about upgrading and repairing Macintoshes. With the book and about ten minutes, I learn that the beeping is the hard drive—the hard drive broke, the computer’s fine. In ten more minutes, I learn that a new hard drive…that of the bigger-shinier-fancier-substantially-upgraded-in-every-way sort is going to cost $50.
We married the old, good computer to the old, good hard drive and with a $50 new hard drive we are back in business and I have all my “stuff”! (Well, I can’t access it all yet because of cross-platform issues, but I’m working on it.)
If we hadn’t been in desperate financial straits, I prolly woulda gone right out and bought at least one new computer. Now I can make the buy decision without a gun to my head and when I do, my kids get their Mac back!
As another example, me mum was in a minor car crash recently. The insurance company wanted to “total” the car—it would cost more to repair than it’s worth. They would pay what the car was worth, less the deductible. “Nice try,” said me da’. If he had accepted the “total” diagnosis, he would have had to come up with much more money to replace the car than if he just had to pay the deductible on the repair. He insisted on a new estimate using only second-hand parts. The car is being repaired.
I once bought a near-new vacuum cleaner at a yard sale for $5. I could see that the belt was broken and I gambled that that’s why it had been tossed. I was right. It’s a great little vac. Someone actually got rid of a vacuum when the belt broke. What the?
What did you fix when others wouldn’t?