Broken Technology

The technology is my life is crumbling around me, but I’ll survive.

Exhibit A: Padlock. I have a cheap little padlock that I use at the gym to lock up my stuff, and the other day, it wandered off. It’s nowhere to be found. It’s not the end of the world – I only spent $6 on it, and I’ll swing by the store and spend another $6 on a new one, but it’s still annoying. Especially since, in all likelihood, the minute I come home with a new one, the old one will miraculously appear.

Exhibit B: iPod. I go through iPods much quicker than any normal person should. I use mine all the time – for all my workouts, and whenever I’m driving. I’m currently on my fourth iPod in a year. I can’t remember what happened to the first – I think I lost it. The second was a Shuffle that I left on an airplane (that wasn’t the end of the world, I didn’t really care for the Shuffle anyway). The third was a Nano Touch that stopped working altogether. I took that one to the Apple store, and they replaced it, free of charge, with the fourth, my current Nano Touch.

Recently, I had my arms full of stuff as I headed down to my car – gym clothes, a bag of recycling to drop off in our trash room, reusable grocery bags to put in my trunk, and I ended up dropping my iPod. Twice. Once on cement. And this is what happened:

D’oh! Thankfully, it’s just the glass that cracked – the screen itself is fine and readable and the iPod still works. I’m not going to rush out to buy iPod #5, mainly because I don’t want to spend the money. I plan on nursing this injured baby as long as I can, hoping, the entire time, that its injuries are indeed just cosmetic and not fatal.

Exhibit C: Microwave. My microwave stopped working. Microwaves are one of those appliances where replacing them are often times more cost-effective than servicing them, but my microwave is a built-in microwave/hood dealie above my stove.

I was lamenting to my sister about my broken microwave, and she goes “I thought hippie healthy people don’t use microwaves.” I laughed, but I do use a microwave regularly: reheating leftovers, making oatmeal, cooking frozen veggie burgers when I’m too lazy to use a skillet. I’ve gotten really cook at cooking eggs for breakfast sandwiches in the microwave – and that’s one of my favorite grab-and-go morning meals.

A comparable replacement microwave would cost in the neighborhood of $300 – a lot of money that I don’t have. So I started doing research. After scouring the interwebs and taking note of my unit’s symptoms, I was pretty confident in my own diagnosis: My microwave had a faulty/broken door switch. All microwaves have door switches – they’re sensors that tell the machine the door is closed. The microwave won’t turn on if the door is open, so a door switch is a key microwave component.

I live down the street from a Sears, and they helped me identify which door switch I needed. They also recommended a new fuse, in case that was blown. They couldn’t get the parts in stock for a week, so I didn’t order them – I figured there had to be some place in Los Angeles, the second biggest city in the country, that had these parts in stock. Sure enough, I found a place that did. The very next day I had a new door switch and a new fuse, and I was determined to make the repair myself.

With help from the interwebs, I figured out how to take my microwave apart, and I found the door switch in the microwave’s innards. And this was where I encountered my first problem: my microwave has two door switches, and I didn’t know which was the broken one. I don’t own the equipment (an ohmmeter?) to test them, either. Then I realized that even if I knew which door switch to replace, I was lacking some tool that was needed to remove them from their internal homes.

I ended up calling a repairman from Craigslist, who came the next morning, charged me $80, swapped out the fuse and the door switch, and got my microwave working again. Add in the $65 I paid for the parts, and I spent $145 – significantly less than a new microwave, and significantly less than having a professional diagnose the problem (I had priced that out, and it would’ve cost $139 just to get a technician through the door, before parts and labor). I’m a little bummed that I wasn’t able to actually fix my microwave myself, but I’m incredibly proud that I correctly identified the problem, ordered the right parts, and saved myself $150 (at least)!

A few updates before signing off: Thank you all for your input on my rest day dilemma – I ended up taking a rest day on Thursday, and I’m glad I did. I’m off to the gym now to hit the weights for the first time in almost a week – looking forward!

Lastly, A big thank you to everyone that’s donated to my two upcoming stair climb fundraisers! Between the two events, over $1,000 has been raised – a figure that completely bewilders me! I’ve upped my goals multiple times for each event, and there’s still lots of time for you to get in on the action. All the money goes to one of two great charities: Whaley Children’s Center or the American Lung Association, and every little bit, even $5 or $10, really makes a difference. Have you donated yet? CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT MY STAIR CHALLENGES AND MAKE A DONATION!

Keep it up, David!

 

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3 Responses to Broken Technology

  1. Alix Stayton says:

    One thing that might keep your iPod functioning longer is better protection. The OtterBox cases are not inexpensive, but less expensive than a new device. They’ve got water-proof ones (I discovered these when my brother asked for the water-proof one for Christmas. He swims laps with it! Really!), and just generally knock-proof ones. When I bought an iPhone, I went straight to the OtterBox cases to find one I liked. I am afraid I will break the glass screen {:-)

    I applaud the repair efforts…it feels good to be able to fix yer stuff, first of all, but reduce-reuse-recycle should also include repair, and I agree it’s getting harder to do. Good for you for just taking the time!

  2. sweetopiagirl says:

    Reblogged this on Inspiredweightloss.

  3. Lisa says:

    I have an otterbox cover for my iPhone, love it, dropped it in the parking lot the other day and it’s perfectly fine, same situation, had too much stuff in my hands!

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