Thursday, November 8, 2007

Fixing Instead of Replacing

Today the New York Times had an article about fixing your ipods instead of replacing them. It's an interesting article, with some good tips for where to find information on repairing your ipods, but in the end, the article concludes that ipods have a life span, and after three years, you should probably just replace your ipod.

I have been mostly counting on my laptop and my ipod lasting until next August when my year of non-consumerism officially ends. But if they failed before then, what would I do? Would I break my vows of non-consumerism? Or would I try to get my laptop or ipod repaired? The answer is, I don't know. If it was my ipod, I would guess that I would try to fix it and then live without.

If it was my laptop, well, that's not something I could live without. But on the other hand, the cost of a new laptop is so high, that I'd be more willing to pay for an expensive fix.

The truth is, EVENTUALLY, I will want to replace both my laptop and my ipod. Not within the year hopefully, but probably in a few years. And when I replace them, I will probably want to replace them new.

I'm not too thrilled with this. I'm kind of looking at this year of non-consumerism as a diet. But like any diet, I do not want to go back to my old consumeristic (is that a word?) habits after the diet is over. But the fact of the matter is, technology is rapidly evolving, and not buying new is a huge pain, especially for someone as un-tech savvy as I am. I can't build myself a computer out of old parts. I can't add my own RAM or hard drive.

I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.


Anonymous said...

Technology is the one place where I just can't cut way back. I'm really trying to be more aware of my consumerism and to live a simpler lifestyle. I've cut back dramatically on buying clothes, shoes, books, house stuff, etc. But I NEED a functional, up-to-date laptop. So when this one dies (which should be awhile, since it's only two years old), I'll definitely be buying a new one. (A Mac this time. I have it all picked out.) I'm not going to rush to buy it, because I don't want to be wasteful just for the sake of having a new toy. But eventually technology becomes obsolete and you have do something. I think that if you are doing your best in all other aspects of your consumerism-lite life, it's not something to feel too guilty about.

Joanne Koehler said...

I got half of a mac powerbook for college graduation in 2004. Exactly six days after the extended warranty (an additional $300 on top of the purchase price) ran out - 3 years and six days after I got the laptop - it died. It wouldn't even turn on. The best I got out of it was a menacing looking folder with an exclamation point and a suicidal-looking mac icon. Oh eff.

No way I could afford anything comparable, and it was $2700 at the time of purchase so I was determined to resuscitate it. I googled the hell out of what was wrong with it, and determined that my hard drive was probably fried. I worked in an office with a staff of engineers, so I bought a new hard drive, and while I was at it, new RAM and battery and power supply. I baked a coworker a batch of red velvet cupcakes in exchange for some laptop brain surgery. It's been almost an additional three years, and the cost for parts was under $400.