Yes, it felt good. Not walking – I can do that well enough. It’s fixing the laptop that sizzled my bacon.
“Fixing” might actually be a stretch.
All I did – an act of desperation – was open the back of my Macbook Air and, with some hot water and Q tips, cleaned up the tsunami of spilled coffee that I thought had killed it. Then I hosed it down with contact cleaner and left the thing to dry overnight.
This is not what the computer store advised. They – the experts – advised me to throw it away. They advised me that it would need – at the very least – a new motherboard and temperature sensor. Which, so they advised me, would cost at least $500 in parts and labor and might not cure the machine’s ills.
Hence, throw it away and – here it comes! – buy a new one.
Because the Motor Gods are with me, I did not do so. I left the store, went home – with the idea in my head that I’d surf around on Amazon for a used Mac; see what was available. On the way home – because what the hell – I bought the $4 can of contact cleaner. What did I have to lose? If the computer store was right and the Mac was croaked beyond economic redemption, then it would not be hurting anything to hose it down. It was already beyond redemption, croaked and kaput.
The “croaked” and “not worth fixing” Macbook is fixed. It works as good as new, or at least as good as it did before I gave it a coffee enema. The fan no longer runs constantly and the motherboard must be working since I am typing this report using it right this very second.
And it didn’t cost me $500, either.
But it did teach me something. Something I already knew, actually – but which I hadn’t thought to apply to computers. Something I preach, often – when it comes to cars. It is that – most of the time – you can probably fix whatever’s wrong yourself even if you don’t really know what’s the matter. Provided you are audacious enough to just trust yourself and try.
Cars, computers – they are different animals but the principle is the same. If someone tells you it Can’t be Fixed (or it’s going to cost you a fortune to have it fixed) it may not be so. Don’t give up! Don’t accept your fate.
Pop the hood – or take off the back cover. See what’s in there. Try to figure it out . . . for yourself. Read up. Ask around. Tinker with it.
Because what have you got to lose?
I’ll tell you what you’ve got to lose. The feeling of helplessness – of being at the mercy of things you do not grok. Of having to slump your shoulders in defeat and go shuffling in supplication to The Man – whether he is a mechanic or a computer guy.
They may be good guys.
But there is almost nothing in this world that’s better than taking care of some problem yourself. The saving money part is great. It is, however, incidental to the real reward.
And I think that’s what we have lost with regard to cars. They are “connected” – Internet enabled and concierge service equipped – but we have lost our connection to them. Which comes from grokking how they work – and figuring out how they work. Which imparts a sense of independence and control as opposed to being controlled by things and forces beyond our control.
The system wants to turn us into Elio – soft and helpless beings. Food for the Morlocks. Perhaps not in a literal sense, but it works out to be the same thing. This however requires our accepting of being helpless – and so, at their mercy – for it to congeal.
We don’t have to let it.
Whether it’s under the hood – or under our keyboard.
. . .
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