Thursday, May 26, 2011

iPod Touch Repair Challenge

I ended up getting a co-worker's cast off first generation iPod Touch. Like I need another gadget, I know. But the price was right (free), and it came with an added bonus that many gadgets don't--it didn't work. Stopped working a year ago, actually. The screen turns on and the battery holds a charge, but the touch-pad is completely unresponsive. We can't even push the "slide to unlock" bar. Because I like to tinker and I hate e-waste, it's a challenge I couldn't refuse.

At our local mall there is a kiosk that sells protective cases and screens for "smart" phones. They've got a big poster that says, "Screen broken? Fix it here!"

Surprisingly, getting the young fellow's attention was a challenge. Usually those kiosk guys are shouting at passer-by, doing the hard sell. This guy was too wrapped up in his own iPhone to notice the passing crowd.

When I did get his attention, and he did see the gadget, he said, "Oh, sorry. We can't get the parts for those old models any more."

"Old models?" I said. "These things were released under four years ago."

"Yeah, but we see it all the time. Touch screens stop working after a while."

"All touch screens?" I said. "On everything?"

He said, "Hey, it's like life. Things wear out and stop working."

"You're a philosopher," I said.

So...challenge accepted. Even Apple can't make a product so crappy it's unrepairable after just four years.

Can they?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Will My Computers Ever Do Anything Besides Update Themselves?

I know this might sound a bit Andy Rooney, but Good Grief!

I use the damn things so infrequently these days that it seemsevery time I turn one on, it sets itself so single-mindedly to attending to its computer business that I can’t seem to get any people business done.

First the antivirus starts updating, then the operating system, then when I launch any single goddamned program I’m asked if I want to update to the latest version. Heaven forbid I want to play a game. By the time they’re done downloading new “splash screens” and game data, my supper’s ready and free time’s over.

Then I realize the reason it’s grinding to a halt is it’s performing a virus scan. “Last scan performed over one week ago!” Thanks for the warning, jerk. I last turned this piece of junk on a week ago!

Even my word processor is out of date! Open Office has become something called Libre Office, and the Windows Live Writer I use for blogging just encouraged me to help Microsoft develop their products and switch my default search provider to Bing. Apparently it wasn’t happy just composing blog entries.

When I give up and shut the things down, they tell me I can’t turn them off because they need to finish installing their updates.

Tell me why I shouldn’t go back to using my typewriters again?