Posts Tagged ‘repair’

I was dragged kicking and screaming into the new millennium about a year ago.  I finally gave up my cherished flip phone for a smart phone.

And while I haven’t had many regrets–it is a lot easier to text and having access to the Internet is very convenient–it did present me with some new problems.  For one thing, smart phones are not as durable as flip phones.  Within six months, the screen was cracked.  Fractured.  I managed to drop it several times. Threw it once.  After I got a call for a “routine” consult at 10:30 PM on a Sunday night.  Are you freaking kidding me?!?  If it’s routine, couldn’t it wait til business hours on Monday when someone else was on call?  But I digress.

The phone worked fine, but now the surface looked like a cobweb (and a few fragments and one corner were missing) and I was concerned I was one more phone rage call away from it not working anymore.  Or, since I like to take it running in case I fall or do something stupid, I was one drop of sweat or an unexpected rain shower away from water getting in my smart phone’s head.

So I stopped by a place that advertised fixing iPhone screens.  It was a paintball store, but that did not deter me.  They must go together.  Shooting paintballs probably results in some broken phone screens.  But Mr. PaintBall wanted $120.00 to fix my iPhone 5 screen.  Apple already is up to #7, so it seemed like a lot of paint to pay for an outdated phone.  (I didn’t want to enter modern civilization too quickly.)

But my good old flip phone never gave me trouble like this.  It bounced off walls better.  Makes you wonder which one is the smarter phone.

So I went to Google.  Low and behold, you can purchase new screens and replace them yourself.  There are multiple videos on You Tube.  It looked so easy.  And I could buy one for around $25.  Take that Mr. $120 Paintball shyster.

I waited for my salvation to come in the mail.  I had two weeks before I was on call again, and I would need my phone.  And one more pitch against the wall might be too much.  It finally came.  I rushed home, loaded up the You Tube videos and prepared to save myself, um, like almost $100 bucks.  A lot more if you factor in the unreasonable cost of a new iPhone.  $700?!!!!

I managed to get the cracked screen off, fracturing it even more.  Nothing to worry about.  I was going to fix this cracked phone with a brand new screen.

Okay.  What was underneath doesn’t look like the video.  Maybe it was the wrong video.  Nope.  None of them looked like my broken mess.  I can’t start sweating now–the perspiration will drip inside and fry the smart phone’s stupid brain.


I’m pretty sure I had more parts than this.  If I walked away, they would start replicating.  It was like a sci-fi horror flick.  Low budget.  Very low.

After some praying and swearing (I might even have swore while I was praying, God help me) I figured out that my phone was more broken than I had imagined.  There is a frame that should have come out with the screen and did not.  I was able to get that out.

But I realized that the videos were all replacing screens that had home buttons and cameras already in them.  What I had bought, was just a screen.  No home button.  No camera.  WTF?!


Just an empty shell of a real phone.

I did consider stopping at this point, but I couldn’t get my old screen to work anymore.  I had to press onward.  But no matter how hard I tried, I could no longer get the phone to work.  With either screen.

So I made a decision.  I would purchase the proper screen with home button and camera.  I still had a week before I was on call.  I could live without a phone until then.  Cavemen lived without phones for years.

I found the proper part and ordered it.  I paid extra for 1-5 day delivery.  Unfortunately, it was President’s Day Weekend.  I still hoped it would be delivered to my office by Friday.  It did not come.  I did get three emails asking me to rate their product and offering me on-line instructions on how to use it even though they have failed to actually deliver said product to me.

I finally got a tracking email that it was being delivered Saturday.  My partner was going to be working Saturday morning, so I thought I’d stop by later in the day and get my salvation.  Apparently, even though the office was actually open (one Saturday out of every five) the post office doesn’t bother to deliver mail, assuming we are closed.  I had to wait until MONDAY.

Monday came.  The mail came.  But the screen was the same one I had already ordered.  No home button.  No camera.  No working phone!


I called and complained, but was told that that was what I ordered, regardless of the photo of the product.

Now I’m down $60 and still no working phone.  It’s like a series of Two Broke Girls episodes with the total changing after each episode.  I have a pager, but no way to call back.

On  my way home, I stopped by the paint ball store in desperation.  This time I talked to someone different.  I was afraid since I had already tried and failed to fix the phone that they might not want to get involved at all.  To my surprise, the guy said he could fix it and it would cost me $50.00.

I wasn’t going to argue with him.  At $110 so far, I was still ahead of the paint ball shyster who wanted to charge me $120!


And my phone works.

I put the money I saved toward an otter box that so far has kept my new screen without a scratch.

I will consider this DIY project a victory.


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Meine Tur ist Kaput.

My (garage) door is broken.  Yeah, I could have made that the title, but I like kaput better than broke.  Broke makes it sound like my door over invested in Enron and Dotcom stocks.  I wish I had listened to my door.  My portfolio ist kaput as well.

It worked fine last night.  This morning, I pressed the button and nothing happened.

I pressed the button again.  Nothing still.  I pressed it harder thinking that might work.  It makes the elevator come faster doesn’t it?

So I turn on the garage light and head out to check things out, as if I might actually be able to fix what is wrong with the garage door opener.

I try using the remote in the car on the outside chance that the button I just pounded into the wall ist kaput.  The remote fails me.

The garage light is on and I doubt there is a separate breaker for the lights, and the unit is still plugged into an outlet without a fuse so it appears that the problem is not Scotty–we have enough power but we can’t raise the forward shields.  And I can’t get my car out of the garage.

My door ist kaput.

I look up at the unit as if I could figure out what might be wrong.  But there is no obvious abnormality.  Other than some dust and dirt, it looks just like new.  I sigh and disengage the door and open it manually.

All I know at this point is that this is probably going to run into some money.  These things always do.  They never say there is a wire loose and they fixed it.  That’ll be $10.  No.  I will not hear that.

I will consider myself lucky if I don’t have to replace the whole unit.  With my luck, I’ll probably need a whole new door.  And a new garage.  And while we’re at it . . .

That’s how we fix things these days.  It doesn’t matter if it is a transistor radio, a home computer or a HDTV.  I have at least two VCRs that are in various stages of disrepair.  It truly would cost more to fix them, or at least that was what I was told.  I don’t think they know how to fix them, so they tell you that just to get you to buy a new one.  I’m not going to pay someone that much money to fix it, but I keep pretending that someday I will figure out how to do that myself.  Of course, by that time I will be senile and won’t need them and they won’t be producing VCR tapes anymore.  Do they even make them now anymore?  But I digress.

It’s always cheaper just to buy a new one.

You’d think that someone who knew how to actually fix something could become very popular.  But he or she would actually have to work, and in the end, it would probably be cheaper and faster just to buy a new one.  It’s really kind of sad when you think about it.  All that electronic equipment just wasted because no one can repair it cheaper than it is to reproduce it.

I could just continue to put the door up and down manually.

Yeah, that’ll happen . . . right after I get it fixed for ten bucks.

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