Are Computer repairs just as bad as car repairs?

Today my trusty old 1st generation Macbook Air died. At least I think it died. I don’t know for sure…

Because…

I’m not a computer repair guy…

Every time one of my computers dies, I get a feeling like I do when I go to take my broken down car in for repair. How much will it cost? What is wrong with it? Will the mechanic know what the hell they are doing, or are they just guessing like me? Did I mention, how much will it cost? And can I afford a new Mac? Um, no.

This is particularly hard when you own a Mac. You need to take it to an authorized Apple dealer. Not horrible for most things as at least if the repair person only deals with Apple computers, they are familiar with my machine. However, there are not too many of them where I live. And just like if you own a Jaguar, you have to get the parts from the company that sold you the computer. I can’t go and get a third party to fix it or get the part from anyone else but Apple.

I have been putting off a sound card failure on this machine for at least 6 months. Apple won’t acknowledge it as a flaw in design, though there are hundreds of complaints of the same issue with the same generation Macbook Airs. The Apple rep I talked to told me that my Macbook Air was a 1st generation machine and therefore had a shorter life expectancy and had lived a good life. Sounded like describing a dog to me…Anyhow, the repair was going cost about $150, so I said to Em, “you have no sound now”. lol. No, I wasn’t that mean. I gave her my USB powered speakers to use. Still, if the repair was $20, I would have done it. But, because it’s Apple, I pay more to get it fixed.

Another thing that pisses me off is that if the Macbook Air is really dead, the harddrive is sealed inside the case. I can’t remove it and put it in another computer to boot up. Apple used to have Firewire booting on their machines, but went away from that once the Macbook Air came out. No room for a firewire port on such a tiny(slim) chassis. So all the data on that harddrive is gone, even if the harddrive is fine. Unless, you guessed it, I pay an Apple authorized repair guy to save my stuff. I do have backups, but not the last few weeks. No big loss.

The decision will have to be made if this repair is going to cost me more than $400, whether I will just buy a new laptop and put Linux on it. Then the only pain I will have is teaching my love how to use Linux. I know she will love it once she gets used to it…

I think what I’m really saying, is that I hope the Macbook Air is dead…

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