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Doctor Death strikes again

Ross O. Storey | Sept. 6, 2010
A bang then darkness at the computer technician's store.

My wife maintains I am Doctor Death when it comes to computers. She bases this premise on my keenness to always snare a technology bargain, instead of buying new, off-the-shelf machines.

Perhaps its in my family genes, but I am always on the lookout for great buys on the Internet, from eBay, or from friends when it comes to purchasing the latest and greatest technology. If I can save some cash in the short term, Im always ready to use these avenues to buy computers, instead of coughing up the brand new off-the-shelf price.

Personally, I believe the Doctor Death or Steptoe or Tightwad labels that my wife heaps upon me, are not really justified. Unfortunately, there have been times, perhaps more than once, when my enthusiasm for a pre-loved computer bargain has been as they say, penny-wise but pound foolish.

I can understand my wifes point of view and she has plenty of experience to back it up.

Take last weekend for example. About a year ago, I purchased a 24-inch, intel-chipped Apple iMac and I thoroughly loved it, enjoying good performance until it recently started to lock up, forcing many re-boots, until finally, it refused even to start up. So off we went to our friendly second-hand Mac technician at Singapores famous Sim Lim Square, who was referred to us by the friend from whom we had purchased the second-hand iMac.

iMac tucked under my arm, I happily trooped off by taxi to the sixth floor of Sim Lim to have my machine restored to life.

The techs store had about six technicians busily beavering away as he plugged my iMac into the power. Then: Poof a strange noise and the whole store went dark. The smell of burnt electrical wiring filled the air. When the lights went back on all the technicians were looking at me with frowns. My wife too, was staring at me and mouthing the words Doctor Death has struck again.

That doesnt sound too good, I said to the technician. He smiled back at me, no doubt thinking about his bill, and replied: No, its not.

Cant you just replace the power unit? I said, hopefully. Lets look inside and see.

I watched, fascinated, as the technician opened the brain of my iMac. Id never seen the inside of an iMac before. The smell of burnt wires increased as his assistant undid the screws and dismantled my poor distressed machine. Look at this, the technician said, showing me the brown burn mark in the power unit. Not good at all, and the problem might have spread into the other internal iMac parts too. So, what I had hoped would be a happy visit with my iMac brought quickly back to life, turned into me having to consider buying a brand new unit. And the 27-inch iMac is such a beautiful machine…

 

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