There are many brilliant people employed in the invention, design, and manufacture and of household devices — unfortunately, none of them are ever involved with anything of mine.
This week it was the computer monitor that died. It didn’t go out in a shower of sparks like the kitchen range, or with the loud banging of a motor gone bad like the refrigerator, not in a puddle of water like the dishwasher, or with a tub full of water and wet clothes like the washer. It died quietly – it just refused to turn on.
I can’t say it was totally unexpected. It has been showing symptoms of distress for a while now. Sometimes the screen turned green, sometimes it turned red. I nearly always had to reboot before it came on in the normal color scheme.
It had cardiac arrest and quit working so many times I’ve lost count. The off button long ago quit functioning. The only way to boot it was to unplug it. Not very technical, but it worked. This seemed to provide enough of a shock to stimulate it back to life again.
Considering the bench charge, the cost of the parts and labor and the fact that it would still be a used piece of equipment, it wasn’t worth fixing. I would be better off just replacing it. Seems a lot of things are that way these days — disposable, cheaper to replace that to repair.
Ironically, what finally killed it was a power surge. We had an electrical outage. My lights were out, the neighbor’s lights were out and even the stoplights down at the corner were out. It must have been a malfunction of some sort at a relay station.
When the lights came back on, my computer monitor didn’t. I plugged and unplugged, booted and rebooted, tried prayer and chicken soup, but no amount of first aid could revive it this time.
“Could you pick up a new monitor for me tomorrow?” I asked my honey. He was going right by Best Buy on his way to an appointment.
“I can’t pick out a monitor for you. I don’t know what you want.”
“You picked out this one,” I reminded him.
That’s different. It was a gift.
Maybe you could gift me again?
“If you want a new monitor, why don’t we just go now?”
So we did.
When we got to the store, there were a dozen monitors. I looked around until a clerk spotted us. I explained the situation. He sympathized and then asked if we had seen the other monitors. “Other monitors?”
There was an entire wall full of nothing but computer monitors, all sizes all brands, all prices. I found one that I liked, a bit larger than my old one, and a bit more expensive, but isn’t everything?
Monitors now are LED HD, whatever that is. “Can your old computer support this?” asked the clerk, who was starting to smell a commission. Here we go, I thought, nothing is compatible with anything else. Planned obsolescence, they call it.
“What kind of plug does it have?” He showed me a blue plug on the new one.
Having recently taken the computer apart to move it, I remembered the blue plug.
“It will probably work,” he said. Thank goodness for blue plugs.
I bought the new monitor and took it home. This is going to be complicated I thought, looking at the installation disk. I attached the blue plug to the computer and turned it on. The monitor lit up, the screen adjusted automatically, and it sprang to life. No new hardware found, no drivers to install, no installation, no headache, no vomiting, no nothing.
So, I’m back in business again. It’s almost like having a new computer.
The next day I received a call. My son’s computer would not boot. We think it was fried by the power surge. It never ends, does it?
Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss