The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Daily Pundit, I Think You Answered Your Own Question

Posted on | August 15, 2011 | 31 Comments

by Smitty

Quick is asking:

Tell me what sort of electronics you own that you would pay $200 an hour to have repaired, rather than junking it and buying new?

Precisely. No one wants to deal with the expense of these modern, highly integrated electronics. The manufacturing runs are so tiny that getting a repair part six months after the sale may be simply impossible. So you price the labor out of the reasonable range.

Stacy McCain’s old laptop was the hardware equivalent of a Steven King novel. If he’d insisted, for sentimental reasons, to have that thing resurrected, $200/hour would have been a lowball labor cost just to get someone to touch that thing.


31 Responses to “Daily Pundit, I Think You Answered Your Own Question”

  1. Charles G Hill
    August 15th, 2011 @ 1:49 pm

    Forty-year old stereo components: definitely.

    Anything much younger than that: fuggedaboudit.

  2. Patrick Budowski
    August 15th, 2011 @ 2:16 pm

    I was about to say nothing, but I would pay that amount for my camera. Other then that nothing. Since I can fix just about any computer problem myself. If I can’t fix it,  I just replace it. With the cost of electronics being so cheap , its as we live in a disposable world. 

  3. Proof
    August 15th, 2011 @ 2:31 pm

    “Stacy McCain’s old laptop was the hardware equivalent of a Steven King novel”  Nice turn of phrase!

  4. Bob Belvedere
    August 15th, 2011 @ 3:22 pm
  5. Anamika
    August 15th, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

    I’m glad RSM’s computer is back in the saddle again, although that makes a weird image.

  6. Anamika
    August 15th, 2011 @ 3:37 pm

    I lived in a comparatively rich area for a decade as a child. I can think of children and young people who were raised to expect a certain standard, or ones who were taught values that make them often disliked. I can think of people who have always been provided for and thus never faced many challenges or learned from hardship. It seems to me that things are all right: how they work and how we then work through them. You seem like a positive, playful person, helpful, reliable, caring, someone who welcomes others and adds to others’ well-being, someone seldom if ever flustered. Then again, you seem to have a lot of views that are against things, more than many people I know. The contrast doesn’t make sense to me, but obviously it makes sense to you. Do you see the world as broken?

  7. Anamika
    August 15th, 2011 @ 10:42 am

    Why do you always act like a jerk??

  8. Anonymous
    August 15th, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

    Given my laptop history, I’d pay extra for one with an ejectable hard drive…

  9. Anonymous
    August 15th, 2011 @ 5:15 pm

    External disc drives or thumb drives. That´s the way to go.

  10. Bob Belvedere
    August 15th, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

    All the important files on my laptop are saved on an slim external drive.  The internal HD just holds the OS and programs.  Doing this also makes file transfers between the laptop and desktops much easier.

  11. Anonymous
    August 15th, 2011 @ 5:35 pm

    Bob, if you’re going to do that, a disk encryption program is a good idea. It’s too easy for external drives to grow legs.

  12. Bob Belvedere
    August 15th, 2011 @ 5:37 pm

    Good point!

  13. Anamika
    August 15th, 2011 @ 5:55 pm


    The concept of a ‘personal, pocketable bootable OS on a USB flash drive’ is a good one. This is catching on for a category of people who travel a lot, or are on a trip for an extended time, or a just paranoid about security issues.

    Anamika, the Linux geek, has experimented with the ‘Ubuntu’ distro and generally likes it.

    This is all  about the possibility of carrying all of your personal ‘online’ information with you, on a USB ‘thumb drive’, which will boot any X86 (IBM-compatible) desktop computer. Imagine staying with relatives, and trying to use their home comp for your own uses online; is their comp infected with keyloggers, is it zombied, etc?

    Just plug your USB drive into the comp, and reboot, designating the flash drive as the boot volume during startup. The comp boots from the flash drive, and your online session can be as safe as it gets, with NO ‘history’ of web browsing, record of emails, no keystroke logging, etc.

    There are the ‘issues’ of settings, such as ISP/network, etc, but those are generally overcome by practice and study of the specific boot system.

  14. Anamika
    August 15th, 2011 @ 5:58 pm

    Hi Wombat, why did you delete ALL gg comments?  Yeah, i know you don’t work for me, but still…why do you treat him like an ‘untouchable’? Thanks.

  15. jwallin
    August 15th, 2011 @ 6:03 pm

    You can’t fix that from heah. Ayup.

  16. Anonymous
    August 15th, 2011 @ 6:47 pm

    It’s the inspiring company.

  17. Anonymous
    August 15th, 2011 @ 6:48 pm

    Wombat, Bob, I do all the above, but it’s the loss of the stuff I’m working on RIGHT THEN that drives me up the wall…

  18. Dave C
    August 15th, 2011 @ 8:27 pm

    I have an older Luxxman stereo I would fix for that..

    It’s about twenty years old but it still sounded great..  

  19. McGehee
    August 15th, 2011 @ 9:55 pm

    Because he understands that courtesy is wasted on trolls like gg — and you.

  20. Anonymous
    August 15th, 2011 @ 11:25 pm

    My 18-month old Acer laptop won’t start now.  It’ll cost me at least $99 an hour just to see what is wrong with it, let alone how to fix it.  For the cost of 5.5 hours of labor, I could buy a new one.  It’s insane.

  21. Anonymous
    August 15th, 2011 @ 11:37 pm

    He had it coming.

  22. Anonymous
    August 15th, 2011 @ 11:38 pm

    If you’re spending $600 on an Acer laptop – you’re right, you do have a problem. :V

  23. Anonymous
    August 16th, 2011 @ 12:37 am

    What? Stacy’s OLD laptop?

    Does that mean he has tweetdeck now?

  24. Anonymous
    August 16th, 2011 @ 2:06 am


  25. Alan Kellogg
    August 16th, 2011 @ 2:13 am

    If I had the money, my iMac.

  26. M. Thompson
    August 16th, 2011 @ 2:38 am

    Far too true.  I work on the longest ranged Naval weapon system in service, and our solution to a useless electrical component is to replace the component.

  27. Anonymous
    August 16th, 2011 @ 3:13 am

    That’s why my next one won’t be an Acer. 🙂 Any suggestions?

  28. Anonymous
    August 16th, 2011 @ 4:31 am

    Well, I have a seven year old Gateway laptop that still chugs along right nicely, but I hear they got bought by eMachines and aren’t as good as they used to be. Asus is probably your best bet if you don’t fancy the PRC having an ear in your motherboard and are still (like myself) carrying Cold War grudges that make Toshibas unacceptable. Or a Mac, if you like that sort of thing.

  29. Anonymous
    August 16th, 2011 @ 4:31 am


  30. Bob Belvedere
    August 16th, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

    Create your work files on the external drive.  The saves may go a tiny bit slower [although, on my Western Digital Passport Drive they don’t], but it’s worth it [I speak from experience].

    Also, don’t get a ExDrive with any moving parts.

  31. Bob Belvedere
    August 16th, 2011 @ 12:23 pm

    Don’t buy Acer LCD screens either – the on/off switches often stop working.  I have to leave mine on 24/7.