Friday, July 25, 2014

And it's not even April First!

This is the season in Mexico where there are a lot of lighting strikes which then brings more woe to damaged equipment. Couple of my fellow bloggers have recently had their modems and even phone lines , phones, computers and almost anything electronic which is plugged in get fried.
You kind of learn to expect it, and do what you can to remedy it.

Pull the plug out of the wall when you think the storm is getting close, so on and so forth.

I have written about it a few years ago when we lost a computer, along with our microwave radio link.
We have since replaced the microwave radio link, we keep it as a spare, couple of months of we ran fiber cable from our tower down to the house which improved our speed and ping times dramatically.
Any way, I am here to talk about the laptop computer I have which is a Sony Vaio VGN Z540.

The laptop has been a soldier for the last 5 years from the time I purchased it back in 2009.

It has survived being dropped while in the case as I opened our rear hatch in the Honda, hitting the ground several times, if you remember it survived being tossed out of the same Honda when we were rear ended at the toll booth outside of Guadalajara a few years ago, that time it flew through the air and landed on the roadway having the outside nylon carrying case taking the brunt of the accident.

Well, a few days ago I noticed that my on off button was loose and yesterday it finally fell out. I opened my case to do some programming on a access point for a friend and the on off button that is usually on the laptop was gone. I found it in the case so I figured I could put it back on later. I was still able to turn on the computer using an end of a pen or pencil.

After examining the plastic parts, which there are two of, the first is the clear plastic button that the LED shines trough when activated and the second part is the round bezel or cover that actually holds the plastic button to the case.

Upon examination I found out that the tabs that hold the bezel to the case had broken off, normally there are 4 tabs,  but now there were only two, so the outside ring would not keep the button in to activate the micro switch inside.

I looked up the Sony support phone number and called to order the replacement part. After being transferred around for about 15 minutes I described the part to the Sony person and after some time he came back and told me that both items would total $ 103.58.

"You have to be kidding man,?",  "No sir, that is the price, did you want to order them?"
"No , I will have to think about it, thank you for your help."

I thought to myself that can't be right, so there were a couple more phone numbers for independent parts outfits that carried the Sony parts. I found one in California and called them. After a couple of minutes I was able to describe the parts to the person and he said he would email me back with the information.
I got the email and :;
On 7/24/2014 2:58 PM, Joe Andrews wrote:
BUTTON $38.40
HOLDER $69.78
So, needless to say, I don't think I will be spending a 100 dollars to fix an 5 year old laptop. I understand that Sony has stopped making laptops and I can certainly see why. Using that price model, to replace the computer part by part would probably be somewhere between 400 and 500 thousand dollars.

So now the quest begins, of what model of laptop I should get. I would like it to be light, since this one was only about 3 and half lbs, I see that most of the laptops around are between 4 and 6 lbs.
Hopefully I may be able to find someone who had one of these laptops that failed for other reasons and get the parts I need, but in the meantime I will have to carry a sharp object to turn the unit on and off. 

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