Bad Apple

by Yule Heibel on July 22, 2003

The Mac expert at the computer place finally got back from vacation. It turns out that the motherboard on my iBook is fried. I have no idea what this means, except that it’s going to cost much much more to repair than fixing a VCR, which costs less to repair, but still costs more than buying a new VCR. In Canada, I’m looking at nearly $900 to repair this thing, plus 7% Provincial Sales Tax and 7.5% Goods and Services Tax (or vice versa). Anyway, 14.5% sales tax in total. I also don’t know if it will make my laptop reliably functional, or if it will be subject to further troubles. I totally blame it on the missing feng shui centre of this L-shaped house of course.


jr July 23, 2003 at 4:45 pm

Since you can get a brand new 12″ iBook 800mhz for $999 US , I suggest you look for alternate uses for a fried computer.

Yule Heibel July 23, 2003 at 6:24 pm

I agree. But I don’t know if I’ll buy another Apple. The one that broke is only 14 months old — naturally, 1 or 2 months past the warranty 🙁 — and I have no guarantee that it won’t fritz up on me again. I never dropped it or let fluids come near it, nor did I let it bake in the sun (the usual reasons why a major thing like this can go wrong). I tried phoning Apple to plead with them — sell me an extended warranty after the fact or somehow let me have a new motherboard for less — but they were completely unfriendly, uninterested, etc. After this, I can’t recommend their product.

As for the $999 12-inch: I’d need to smuggle it into Canada, literally. Canada Customs can be a real pain. And the taxes are a killer. So I’d have to buy it here, but not as cheaply. My kids have an Alphasmart (a handy portable typing tool thingy that transfers btw. computers, too), and my daughter let it sit in the sun. It broke. Alphasmart offered to send me a cable, for free, to download some software to fix it. I said yes, and duly got the cable. Well, Alphasmart put the cable’s value (via the sticker that customs wants) at $30 US, and I had to pay $13 CDN in taxes (PST & GST) and brokerage fees for Canada Customs (the latter to FedEx) when it arrived. It’s a racket.

Naturally, there’s a huge underground cash economy in Canada, but for durable goods like electronics, it’s possible only if you’re smuggling. And I’m not ready to do anything illegal.

Well, back to my pot.

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