Wednesday, August 09, 2006


I heard from the computer repair shop today, and sadly not good news. My motherboard had gone.

I already owed £35 +VAT for their investigation, but they reckoned repair would cost £70 +VAT (i.e. two more hours labour), plus £40 for a new motherboard and £50 to install a new copy of Windows - and at the end of that I'd still be left with a 3 year old potentially buggy PC.

With some reluctance, I decided to retire (or 'write off') that one. That's two PCs down in the time I've been at Oxford - the first, 'Peanuts' (bought reconditioned for £200 just before I started my undergrad in 2000) still runs technically, but has a 4GB hard drive and can't do much more than open Word.

Anyway, I'd had a browse online looking for potential replacements, hoping I could pick up a tower-only package for not much more than repair. My mum and I went in PC World for a look, and luckily came across 5 reduced to clear - £300, with P4 processor, 3Ghz (I think), 1024 MB RAM, 80 GB hard drive. We decided to buy it, and thankfully my mum had said she'd pay for the repair so didn't cost too much.

Looks like I'll probably have to wait until I get back to Oxford before I get it all set up and running though (which is a shame since we took out a monthly protection policy) but hopefully this one will be ok and last me until the end of my DPhil...

The guy in the repair shop did say they saw a lot of eMachines and the like because these shops make them so cheap using cheap parts. It's true, I was wary about buying another from them; but I'm hoping mine was a rarity caused by the heat. In any case, I'd rather have a cheap PC go kapput than spend a lot on a top of the range model and have that die on me...


At 10:09 pm, Blogger Milan said...

Good luck with the switch. It sounds like you have had unusually bad luck so far with such machines.

At 11:15 pm, Blogger Ben said...

Thanks Milan.

I'm not sure I'd say it's unusual bad luck. As I said, my first computer was a re-fit off a friend of a friend (actually my mum's colleague's husband), which saw me through my undergrad, and is basically still functional just too obsolete.

It's only one that's gone wrong so far (touch wood), and while £500 every three years is a bit too much to be paying out, at least it keeps me relatively up to date!

At 11:51 pm, Anonymous Nick L said...

£500 every three years isn't so bad: I got mine for around £1500 four and a half years ago and I'll be pleased if it lasts for nine years in total!!


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