Making do and mending – laptop edition

So I don’t really like computers. I have one, I use them all the time, but I don’t really like them. I don’t understand how they work and I also admittedly don’t really care how they work. I like learning about loads of things, just not my interest.

But what I do like is learning how to save money.

Not having a computer can make stuff pretty hard. Work, uni, social stuff all exist with the internet. Last year, my computer broke around October. I have a Macbook Pro circa 2010. I bought it secondhand from a friend about 5 years ago for $500 – which I was pretty happy about to be honest.

When it stopped turning on I just figured it was done. 6 years is a long time for a computer and this one must’ve just bitten the dust.

Then my but nothing new year started and I realised I’d be totally wrecked without a laptop to study with.

A friend recommended a computer repair shop in Melbourne that she’d had great success with – they didn’t charge just to look at it ($80 from Mac just to look at the computer, not even if anything was broken). These guys didn’t do that.

I literally just walked in with my laptop and the staff member looked at it, got it working and realised that both my charger and battery were shot. He said I could just get a charger, but it’d need to become a desktop computer instead of a laptop. I opted to get a new battery too. I waited 20 mins while he installed it for me and now I have a working computer again! The cost of this outing? $108. I’ve spent $608 on this computer and a new one costs around $2k.

This really highlights to me the benefits of both the secondhand economy and also the make do and mend mentality. There’s nothing wrong with my computer, but I wanted to buy a new one because I was too lazy to work out what was wrong with it. Too lazy to take it to be looked at, instead I spent a day walking around a computer shop and browsing the shiny new computers and I wanted one. I didn’t want my crappy boring old computer: I wanted a new one filled with hope and possibility! I’d be a new person with this computer! I’d start my essays weeks in advance and not just at the last minute! I could see myself at cafes drinking tea and working hard on something (what it was I don’t know) and typing away on it…

Advertising totally fucks with your brain, eh?

A computer is a tool. One that I don’t have much interest in besides typing, browsing the internet, editing audio for work and doing my uni work on. That’s it.

I have one: for a quarter of the price of a new one no less. Companies hope you’ll find it too difficult to both to repair it. We need to fight back against that and work towards continuing repairs instead.

Tech waste is some of the worst waste in the world. E waste is often toxic and fills up landfills. Circuit boards break into shards and enter our waterways and oceans. It’s gross and poisoning people. Building new tech is often as horrible and many articles have been written about the problems involved in sourcing certain materials to satisfy our hunger for new phones and tech. A simple search will highlight to you the problems involved.

I’ve already decided that when my current phone dies and can no longer be repaired, I’ll be investing in a Fairphone. Currently unavailable in Australia, but the only company I’ve found which is totally transparent with where and how all their materials are sourced. I’ve never used a smart phone that wasn’t Apple, so it’ll be an adjustment, but you can’t compare the company structures on things like this.

I’ll be recycling the part of my charger that can no longer be used. I don’t know how to do that yet and will post about my findings when I’m done.

Anyway, I’m pretty bloody happy with how well this all went. Got a computer again and now I’ve also avoided creating more e-waste than necessary!




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