[kwlug-disc] OT: "No I will not fix your computer."

Bob Jonkman bjonkman at sobac.com
Tue Oct 29 17:05:31 EDT 2013


unsolicited wrote:
> I don't expect Bob much wants such business.

Urm, let's not be putting words into Bob's mouth.

Bob would welcome such business.

> I can easily spend 30 - 40 hours remediating a computer - at $75/hr, 
> reasonable these days, that's $3,000. vs a new laptop for, say, 
> $800.

Bob charges $75 per issue, onsite for up to two hours.

> And I suspect his costs aren't significantly below Canada Computers -
> he may well buy retail himself in these circumstances.

True. I use a business account for large hardware purchases, but it's
not significantly cheaper than retail.

> People just want to pay money for something that just intuitively 
> works, and get on with their day. And paying less is better. They 
> hope.
> 
> Yet it don't work that way, in any affordable manner[...]

It's been like that since the beginning of time. I started in 1987, when
most small businesses had 8-bit computers, and 16-bit was just getting
invented.  People in small businesses wanted software (there wasn't any
COTS), but baulked at the time and cost it took to develop such software.

"People just want to pay money for something that just intuitively
works" -- not if they can get it gratis. There seems to be a cultural
shift to unpaid labour: Unpaid internships, unpaid co-op placements,
volunteer "Canadian work experience", uncompensated contests for logos,
posters and web design.  Time is not valued.

When people pay, they expect a tangible good in return.  So, they'd
rather buy a new computer than pay for a repair, even if the time and
effort of installing and learning a new system is greater than the repair.

So yes, Bob doesn't do much business in this area.  But Bob still
welcomes any such business that comes his way.

> But back to Paul's point ... Where to send a user with a broken
> computer, for the least cost.

I don't think Paul was asking for an ROI analysis, just a list of repair
shops.

The quick and dirty answer is: Geek Squad at Best Buy/Futureshop,
EasyTech at Staples, and Nerds On Wheels.  Good luck with GNU/Linux
systems, tho.

--Bob.


On 13-10-29 04:07 PM, unsolicited wrote:
> Paul didn't disqualify recycling shops (e.g. 
> http://www.eco-techrecycling.com/refurbs.php), just computer 
> recycling. Computer Recycling 
> (http://www.theworkingcentre.org/computer-recycling/178) has a
> social / non-profit / volunteer component to it.
> 
> So a different sort of, user-participatory (?), beastie than a 
> for-profit going concern.
> 
> I can easily spend 30 - 40 hours remediating a computer - at $75/hr,
>  reasonable these days, that's $3,000. vs a new laptop for, say,
> $800. I don't expect Bob does a lot of business in this area - it
> likely doesn't even come his way. And I suspect his costs aren't 
> significantly below Canada Computers - he may well buy retail
> himself in these circumstances. Since people won't pay that, and he
> can't invoice reasonable amounts for his time, I don't expect Bob
> much wants such business.
> 
> People just want to pay money for something that just intuitively 
> works, and get on with their day. And paying less is better. They 
> hope.
> 
> Yet it don't work that way, in any affordable manner, yet they're not
> willing to put in the time themselves. They'll balk at reinstalling
> the OS (if they even have the media) and apps, yet will go buy new
> and go through exactly the same process - just install rather than
> reinstall.
> 
> At least the new hardware will be faster - no refurb is anywhere near
> retail power, given the low price differential, and lack of 
> multi-year warranty.
> 
>> I'm with John on this one.  There are lots of people out there that
>> could use a "refurbished" computer.
> 
> Urban myth. FUD, even. If there were that many, you'd see many more 
> such firms around. Given the performance differential between new
> and refurb (I'm only now starting to see the earliest dual cores 
> available refurb), most will buy new. Making even more refurb that 
> nobody wants. Refurb places want off-lease where they can get many 
> machines in a go.
> 
> The alternative, for 'reasonable' performance, is kijiji - but then 
> you're back to reinstalling the os and all the other things users 
> don't want to do in the first place. Plus, see performance, and 
> warranty.
> 
> 
> But back to Paul's point ...
> 
> Where to send a user with a broken computer, for the least cost.
> 
> - sadly, my only cost reasonable answer is self-serve at computer 
> recycling, suck the life out of some nearby 'expert', or wait for the
> person to take that shirt off for a moment.
> 
> 
> I am minded of last night's WWITPRO (Security) presentation - new, 
> easier to use (tablets) means either less functionality (RIM), or 
> less security and more risk / hacking (Android). [I'm extrapolating 
> from that and this thread.] Buy newer, faster, fancier, easier, 
> latest, to be pwned newer, faster, fancier, easier, than ever. Hmmm.
> 
> 
> On 13-10-29 10:25 AM, CrankyOldBugger wrote:
>> I'm with John on this one.  There are lots of people out there that
>> could use a "refurbished" computer.
>> 
>> But I think the OP disqualified recycling shops, so...
>> 
>> I would think that we would all send business Bob's way.  He runs a
>> computer shop in Elmira.  (I'm assuming his services include 
>> computer repairs?)
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> On 29 October 2013 09:56, John Kerr<johneddie.kerr at gmail.com> 
>> wrote:
>> 
>>> I think that paying anyone to fix a computer that is more than 4
>>>  years old is running against the law of diminishing returns.
>>> More so if the original purchase price is under $500.00. Better
>>> to buy a new one at under $500.00 and give the computer to a
>>> place like the Working Centre.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> On Mon, Oct 28, 2013 at 11:38 PM, Paul 
>>> Nijjar<paul_nijjar at yahoo.ca>wrote:
>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> But who will?
>>>> 
>>>> You all are supergeniuses who fix your own computer problems. 
>>>> But when your less brilliant peers ask for places to send their
>>>> broken computers, where do you send them? Who fixes computers
>>>> well in town? Who fixes computers well in town at reasonable
>>>> rates?
>>>> 
>>>> (No, Computer Recycling does not count.)
>>>> 
>>>> (If you have not seen the reference, it is this old T-shirt: 
>>>> https://www.thinkgeek.com/product/388b/)
> 
> 
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