We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
1. Frayed cord on my cool Italian desk lamp was sparking. Brought it to my local lamp shop, since I am wary of electric repairs. Guy repaired the wire while I watched. Then he said it's a little wobbly, let's fix it. Took it apart, tightened all of the parts. Then he said that the frosted glass panels needed cleaning. He showed me how they can be removed, and cleaned them all up with their special chandelier-cleaning spray stuff. He replaced the four bulbs with the proper bulbs. They he wrapped it in bubble wrap for the ride home.
Total time: 30 minutes. Total charge: $6.25, which was for the new bulbs.
2. My Dell office computer was making terrible sounds. The IT guy I phone when I have a problem said it wasn't worth fixing, being 4 or 5 years old. My genius son replaced the fan for $10.99 and it's as good as new. Yes, I have a back-up hard drive.
It was worth the $11 it cost for you to have your son troubleshoot it and fix it. It was not worth what it would cost for a professional's time to troubleshoot it and fix it. Remember that your son didn't charge you for his time, including the time it took him to drive out to Best Buy or whatever, buy the fan, drive back home and install it. A pro has to charge you his hourly rate or he can't make a living.
I can fix a lot of PC things myself. But if there's something wrong that I have to pay a pro to work on that computer's getting trashed unless it's under warranty.
Time to get a new IT guy.
Fans are a major source of failures. They stop turning and the parts inside heat up and die. They are cheap to replace. Even a whole new power supply (with fan) is only $50 to $75.
Consider installing an additional case fan. Most mother boards have connectors for it or it can be plugged into one of the power supply cables. Check what connections are available before buying the additional fan ;-)
Being a Linux command-line type of guy, I like to build high quality boxes and run them at least ten years. My oldest one is 16 years old and still doing firewall duty.
When a fan fails, I try to replace it with a 50,000 hour unit with ceramic or hydrodynamic bearings. I clean the boxes once a year, including the fans, and replace any fans that are stuck or which have loose bearings. If you have many computers and use cheap fans, you'll be forever annoyed by the noise of failing fans and the aggravation of replacing them.
Get rid of your IT guy and thank God you have a resourceful and intelligent son. You can pat yourself on the back.
Had a PC a few years ago. The computer could not operate and was disabled. A young kid from Comcast came in, looked at it and said it was an old model and needed replacing. I picked up the phone and asked Comcast if they were in business with computer companies and getting a kick back? I demanded another tech and wanted one who was seasoned. An older gentleman arrived a day or so later, and found the problem. It was with "their wiring."
We are a throw away society. If it no longer works, toss it out. Much the same society has been doing with their elderly.
Cilla Mitchell, Galveston Texas
That is a cool lamp. I'm pleased that you knew of a shop that could fix it.
In my new city I've found a good shoe repair guy, but I have yet to find a lock shop. Everything here seems to be "mobile locksmith" with a steep house-call fee. I've just about given up on finding a master watch repairer.