Wednesday, April 16, 2008

This Just In:

Computers and water don't mix.

Yesterday, I was upset about having to pay a self-employment tax. Here's another cost of self-employment: If you do something really, really stupid, you have to pay to fix it yourself.

If, for instance, you manage to spill a big glass of water all over your laptop and corrode parts of your motherboard, optical drive, and other important-sounding things (my computer could see? Who knew?), your boss doesn't have to make room in the budget for repairs. You do.

Fortunately, my little Mac is not a total loss. It looks like the hard drive is intact, and the wet parts are replaceable for less than it would cost to buy a new laptop. We have another computer in the house, so I'm not out of work while mine is in the shop. Best of all, I had time to back up all my previous week's work before the screen went black, so I didn't lose any current projects.

Also, the nice man at the Apple store in Emeryville told me a story that made me realize it could have been worse: He said he helped a woman who had spilled wine in her laptop, which gummed everything up so badly the machine couldn't be salvaged. So she bought a new computer. Two weeks later she did it again. I'm pretty confident something like this won't happen to me because I'm never, ever going to put anything even slightly moist, much less liquid, anywhere near my computer again.

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