Well I learned today that I am no computer geek - not that that in itself should be any great shock to the masses. I also learned my son isn't a little boy anymore that needs his mummy to fix all his problems.
As mentioned previously our main computer died on Friday. The boy was pretty sure it was just the power supply unit (psu). He made mention on the all too infrequent times that our paths cross nowadays (due to my shifts and his social life) that he intended on picking one up and installing it.
Naturally I was impatient - so I offered this morning - seeing as I had the morning free - to take the computer up to a local computer repair place to get a diagnostic. The first place I took it to (big box store #1 with computer repair department) gave me a free diagnostic and said the psu was definitely broken. He was also concerned with a little corrosion around a few of the pins on the motherboard. Said I could possibly get a new psu installed but he was thinking that the motherboard wont last much longer and the computer may start freezing up on me. He only had what he described as "overpriced brand name" psu's in stock and didn't even recommend spending the money they wanted to do it, suggesting I find a cheaper one elsewhere.
On to big box store #2....same story. His psu's were the same price, and he wanted another $100 just to install it. At this point I decided to take the computer to the store where I bought it from...
...and here is where I got the wool pulled over my eyes.
I went in saying I was looking for a psu. Their prices were the same as the big box stores, took the cover off the cpu, saw the corrosion on the pins on the motherboard and decided I would definitely need a new motherboard too. At this point I was hot, miserable and just wanted the damned thing fixed. OK - so how much for a new motherboard? Oh, well if you get a new motherboard you will need this...and this...and this...oh and why not upgrade this whilst you're at it...in fact, did you want us to just give you a quote for a whole new computer?
They were quoting numbers and speeds and bits and bytes until my eyes glazed over and I just wanted it all to stop. At some point I signed a work order....for over $800. My "$40-80" repair was suddenly a lot bigger. I even stopped at the bank on the way home to transfer funds into my chequing account just to cover it.
Then the boy called.
And I sat and told him about the new psu, and the new motherboard, and the new ..the new...the new.
To say he went ballistic would be an understatement. "Mother!" (Good sign I am in trouble when he uses my full parenting name) "...why would you go to a computer store and have all that done, when I am a COMPUTER TECHNICIAN?"
I honestly didn't have an answer for him. In my eyes he's still my little boy, who needed help tying his shoes and reminding to do his homework. Not some strapping 6' tall guy who fixes other people's computer and internet issues for a living. I felt very foolish. Then I told him how much it was costing...and he told me what kind of computer he could build from scratch for that price... I felt extremely foolish.
He ended up calling the computer store himself and had the technician go through everything on the list they had talked me into....and to explain the need for each item. He ended up cancelling the work order verbally on the phone and told the technician to install a new psu and NOTHING more.
We picked up the computer late this afternoon - costing me significantly less than the original eight and change I was quoted. (and cheaper than what the big box stores wanted to charge me) and I feel I have learned to leave the technical stuff to him and I'll just stick to what I do best. -whatever that may be.
Of course on arriving home and searching the boot of my car I realised I had left the cpu power cable (I didn't know they didn't need it) on the counter of the first big box store I went into first thing this morning. Quick phone call and thankfully they said we have hundreds - come on up and we'll just give you one.
It's been a hellish day...