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How many times a week does having access to the internet save your bacon or change your life?

By Andrew Pollack on 04/12/2008 at 09:24 PM EDT

My oldest daughter, Ari, tripped and fell while carrying her Nintendo DS-Lite. This is something she saved for for a long time. A broken top screen led to tears. Because we all know that I'm way too soft when it comes to such things, I told her I'd see if it was something I could fix.

Enter the Internet.

Within seconds I'd found multiple sites with instructions for replacing the top screen of a Nintendo DS-Lite including a full write up at Instructables. The instructions even recommended getting the replacement screen at eBay. They said it would be much cheaper, but come from Hong Kong so it would take several days.

As predicted, the replacement screen -- as well as the special screwdriver required (yeah, I already have a full set of security bits, but I'm told there are many of you out there who don't own your own set already) -- were purchased for $9.95 + shipping. They'll be here soon.

Pre-Internet: $200 device thrown away as broken.
Post-Internet: $200 device saved with an hour of work and a $10 part.

The geeks may not inherit the earth, but they're going to make it a better place.


There are  - loading -  comments....

re: How many times a week does having access to the internet save your bacon or change your life?By Craig Wiseman on 04/12/2008 at 09:51 PM EDT
Excellent point.
I have a similar story:
On vacation in TN in Feb. this year, the right hinge on youngest son's DSLite
cracked badly. Although we never witnessed any abuse and he assured us that it
'just broke', we were leaning toward the feeling that it might have been
damaged by misuse.
I, likewise, said I'd check and see what we could do about it. 10 minutes of
searching yielded a number of sites that indicated a flaw in the DSlite and
that Nintendo was repairing them for free (not even shipping).
Co one call to the internet-provided 800 number got me a prepaid fedex shipping
label, a fixed DSlite and a very happy child.
ConstantlyBy Turtle on 04/12/2008 at 10:14 PM EDT
Constantly. Got out to Phoenix one time without a crucial prescription. In
the SkyHarbor airport, I found the nearest Wal-Mart with a pharmacy, found the
number for my HMO, and in an hour had a refill. Countless times, stuck
somewhere surrounded by clueless people who had no idea how to give me
directions to somewhere, I pull out the phone and have directions and maps in
less than a minute. Cheap diesel 400 miles from home? No problem.
Last-minute hotel reservations while I'm driving in the middle of nowhere? Got
it.

I really don't have any idea how we did without true ubiquitous connectivity.
re: How many times a week does having access to the internet save your bacon or change your life?By Danny Lawrence on 04/14/2008 at 11:17 AM EDT
Here's another, I bought my car (used) from a dealer, it came with one keyless
remote. As I wanted my wife to have one as well, I did a little searching in
the net and found a site dedicated to my type of car, and discovered that the
keyless remotes from a similar car could be used in mine as well, and that
programming the remote to the car isn't a big deal (it's a weird little dance,
but easily doable by mere mortals). A quick search on eBay turns up probably
100 remotes (for my car and it's "sister" model) for sale, I buy one for less
that $20 and program it to my car, no big deal.

Without that kind of info I'd have been stuck going to the dealership and
probably forking over $40-50 for the remote and maybe a similar amount as a
"programming fee".


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