Friday, January 28, 2011

Riding and problem solving

k75 seattle grind

It’s a glorious sunny 54 degrees this afternoon, so I suited up and took the K75S for a 50-mile jaunt that included a stop at Seattle Grind for coffee and internet.

After a few minutes online, I noticed my Dell Inspiron Mini 9 netbook was running on battery power, even though it was plugged into the outlet next to my table. I jiggled the cord, checked the connections and packed everything up lest I wipe out the battery completely. I noticed that the AC adapter rattles, like something is loose inside.

Back at home, I checked the AC adapter with my multimeter and confirmed that it’s not putting out any DC current. Close inspection reveals it’s held together with a nearly microscopic Allen screw, for which I have no wrench. I figured the odds of me getting a tiny Allen wrench, opening the compartment, finding the problem and fixing it, were not good. I’d have more invested in gasoline, parts and labor than it would cost to replace the adapter.

So imagine my shock when I found the Dell replacement part costs $49.99!

As I often do when confronted with an irrationally high price, I looked for a replacement on Sure enough, I found one for $11.34. One mouse click and it’s on the way to me.

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