Are you a "fixer" or do you "throw away"?

Are you a "fixer" or do you "throw away"?

Summary: Which are you - a "fixer" or a "throw away"?

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TOPICS: Tech Industry
17

I know a lot of people who fall into the "geek" category but a funny thing that I've noticed about people who fall into this category is that when they are faced with something that's broken, damaged or otherwise not working, they seem to fall into one of two categories:

  • Fixer - Someone who will go to great lengths to fix something
  • Throw away - Someone who throws away things that no longer work and replaces them

What's even stranger is that as a rough estimate, I'd say that the split between "fixers" and those that "throw away" is about 50/50.  This got me thinking about the kinds of people that we have here reading posts at ZDNet.   So, a quick poll for the weekend.

[poll id=156]

I fall into the "fixer" category, but that doesn't mean that I'm always successful in fixing what's broken.  On the contrary, as things get more complex, my success rate drops.  Still, it's fun to take things apart and see what makes them tick!

Topic: Tech Industry

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17 comments
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  • fixer for sure

    I will try to fix ANYTHING. In my experience, even if the problem isn't obvious and I know very little about the device, if I take it apart and clean everything, then be sure all connections are secure, it will start to work about 60% of the time. This goes for everything from doorbells to motorcycles to cell phones.
    lostarchitect
    • third category ...

      I am a re-user ... a fixer for sure, but I don't like to throw something away if it still has usable parts. So I like to re-use parts when I fix other broken stuff.
      phburks
      • oops, this was meant as a reply to the story rather than your message(nt)

        nt
        phburks
  • third category ...

    I am a re-user ... a fixer for sure, but I don't like to throw something away if it still has usable parts. So I like to re-use parts when I fix other broken stuff.
    phburks
  • Definitely a re-user

    I think your premise is faulty. I think if you added re-user to the poll the results would be different; but then again maybe re-users are a subset of the fixer variety!
    Cowper
  • It depends on what is broken

    Too often in the tech world the item that is broken is too far out
    of date to worry too much about. I office at a company that
    [i]finally[/i] threw away some old 10 Mb HDs that were kept
    around in case they were needed as those old computers were
    beyond fixing.

    For business computers I would change out notebooks every two
    years and desktops every three years to avoid the need to fix
    anything - and to always have them under extended warranties.

    Now I've reached an age where I just have to fix things around
    the house.
    Ken_z
  • I'm 50/50 !

    I usually fix what is obvious, easy and cost effective.

    I replace what is involved, fragile and cheap to replace.

    I more throw away now than in past years. Replacement stuff is usually better these days. IMHO
    Prognosticator
  • I try

    I'll look at the problem and try to resolve it but as I've got older I spend less time on the hopeless tasks before seeing the light and giving up. I even thrown out some items to prevent myself trying again in a moment of weakness!
    rwnz
  • Fixer, modifier, tweaker etc

    I can't bear the 'chuck it' mentality. For example, just because the battery in a device is worn out, should the device be thrown away, especially since a new battery is so easy to obtain and easy to fit (unless some clueless company designed the device with a non-replaceable battery, but who would do that in this environmentally conscious age???)
    Scrat
    • Ha!!!

      I hope you knowingly meant that to be a poke at the iPhone. Anyway good one.
      slopoke
  • Why I love second hand PC's!

    I love second hand PC's! For just 30 euro's (dollars) I can buy an old machine, take it apart and try to improve it. No risk, all fun. Add memory, swap hard disks and video cards, improve master/slave settings, BIOS flash updates, the works!

    And then, to top it off, I make that old Pentium II or III run light and quickly on a sturdy Linux! Give that old machine some rocket fuel, install Xubuntu or Puppy Linux!

    Greetz, Pjotr.
    pjotr123
  • Fix

    o I have vintage Dell XPS Pentium II with 64MB RAM stilling running with a cheap ethernet card and 8Gig drive and Damn Small Linux (formerly Windows 98 and failed drive).

    o A Gateway Cowbook 450SX Pentium M with 512MB running SUSE 10.2 (formerly a 30G drive--failed and replaced with a 60G drive)

    Color me a 'fixer'.
    D T Schmitz
  • Fixer, to a point

    All my computers (save the laptops) I've cobbled together from other folks "cast offs".
    mgkdrgn
  • Fixer

    I'll try to fix everything, but I was a bench technician for 10 years before becoming a field technician for a large computer company. So I already know what a schematic is, where to get them, and how to read them,and have most of the test equipment to use them correctly. But there comes a point where replacing becomes the better option. I know very few people that will spend 100 dollars on repairing a home dvd player, when a new one would cost about the same, or less in most cases.

    The cost of some of the repair parts compared to the cost of replacement is a factor on if I repair, or replace. And if the parts are even available to the public, some places won"t sell the parts unless you are an authorized service center.

    But, if what you meant was do I fix or replace a computer, always fix....I may build a new computer to replace the failing computer, but I will always repair the broken one, and give to someone who needs it. Because someone is always looking for a computer. It's convincing the wife that I need the new one thats the hard part. LOL
    rclarke250@...
  • breaker / Fixer

    I usually break it, then try to fix it, if that fails i become a throw away.
    Unemployed IT Guy
  • Throw Away

    I generally throw away anything that breaks if it is no longer covered by warranty. Usually it is cheaper to buy new than to buy all the parts to fix, or at least that is my opinion.

    However, some of the "throw away" stuff actually is donated to charities? that want broken stuff, i.e. cell phones, computers, electronics, furniture, cars, etc
    pshannonwatts@...
  • Fixer first

    Fixer..Upside-cheap repairs; downside -reduced opportunity to get new stuff.
    lynx1611@...