Why I Started Treating my Computer Like a Toaster

I would never consider working on my toaster. I expect that when I put bread, bagels or waffles in and push down the lever after an acceptable amount of time I will have a nicely toasted snack. If that doesn’t happen, I consider only two causes:

1. The power is out. This is beyond my control, a situation that Alabama power will have to resolve for me.
2. The toaster is broken. There are no degrees of broken. I either get toast or I don’t. If I don’t the toaster goes in the trash and I go to the store or hop on Amazon to buy a new one.

I don’t have the time to dig into the guts of my toaster to figure out what is wrong, determine what is needed to make a repair, get the parts and tools I need and then make the repair. It’s bound to be more costly in terms of time and money than simply replacing the toaster.

Until last year my approach to computers had been different. I had never purchased a computer that I couldn’t tear down to the screws and put back together in complete working order in less than two hours. That changed when I bought my iMac.

It’s not like I fooled myself into believing I could apply the same tinkering skills to my new computer that I had with all the PCs I had owned in the past. I knew I was buying a sealed system. I bought my iMac knowing I intended to treat it like a toaster.

Why? What had changed?

It comes down to time, money and confidence in the reliability of the technology.

I bought PCs knowing they would be obsolete as soon as I got them home. I knew that I could extend their lifespan via upgrades that I could do myself.

The result was that I was in a continual state of maintenance with the PCs I purchased. There was always a new component to be purchased, installed and configured.

I didn’t get cutting edge technology. I bought reasonably new technology once its price dropped.

The problem was that each month I was budgeting a large chunk of time and money to this maintenance. I’d spend a few hours researching new components, ordering them, uninstalling the old component, installing the new and then configuring it. This cut into the total time I could spend actually using my newly enhanced computer.

So, I asked myself, “Is it worth it?”

What if I could purchase a system that I knew would perform reliably for a reasonable length of time at level that I deemed acceptable? I decided I’d get more use and enjoyment out of a system like that then one I constantly had “in the shop” for upgrades.

So I bit the bullet. I found the model of iMac that I felt would give me the performance I needed for the applications I used and that would be relatively current for the next two years.

And…

I bought it and I’m happy with it. It comes on when I need it and it does the things I need it to do. It makes toast.

If I have problems I’m confident the warranty will cover any fixes that need to be made. The money I was spending every month on upgrades goes into a fund intended to purchase the next iteration when it is time to retire this one. I’ve changed my perspective on what computer ownership is and what it entails and I think it’s for the better.

Question: Does your computer make toast?

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