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Three things you shouldn't bother to repair: an iPod, a notebook computer, and a Motorola Razr cell phone.

AOL Money has an interesting article: Top 5ive Things Never to Repair. Although you'll need to check the article itself to understand the reasoning behind it, if you're curious, the five items are:

  • Computers
  • Digital cameras
  • MP3 players
  • Microwaves
  • Cell phones

Read more about it after the break!

The thing to remember is that this is a money article: it's geared strictly towards smart finances, not Eco-friendliness or the DIY spirit. Even the information about computer disposal plays on the fear of identity theft, rather than the fact that casually discarded computers can have adverse environmental effects.

The idea here is, "Why should you repair this when you can get a better one for the same amount that the repair would cost, or less?" The age of the broken product is a factor in several cases. The writer also addresses extended warranties, mentioning that they're rarely a good deal.

However, these are also electronic devices that nearly everyone uses: the aim is to save you money on them. For the most part, with the exception of computers, few people even know how to repair the items: when was the last time you replaced your own iPod battery? It's possible, but not commonly done, in the scheme of things. (Come on, void that warranty!)

If anecdotal evidence is to be trusted, sending a computer out for repair is sometimes a risky proposition: most people I know have been unhappy with "professional" repairs and warranty service. Computers often -- not always -- come back in worse condition than they were in when they were sent out.

DIY computer repair is possible, and many people like to build their own: check out Gary Sattler's DIY Life series on building your own computer, which is still in progress! If you're interested in keeping your own computer in line, you could do worse than to pick up a book called Upgrading and Repairing PCs. But ultimately, you probably know by now that you won't be able to keep the same computer forever.

So, Top 5ive Things Never To Repair is not an article about things it wouldn't be safe to repair or reuse, though those things exist. And it's not an article about how to give a second life to your old microwave as a fish tank or a radio (the idea sounds cool, but in practice, gutting a microwave's innards is extremely dangerous, which is why you rarely see crafty microwave makeovers).

It's an article similar to Tanya Ryno's "10 things you can stop cleaning." If you're willing to give up a little bit of DIY for a whole lot more savings and far less hassle, you should check it out.


  • Mike Wolstat

    It's funny there's a ipod mini in the photo, that's one of the most repaired and upgraded mp3 players ever. i upgraded mine with a higher capacity battery and a 32GB microdrive.

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