We all know the golden rules about how to take care of our technology, but what about the times we were still green and didn’t know any better? Sure, we’re all about making tech easier here, but tech wasn’t always easy for us. We learned the hard way and have the broken tech to show for it.
What is the worst way you ruined tech before you knew better?
Elsie says she learned not to use a flash drive on different computers, as you can end up with a flurry of viruses. She’ll “never forget in particular that was literally on all files: RECYCLER.” She thanks God that technology evolves while also admitting it’s a shame that security threats do as well.
Simon got a second-hand PC from a friend, and he needed to open it, examine the inside, and make sure everything was okay with it. There was a giant fan installed on the motherboard, and it was getting in his way. He decided he didn’t need that while working on it, so he took it out and turned on the PC. “This is how I learnt about the importance of a heatsink on a processor.”
Phil notes that he’s surprisingly good with not wrecking his devices, as he envisions himself as a klutz who doesn’t pay much attention. Aiding his experience, he’s a freelancer so doesn’t have much opportunity to go out, doesn’t own much mobile technology, and pays attention to risk assessment.
But he does remember a time with his then-teenage daughter was particularly irritating. He jumped out of his chair to “give her a piece of my mind” and heard “an oddly satisfying crunch of a screen being turned into crisp, expensive recycling.” That was his MacBook.
Sayak remembers back to 2008 when he spilled water on a new HP laptop. The circuity was damaged, “and of course I had to unscrew the bottom and tinker with it a little more.” He really thought he could fix it but now realizes he should have taken it in for service.
I did something similar back in the 1980s. I was working as a typesetter on an old Compugraphic. I had a monitor I worked on and a separate monitor that was only used as a display to show my work. It had a separate small keypad to work the monitor. I spilled a Coke on it. Wanting to fix my mistake, I decided I would wash the Coke off. It never worked again. Luckily, I had a spare keypad.
But I’ve continued to do dumb things. Aside from the two iPhones I had within one month that ended up in the toilet (I did know better then), I had a new iMac, one of the first models with the Bondi Blue option. I decided to add the extra memory myself, despite knowing nothing about the inner-workings of a computer. The disk drive had to be removed to install it, and I could never get it to fit back in there the right way again. That was on day two that I owned that machine. Forever after that, to use the disk drive, I had to open it with a butter knife.
Surely, if our writers here have done some dumb things before they knew better, our readers probably have a thing or two in their tech past involving liquid, tinkering with motherboards, and overuse of a flash drive. What is the worst way you ruined tech before you knew better? Let’s hear your stories!
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