I have sought, but I seek it vainly

26 October 2008

When they notice that I have shut-down my computer and am packing to leave, people intending to be helpful sometimes unplug my computer. Unfortunately, they often or always do so by pulling on the cord itself, rather than the plug. Largely as a result, I have had yet another cord begin to fail recently. I have some replacements on-order, but I also plan to repair the three failing cords that I have at-hand.

A failure is almost invariably where the plug joins the cord, such that replacing the plug will restore the unit. Further, I could get a plug with some sort of sleeve, so that people would be grabbing that, rather than the cord.

To-day I have looked for replacement plugs at CVS, at Fry's Electrionics, at Radio Shack, and at Target, unsuccessfully at each place. (I could have bought a whole power cord at Fry's Electronics, but I need a cord with a special sort of plug at its other end, to join it to a power adapter.) I was fairly certain that I could find some at Ace Hardware (to which I would have gone to-day had they been open while I was running errands); but my search of their website yielded surprised disappointment.

It used to be that replacement plugs were readily found at the sorts of places to which I went. There world has changed in a small-but-telling way. People are far less inclined to repair electrical devices than once they were; they more often simply discard them. A large part of that shift is almost surely economically efficient — repairs can consume more resources than replacements — but it's also part of a larger trend of people becoming ever less able to do things for themselves, and that saddens me.

Up-Date (2008:10/27): ForensicEye (by way of the Woman of Interest) informs me that he gets replacement plugs at Home Depot

Up-Date (2008:10/30): I noticed that the website for Home Depot did not list any replacement plugs, in spite of the assurance from ForensicEye that plugs can be found in their stores. So I called to check whether a similar situation obtains with respect to Ace Hardware, and was told that they carry them in their stores despite the lack of listing on their website. So the plugs are more difficult to find than once they were, but we're not reached the point where Ace Hardware doesn't have them.


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