Beware! Don’t follow Alice down the rabbit hole

Beware! Don’t follow Alice down the rabbit hole

Beware! Don’t follow Alice down the rabbit holeWill Claney, Tech TalkAlice followed the rabbit down its hole only to find a dizzying array of bizarre options and complexities. Just like with computers today – weird.

So, shall we join her?

Many people attach emotions to devices like computers, laptops and smartphones. It’s simple human nature to do that with things that seem human or perform human tasks.

Therefore, when something goes wrong with a device, the instinct is to try to “save” it by attempting a repair. Let us examine when it is advisable to repair vs. replace.

We had a customer that would replace the entire computer as soon as anything went wrong; I think he had more money than an ability to determine when a replacement was in his best interest and when he should repair. For example, he replaced a computer on his network when the browser froze. He spent about $600 on a new computer rather than $100 to have a simple fix. Don’t be an Alice.

Software glitches

Most repairs these days are software-related – meaning some software/program glitch hits a computer and an inexpensive fix is available. We recommend all software repairs as long as the software provider is still supporting the product. Software support is one of the most critical conditions in your decision.

Hardware like CPUs, motherboards (the central platform where everything mounts) and video/display performance comes with an expiration date. Hardware reaches obsolescence when support stops. According to Bing, “End-of-support refers to a situation in which a company ceases support (repairs, fixes or updated drivers) for a product or service. This is typically applied to hardware and software products when a company releases a new version and ends support for previous versions.”

Hardware manufacturers are dependent on the operating system, for example, Windows or OS X. When the OS changes, the hardware manufacturer must decide whether to continue rewriting software to match. Most choose to support only their latest products.

In conclusion, if your hardware is still supported, a repair is usually the least expensive way to return to normalcy. Eat the candy and escape the rabbit hole. However, if support has ceased, you should replace.

By the way, data moves from one device to another so you will have a new computer with better performance and support.

Rabbit hole

The rabbit hole has come a long way since Lewis Carroll’s 1865 classic “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” According to Bing, “A rabbit hole, in a metaphorical sense, is a long and winding exploratory path with many connections and offshoots. The term rabbit hole is often used to describe online activities. The Web was essentially designed to function as a rabbit hole because of the way hyperlinks work, and Web surfing in general can be considered a voluntary trip down the rabbit hole.”

Will Claney
Will Claney
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William Claney is an independent tech writer and former owner of Computers USA in the Clayton Station. Email questions or comments to