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Choices for broken gadgets

Can it be fixed, how much will it cost and is it worth fixing? Three fundamental questions when faced with a broken digital gadget. Today we look at Web-based resources that may help with answers. Two resources help with repair options while another may put a few dollars in your pocket should that be a choice. The first resource is an on-line support community where owners of broken gadgets can post questions about fixing the item. The service is intended for do-it-yourselfers and covers a wide range of devices. The Web site, www.fixya.com, offers free technical support for gadgets, electronics and consumer products. Fixya requires users to sign up before posting questions and, as with most free things, you may have to wait for a reply. The site offers an option to purchase instant advice from the Elite Experts for a nominal fee. The next resource is an on-line repair service oriented toward the more popular audio devices. The service offers diagnostic testing in addition to color modifications, scratch repair and they will purchase the item if repair is not cost-effective. The service, located at www.rapidrepair.com, is based out of Michigan. When is fixing not worth it? Rapid Repair says that only five percent of the items received by the service are not worth fixing. Repairing an item generally makes sense if repair cost is less than sixty percent of replacement cost. When repair is not an option the third resource may be of help. The service, www.buymytronics.com will make you an offer on the broken item which puts a little cash in your pocket and keeps the item out of the landfill. While Rapid Repair would also buy the broken item, a quote from the buymytronics site will confirm the value and help with the decision. Ron Poland is a professor in the Computer Information Systems AAS program at Clinton Community College. Poland is certified in company repair and networking by the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). He is also a Cisco certified network assistant.

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