29Oct2021

DIY with the help of the internet

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Even with 50 years experience in the information technology field, I've never prided myself on hardware repairs.  Occasionally, though, even we software people need to know a little bit about the nuts and bolts inside the physical equipment that we use in plying our craft.  Ever since someone told me (back in 1995) about the internet, I've been able to teach myself some basic IT mechanics to perform a range of tasks without spending a fortune on specialist repair work.  I've been able to re-use old computer gear, like DVD players, disks, etc.  I've even been able to add additional memory and solid state drives.  There are some things that I wouldn't attempt (like assembling a PC from scratch) and it's worth spending a couple of hundred dollars to get someone else to do the dirty work.  However, today I think I surpassed my wildest expectations.

Some years ago I inserted a CD into the car stereo system and, hearing some uncharacteristic clicks and whirring, it appeared the CD was never going to work.  No matter how many manuals I read, pressing the "eject" button, etc., nothing was going to remove the CD that had apparently gotten itself stuck inside the system.  When you look at the CD changer (located in the glovebox in the car) it's not intuitively obvious how you remove the beast so that you can get inside the guts of it to see what's the problem.  I telephoned the Audi service centre and they told me, "Yes, we can have a look at it for you but it's going to cost you $650."

Ouch!  So the next place I called was a car audio specialist centre who said, "We'll have a go but the cost is $350."  I'm beginning to think that someone's slapping too much icing on this cake.

So, for some years we haven't had a working CD player in the car and I'm thinking that, when we eventually trade it in, they'll rip a couple of thou' off the trade-in price because of a dud accessory.

About a month ago I was surfing the 'net and I stumbled on a YouTube video video that explains how to remove the CD player from the car.  Beaut' ... all I need now are a couple of those special removal keys.  Hop onto eBay and $6.00 less later, I place my order.  The keys arrived today.  Into the car and one-two-three out comes the CD player.  An hour later,  I've jiggled the stuck CD enough that I could press the "unload" button and out popped the [very much worse for wear and cracked] CD …which, of course, isn't even coffee coaster material.  Reassemble the unit, slide it back in, insert a new CD and everything works beautifully.

The internet is a wonderful place … sometimes.

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