Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Finding the Needle in the Haystack

Our new verbs like googling, Craigslisting, Ebaying, MapQuesting, facebooking, and freecycling, represent incredibly useful functions for the flow both of information and actual stuff. They connect PROVIDERS to SEEKERS in ways that could not have been imagined even a few years ago. Embracing these techniques provides surprising solutions to heretofore unsolvable problems.

Case in point: my digital camera which dropped from my bag and I unknowingly drove over. Dead. However, I love the camera. Knowing that its parts alone were costly, I set out to replace just the casing. And wouldn’t you know, the same model was being offered on Ebay, carefully warning the camera did not include memory card, battery, or manual…. Bringing that exact provider with this precise seeker – is that not a miracle? We can now find the needle in the haystack!

Fast forward. Today said camera stopped working; instead, a nasty “lens error, restart camera” message appeared. Neither trying that nor taking out and putting the battery back in did the trick. I was all set to just buy a new camera, knowing that repairs cost more than replacements, when I thought to google the camera model + “lens error message”. What popped up was MyBiggestComplaint.com, a blog that collects contributor gvetches.

There were no less than 159 complaints about just this problem. Many of the people had already done the research and reported standard camera site advice was useless. What does work, however, is to bang the camera hard. That didn’t work for mine, so I scrolled through the comments until a different fix was reported: adjust the lens itself, in case it is infinitesimally off-center. Eureka! Thirty seconds later my camera worked, and I’d saved $100. I added my method, so the next person has 160 people chiming in the fix-your-damn-camera chorus. Yup. This is miraculous.

PS - My laser printer stopped working - the paper LED blinked red and all the jiggling and bangin didn't work like it usually does. Thinking I'd need to buy a replacement tomorrow anyway, I googled "Brother HL2040 printer light blinking" and a site full of people's fixes came up. Third suggestion was the charm....

1 comment:

twilight shirts said...

Google, ebay really makes our life so comfortable that finding needles in the haystack is not so difficult now a days.