Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Computer Repairs Overseas

While I had previously reported that I'd killed my Internet connection, I don't know that I mentioned that later that week I also managed to kill the power cord for my computer. This was a much bigger emergency than my kaput wi-fi connection. After all, there are about a dozen wi-fi hot spots in Cuenca with my name on them, but I can't use any of them without power.

Naturally, I discovered this disaster at about 8 pm on a Saturday night. In case you're wondering, this is the time in Cuenca when you are least likely to be able to find any practical shop open again until Monday morning. You want beer? Plenty of that around. Same for roasted meat kabobs, taxis, or even small shops. Tech support? Bwah-hahaha, no.

Like a mature and experienced expat, I brought out my grown up words and had a bit of a cry. Where on earth was I going to go to get this fixed?

By Monday, a few options had presented themselves. It was only a matter of scheduling in enough time to check them all out. Dell did have an online store for Ecuador, but I really wanted to be able to just go pick one up as soon as possible. Grousing, complaining, and nervous about what I was going to have to spend to get what I needed {tech is about 3x as expensive here as in the States}, I headed into town.

And found my salvation for a mere $60.

Dear Targus, I love you.

Targus Universal Laptop Charger

I was able to find a Targus universal laptop charger at the La Victoria store just a few blocks from Parque Calderon on Gran Columbia. It took less than five minutes to explain what I needed and for the nice man to solve the problem of no physical Dell stores with this nifty thing. It even has a car charger attachment, which while I don't have a car down here is at least handy. I'm pretty much hooked up like James Bond now - a plug in for almost any situation I can imagine.

I looked up the Targus universal charger kit online later and found out it costs $104 on the Internet. I got the last one in the store, and even got a $10 discount because I was willing to pay cash on the spot. How I got something technology related for less in Ecuador than it is available online I don't even know. All I know is I once again have power, which is what I desperately needed. That guy at La Victoria is like my new best friend now, and he doesn't even know it :-)

And now to the next battle . . . fixing the personal Internet problem. Here's hoping it will be as painless as the cord replacement ended up being!


  1. Congrats on that nifty solution. I actually owned the same exact power kit for a while when I killed my own power cord. Definitely comes in handy.

  2. I am loving the power kit . . . especially because it frees me from needed to rely on specifically branded computer gear!

  3. i used a kensington solution that was very similar for quite a while. good find! you around this weekend to catch up?

  4. I know I'll be on a bit tomorrow . . . Internet formally getting fixed on Monday by hook or by crook - I'm going nuts over here.