[NTLK] I'm new to Newton emate purchased on ebay (Cosmo Kain)

James Fraser wheresthatistanbul-newtontalk at yahoo.com
Sun Aug 29 21:14:41 EDT 2010


--- On Sun, 8/29/10, Cosmo Kain <cosmokain at yahoo.com.au> wrote:

> So when I finally get it, open and close it gently to avoid
> hinge problem, i mean what can you do? The seller on ebay
> says he does the hinge fix if he believes it's required - if
> they are like new there is no need - is what the seller
> states ? But I don't know if he performed the fix on the
> unit he sent me.

>From the eBay item description:

>Hinges are rebuilt, when required;  I do a visual inspection and if they >are secure, like new, there is no point to rebuilding.

Translation: Boy, breaking out the tool kit sure is hard work, isn't it?  Rationalizing away the need to perform a repair, on the other hand, requires much less effort, so that's what I'll do.

(Hey, it takes one to know one!)

With all due respect to your eBay seller, he's only -half- right in his assertion: based on what he says, there is indeed no point in rebuilding the hinges -at that time-.  The problem is that an eMate without modded hinges can be good right up until it isn't.  True, it can take time for a spring leg to work loose, (and lubrication might prevent the problem from occurring) but my point is that unless you take active steps to solve it, once and for all, it is going to be there.  The only real question is when the problem is going to manifest itself.  Could be tomorrow, could be six months/years from now, but the point is -why gamble with it-?

As Joel M. Sciamma mentions in the page I linked to, he was following a discussion on the hinge problem purely out of academic interest when, suddenly, he was confronted with it himself.  Up until then, his nephew's eMate had worked just fine.  After the spring leg came loose, however, he was stuck with not only having to solve the hinge problem, but also with having to repair the display cable itself.  This is not a desirable position in which to find yourself.

I found this bit in the eBay item description quite interesting:

>But if you want an Emate that has been professionally tested, setup and >refurbished, then get one of these units.  These units cost more because >it cost more, to have the job done right.  

"Doing the job right," IMHO, means doing the hinge repair so that the end user is not left guessing as to if/when their display cable is going to bite the dust.  For the premium price he charges for eMates, the seller really ought to quit whining about how "Its an hours labor just to do the hinge work." and just -perform- it, already, as a matter of course.  That way, his customers are not left having to fret over when their display cable will go bye-bye, and all because the vendor simply can't be bothered to perform a 60-minute procedure.

There's a reason why people who sell eMates will advertise "hinge repair/modification performed" or something similar: because it's something their potential customers look for.  That is, the seller who advertises such a thing is acknowledging that the hinge problem -is- a problem and that people who buy an eMate want their unit to last as long as possible.  True, the unit could possibly last years -without- the modification being performed, but why take the chance when the modification is a -hour's- work?

C'mon, man! :)

To be clear: your seller is my kinda guy.  I, too, hate being confronted with situations that require tools, time, effort, (!) and applied thought.
That said, when you take someone's money, you have an obligation to see them right.  Opinions will vary as to just what "seeing someone right" means, exactly, but in my own worthless opinion, if you're going to charge a premium price for decade-plus old machines, you are obligated to take the time to perform whatever labor is needed to ensure your customers will have as angst-free an experience as is possible.

At any rate, I just grabbed my form-factor-only eMate to double-check and see if the part of the hinge we're concerned with can be seen by merely opening up the machine: it can't (you have to remove the motherboard, first).  So before you do anything else, I would first try shooting your seller an email to see if he can tell you for sure if he performed the hinge mod on the unit he sent you.

Barring that, you may want to consider opening it up yourself upon its arrival to supply his deficiency.  It's your machine, so it's up to you. [shrugs]


James Fraser

More information about the NewtonTalk mailing list