Tweaking Tech & The How Much Is Your Time Worth

I have a co-worker whom I tease endlessly because when he switched from iPhone to a Samsung phone, he always seemed to be spending his time tweaking the device to do the things his iPhone used to do. He is happier having a much larger screen for less money. And I’m all about having choices and competition between tech vendors, but the question cannot really be settled based only on the price he paid to bring his new device home. How much time is he spending, as in days, getting the thing to work, and not just setting it up, but also all the endless tweaking? And how much is his time that he’s spending on all of this worth?

Believe me, I know all about tweaking devices because before I went full-time Mac I spent most of my tech-time tweaking my PC’s settings, just to get stuff to work. I may have gotten into tech because I was looking for a better way to do my writing, but I spent most of my time making my desktop theme look really cool and not writing. I may have had many more choices in apps and add-on peripheral devices back in the PC days, but I spent so much more time getting these devices to work, to the point that I became something of a troubleshooting expert, but that’s not why I got the thing in the first place. In terms of hours and days spent looking for answers and tweaking settings, how much did it cost me to get my cheaper PCs to run versus the more expensive Mac equivalents to work?

The irony of all this is that I have an old Mac Mini that I’ve been resisting replacing even though it can’t run the current OS, it can’t handle anymore RAM or hard drive space and is in need of an OS re-fresh because more and more things are beginning to not work. Refreshing the OS wouldn’t be a big deal except for the fact that when I bought it all those years ago I went cheap and only got the CD drive model and now the OS requires a DVD drive to work. So, I just spent the past week trying to figure out how to make this refresh work. Couldn’t find a way to make a bootable USB drive, that didn’t require the missing DVD drive, etc., etc. Yeah, given all of the hours I’ve spent researching and trying different OS imaging methods without success, if my time was only worth $80 an hour (typical tech support fee), I could have bought a new Mac Mini and be done with all this crap. Damn. I hate it sometimes when I’m right about the cost on my own time. To be continued…

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