Remember my Iriver Story ebook-reader? The one glued together by Irish Cream? Well, the guarantee wasn´t going to cover that, so we just decided to open it and see if we couldn´t just clean it out. What that means is, my husband - who has 20 years of experience as a sound technician at the Swedish Radio, before he went into academia - did the work, while I cheered and and assisted where I could.

It was a bit disconcerting to see the insides of the reader exposed like this. At the same time, it´s fascinating and kind of beautiful the way the circuit card and all the components is laid out. It´s just amazing to me that these itsy bitsy things can do such complex tasks and be so useful. Powerful, and yet so fragile.

The inspection focused on the keyboard, as that was the bit that wasn´t working for me. It seemed easy enough to just rinse it out, and we did. I then attacked the reader with my hairdryer and we let it lie for two days, just to be on the safe side, and then assembled it.

Turned out, there was even more Irish Cream in places we hadn´t looked, like all around the screen (which is made of what? glass?), and I´m pretty sure that contributed to this:

Oh well. I started looking at a replacement reader, at 1500 SEK (or 235 USD, or 175 euros). At the same time, my husband was looking for a replacement screen, and found one in Hong Kong, via Alibaba.com, for only 345 SEK (54 USD, or 40 euros), which was a bit cheaper, but would it work? Was it worth the risk? "Well", my husband said, "there is also the challenge." Which settled it.

Nine days later, the new screen arrived from Hong Kong. And on Saturday lunchtime, using the brief hours of daylight, the husband assembled it. I woke up (still sleeping at this time, I work nights, you know, not just lazy...) at the sound of the plastic cover snapping into place. When I had made my first cup of coffee, all the screws and little bits of cover plastic were in place, and the thing now works wonderfully.

It actually works better and faster now than before, since the screen is of a new and improved make!

Ok, so the plastic cover doesn´t look virgin any more (hard to open with only the help of screwdrivers, decidedly designed for other purposes), but really, that only makes me like it more. We´ve been through things now, Iriver Story and I, and survived. Scarred, but stronger. And every time I see those scratches, they remind me that I have Superhusband by my side, who keeps our household machinery going for years and years. (Have I ever mentioned that our washing machine is 22 years old, and never worked better?)

Lesson 1: Only drink water on airplanes. It´s better for your health, too.
Lesson 2: It is possible to fix things, even in this day and age. All is not lost when a screen goes blank.
Lesson 3: The market place is huge these days - you can really get anything. (And delivered fast. From anywhere. By FedEx and their friends.) I can just imagine trying to find that screen just ten or 15 years ago. Not that there even was a screen to be found...


  1. This is a great story! My mother is wired to take things apart like your husband and get to the bottom of it. When you said that you were cheering him on I was thinking, 'that's funny, I'm cheering him on, too!'

  2. i love that can-do attitude! We're not as handy at our house, so electronics that go bad just have to go bad. I lift my hat to your super-handy-husband's persistence :)