Tech Issues in Small Town CR

Updated: Apr 9

In March 2019 when I was staying alone in Tilaron, my only computer at the time just flat out died. I was using a MacBook from 2010, so maybe that was my first mistake. Then, I used it throughout our stay in PV the first time, in which the ambient humidity was somehow 200% and there was a constant wet film on everything. Despite this, I didn't think to upgrade or get a backup when I was back in the states in December. The speaker was already shot and the trackpad was useless so I had purchased a mouse to use. The computer would randomly turn off and one day just wouldn't turn back on.

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So, I thought about my options. The closest computer shop was a couple hour bus ride away. In CR, some things, like pineapples, are a lot cheaper than they are in the U.S. Electronics were not one of those things. Electronics usually cost 2x as much because of import costs, and a lot of the times the models were out of date but you were still getting upselled. I could probably count on it costing about $600 plus the transportation cost, with no guarantee of finding something the first day, possibly being out of work for 2-3 days, and probably getting a used or old model with a Latin American keyboard. My other option was to check the flights and go get something nice used off Craigslist, Ebay, or Amazon for under $300. (There are no addresses in Costa Rica, and from experience getting mail was rather difficult and not an efficient process.) I went to Kayak and checked the prices on flying into my hometown Jacksonville, FL on short notice. It was less than $250 round trip and I could work the following day. Booked! I was familiar with getting to the airport, so I was able to do that whole trip, pack light, stay with my mom for a few days, and get two new computers for under $500 total. First I got a freelance techie to check out my mac and see if there was anything salvageable. He worked on it for a few days, and some stuff on the back-end was oddly corrupted. He was able to offer me another computer that he had on deck for $80, a Mint build Linux with a touchscreen. This would be my backup. At the same time, I ordered a small edu series Thinkpad with a Zorin build Linux for $180 off eBay.

It was also a super nice break to see my family and it was a good experience travelling internationally solo from booking to back within a few days.


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