Friday, August 11, 2006

One bad turn deserves another

While I was in Okinawa, I dropped my camera and the LCD control panel on the top of the camera cracked. It's not the color LCD that displays the photographs, but it's the smaller monochrome one that just shows the number of pictures and a bunch of camera settings. Since the liquid part of the liquid crystal display (LCD) leaked out of the crack, the display is pretty much unreadable now as can be seen in this picture.

I called Nikon to find out if they could fix it, and they said they could, but they wouldn't give a price estimate unless I mailed the camera to them. I was also told I could buy the part and install it myself, but that would void my warranty. Since the whole dropping of my camera isn't covered by the warranty anyhow, and I only have about 4 months left of the warranty, and I'd prefer to not be without my camera for several weeks, I decided to go with ordering the part. I was given the phone number of the parts department so I called there and described the part I needed. I was told it cost $90 (ouch!). It seemed a bit pricey, but I really didn't have any choice, so I went ahead and ordered it. After placing the order, I started to wonder if maybe the salesperson misunderstood and thought I needed the color LCD display (which I could more reasonably think cost $90), but then I reconsidered and thought I had been pretty clear in the description, so I quickly forgot about calling back.

Today the part came in. Since I'm heading up to New Hampshire this weekend, I was eager to get the camera fixed before the trip. However, when I went to take apart the camera, I realized I didn't have any precision screwdrivers (which are needed for the tiny screws in the camera). It was somewhat late (around 9:00PM), but I knew Home Depot would be open, so I headed out there and got the appropriate size screwdriver. On my way home, I was in a bit of daze (it's been a long tiring day) and I made the big mistake of not stopping at a yellow light and instead proceeded through the intersection hoping the light would stay yellow. It was a poor choice on my part. The light turned red while I was still going through the intersection and shortly after I seeing that one red light, I saw a whole bunch of flashing blue lights in my rear-view mirror. There's wasn't really anything I could say to the police officer other than "Sorry". I'm not about to argue when I know I'm in the wrong. To make matters worse, as explained to me by the officer, the state computers were down at the time so he couldn't confirm whether I had a good driving record and give me a break. His only choice was to give me the ticket. So, now I have the choice to either pay the $75 fine or go to court. There's a RI law that lets you plead guilty to a traffic offence and if you haven't had any other tickets in the past 3 years, then the charges will be dismissed. The only caveat is you have to go to court. Since I haven't had a ticket in over three years, I might decide to do that, but then I'll have to take time out of work. It might be cheaper to just pay the fine by mail.

Back to my camera. When I did finally get home, I began the somewhat complex and delicate process of taking apart my camera. After about 30 to 45 minutes of work, I finally got it all apart and was ready to put in the new LCD only to discover that I had been sent the wrong part afterall. Nikon sent the color LCD. Ug! I guess I am a bit tired and careless today. I really should have looked at the part a bit more closely before taking apart the camera. Now I have a totally unusable camera in many pieces.

I'm pondering whether it's worth the time to put it all back together so I can at least use it, or just put it aside and wait for the correct replacement part. I have all thse tiny screws to keep track of. Since they are all slightly different sizes, I'm thinking I'll probably should put the camera back together while I still have a clear memory of what went where. Oh well, so much for getting to bed early.