A friend called the other day because the tip to his wife’s PowerBook G4 had broken off inside the jack. The local Apple-authorized repair shop said it would take a week and cost $65 to fix, and his wife couldn’t be without the machine that long. After discussing some various strategies for moving her data to another machine while it was being repaired, I had a brainstorm and suggested she take it to a jeweler, figuring that they had the tools and experience for working with tiny parts inside watches.
My friend just called back to thank me for the advice, since his wife had gone down to a local jeweler, where the guy at the store thought it was a fascinating challenge and managed to extract the broken-off tip after 30 minutes of painstaking work with tiny tweezers and a magnifying glass. He refused any payment, although she did buy a watch while waiting.
Of course, the other question I asked my friend initially was if his wife would just prefer to hold off for a few weeks and replace the aging PowerBook G4 with a MacBook Air. As happy as she was to have the PowerBook working again, the MacBook Air is now on order.