When does your electronic gear die? Usually when its too expensive to fix it, or is superseded by better, more efficient technology. Or maybe never if you owned an eMachine around 1995, pictured at right.
Fact is, we probably throw these things out too soon, especially when you have dudes like Lance Ulanoff giving tips on how to fix them. I read the article and laughed because most of the time he's fixing these things in 5 minutes; it's too true, most of the time the fix is very easy. I fixed a laptop once that had a whole can of soda poured into it, and it only took about an hour.
Of course, the US doesn't have the culture for fixing things like the Chinese and their cell phones, the Cubans and their cars, and Indian and their locomotives. Maybe it's time to try and raise the dead.