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I just got an iPod touch, but the screen is weird… it's a little brighter at the top than anywhere else. Crud. How can I make this situation more fun…

Quick! Word association…

iPod touch with a weird screen. Weird Science. Bill Nye the Science Guy. Bill Gates, who's antithesis is Steve Jobs, whose company created… the iPod touch.

(Just to get this out of the way, I have no intention of rolling Bill Nye the Science Guy and Weird Science into the rest of this blog--if you can figure out a way to do that and have it be money-related, be my guest.)

Anyway, it costs about $200 to get a screen replaced on an iPhone 3Gs, which is pretty ridiculous when you consider a brand new one only costs $300 with a two-year AT&T service plan. But if you're willing to do a little sleuthing, you can find Apple-authorized businesses willing to do the repair for $150.

Even more research could lead you to a company like the one owned by Brendan McElroy--or Dr. Brendan if it suits you--whose looks-a-lot-like-Apple's website offers to replace your 3Gs' glass for a paltry $85 (and cheerfully reminds you that it has "3 Locations Nationwide to serve you").

So what's the point? In a world where car engines have huge plastic covers over them, and just opening your laptop could void your warranty, it seems like companies would prefer you stay away from maintaining the stuff you buy.

As for Dr. Brendan, he taught himself how to make the repairs by checking out YouTube tutorials like these, and turned that knowledge into a viable business. If you're up to it, search around and you can learn how to repair everything from your monitor, to bleeding the brakes on your car. It's comforting to know that with enough research (and steely nerves), certain repairs can be done by yourself, and you can keep those hundreds of dollars in your own pocket.


Editor's Note: Use online tutorial's at your own risk. Examples shown are purely for illustrative purposes. / CC BY 2.0