Friday, May 10, 2013

Buying a Replacement Laptop Power Adapter in Sri Lanka

After chairing the Education Reform and Innovation session and speaking on "Synchronizing Asynchronous Learning" at ICCSE 2013 in Colombo, I left my HP DM1 laptop power supply in the conference venue. By the time I realized this everything from the conference had been packed away by the very efficient people from SLIIT. In the local paper there was a double page advertisement from a national chain of computer stores, including mention of replacement Hp Power Adaptors. As I was in Kandy the next day on a sightseeing tour, I asked the driver to take me to the computer store. He commented that computer gadgets were cheaper in Colombo. We found the store after a few phone calls.

Arriving at the store turned into something like a royal visit, with the driver phoning ahead to reserve parking (always a premium in any Asian city). The store security guard directed the car to a spot and then the store staff arrived with an umbrella. Explaining my need, by pointing to the power socket on the computer, I was directed from the glossy computer showroom, up to the less palatial service department on the top floor, where a computer support person, who had that world weary attitude of support staff worldwide, explained they did not have a HP power supply in stock.

I had noticed a smaller computer store packed with goods, next door. So I went in there. Again pointing to the socket on the computer, their technician offered me either a genuine HP power supply or a "universal" third party unit.

The universal unit was about half the price of the HP model, but has the worry of having the interchangeable plug fall off. So I bought the HP adapter. There was then the problem of a power cable. The store only stocked UK mains power cables, as used in newer Sri Lankan premises, so I had to also buy an adapter (about $US2) for the other Sri Lankan power sockets common in older buildings.

Now back in Australia I need to buy a clover-leaf  IEC 60320 C6 cable with an Australian mains plug, to replace the UK one.

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