the mastermind and custodian of my own myth

RT @SFGate: Cracked iPhone screen? Here’s what to do. 

Q: I dropped my iPhone 4s and cracked the screen. It still works, but I’m afraid the crack will grow over time, and that moisture could seep in and damage the phone itself, or make the touch screen unusable. I didn’t buy an extended warranty or insurance when I got the phone. What’s the cheapest way to get it fixed?

A: I’d take it to a local mobile-phone repair shop, where you should be able to get a new screen for less than $100. If you take it to an Apple store, they’ll offer to replace the damaged phone for $200, but you’ll be getting a refurbished model (a new case with used insides), because Apple doesn’t actually repair phones. There’s nothing wrong with a refurbished phone, but $200 is a big chunk of change to pay for one.

Fortunately, stores specializing in repairing iPhones (as well as iPads and Android phones and tablets) have sprung up everywhere. In Petaluma where I live, there are two stores - Petaluma Wireless and MyiPhoneRepair - within a block of each other. Tip: To find a repair store near you, search Yelp or ask at an AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile store. They don’t do repairs, but they refer people to places that do.

Q: I recently replaced my 6-year-old Windows laptop with a new one. I have my entire iTunes library on the old computer and also on an iPod. What’s the easiest way to transfer the library to the new computer?

A: Your iPod is just the ticket. Apple provides directions for transferring music from an iPod to a PC at, but be forewarned, the process is cumbersome. In fact, if you look in the dictionary under “rocket science” you’ll see Apple’s method of transferring iTunes to a new computer. A better move might be to use software designed for the job. One of the most popular such programs is CopyTrans ($20 from

Another option is to keep your music in iCloud, Apple’s online storage service. Music that you’ve purchased on iTunes is automatically added to your iCloud library and is instantly accessible on any Mac or PC. If the iTunes library on your old PC includes music you’ve copied from CDs, you can use iTunes Match ($25 a year) to transfer it to the cloud as well.

The only caveat is that iCloud limits free storage to 5 gigabytes. But music purchased on iTunes doesn’t count against the limit. Hooray!

David Einstein is a freelance writer. Got a question about personal technology? E-mail:

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By David Einstein April 22, 2013