Posts Tagged Hard Off

November 15, 2006 part 1 – Goodbye Electronics and Roommates

Leaving day! I woke up early, ate breakfast, and then realized that despite a few weeks of packing, I still had more stuff to send home than suitcase space. I still had one moving box available, so I speed packed it and took it to the post office with The Penpal. We also stopped at Hard Off to sell any electronics I had left: my stereo, my computer, and my giant monitor that I had bought from Hard Off. Yes, they were going to get a chance to sell the same monitor twice!

I returned to the apartment for one last check of my room. The only remaining items were all big and bulky, including my well worn futons and my floor couch. Disposing of large items in Japan requires you to pay for a special pickup. I left some cash behind with my roommates to cover the costs, and then said by goodbyes.

In my entire time in Japan, I was lucky enough to have some really great roommates that I got along well with. I’m really going to miss Azeroth and Klaxman – they are both good guys. It was sad to leave my keys behind and walk out of Ooka City Plaza for the last time.

(2018 Update) It turns out that I gave my roommates way too much money for garbage disposal. They used the remaining funds to buy a Nintendo Wii.

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December 19, 2005 – Hooray for warranty

My newly purchased used computer monitor from Hard Off (giggle) died today after a week. The picture was really dark from the moment I bought it, even with brightness all the way up. Instead of trying to carry the heavy, bulky monitor back to the store, I asked The Penpal very nicely if she could drive me after she was done work. The 20 inch monitor looked huge in the back of her tiny car!

At the store she explained politely in Japanese that the monitor had stopped working. Fortunately there was an identical model in stock (not always common for used electronics stores), and I was able to make a hassle free exchange. My new monitor has a great picture!

Hooray for Hard Off customer service and their warranty on used electronics!

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December 11, 2005 – New monitor

Today I went to Hard Off (giggle) and bought a HUGE computer monitor to upgrade my in room entertainment system. My new monitor is 20 inches and replaces my 14 inch monitor. It only cost 13,000 yen (about $130) and comes with a 3 month warranty. The warranty may come in handy as the monitor appears like it is ready to self destruct.

For those interested, my entertainment system consists of:

  • A VCR (bought from another teacher in Hello House super cheap)
  • Playstation 2 (purchased new in Kawasaki)
  • My computer (purchased used in central Tokyo)
  • The aforementioned 20″ computer monitor
  • An upscan converter allowing me to connect all of those devices to my monitor
  • A small stereo to handle all of the audio (my first major purchase in Japan)

Being able to stay at home with movies or games is a great way for me to save money and keep sane.

(2015 note) Flat screen monitors were still not common in 2005. My 20″ monitor was a big, heavy CRT model, and was large for a computer monitor at the time. Carrying it back from the store sucked.

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November 9, 2004 – Hard-off

Hard-Off - a used electronics store with a funny name

Hard-Off – a used electronics store with a funny name

Today I went to a used electronics store called “Hard Off“. Yes, the name makes me giggle.

The “hard” in “Hard Off” refers to electronics hardware. They sell used computers, game systems, TVs, stereos, and other electronics. They also have a good selection of software as well; CDs, video games, and movies. Fortunately someone in the marketing department realized that “Soft Off” or “Hard and Soft Off” would have sounded ridiculous.

Hard off is about a 15-20 minute walk from Ooka City Plaza. I must have spent about two hours in the store, partly for shopping, partly for checking out all of the electronics that were never readily available in Canada. I resisted the urge to buy myself a WonderSwan, a classic Famicom (NES), or a laser disc player. I did end up getting a small wireless internet hub and a receiver.

The wireless hub attaches to the router in our apartment, and broadcasts a wifi signal. The receiver connects to my computer with a network cable. I can now connect to the internet from my room without running wires down the hallway. Unfortunately the layout of my room is a bit awkward and I don’t have a desk, so the computer setup is not ideal at the moment. However, I am just happy to be back online without having to go to internet cafes anymore.

If you are living in Japan temporarily, check out Hard Off. It’s a much better alternative than buying new stuff that you are just going to have to get rid of when you return home.

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