I'M TRYING to get another year's service from a well-used Surface Pro 2 on loan from Microsoft and the major challenge will be to get its charger working again. This isn't as easy as it sounds.
Because the Surface Pro's charger can also recharge batteries, it's categorised in the same manner as exploding drone batteries. This means most suppliers won't ship them outside of their country's borders. After several failed attempts to get a charger from local electronics shops (out of stock), Microsoft (no longer carried), and Amazon (will not ship product to Ireland), I've turned to my excellent support network and hope a charger can sneak through Royal Mail to An Post to my door during the Christmas break. If it doesn't, I'm still indebted to @documentally for figuring out how this might work. In the meantime, I'm left hoping that I can get the Surface Pro 2 recharged by wrapping its cable in contorted ways. It no longer carries a current when straight because the plastic housing around the magnetic clip is broken (after I tripped on the cable and forcibly snapped it out of the charging port it months ago).
As a back-up plan, I'm looking at getting a dock for the Surface Pro 2. That would give the handy little laptop at least another semester of service. I also hope I can convince my employer to buy me either a Surface Pro 4 or a Surface Book. I've enjoyed exceptional leaps in productivity by using the Surface Pro 2 for more than a year. The suite of tools I use with Windows 10 are powering my digital future.  Going back to Windows 7 on a misfiring Dell M2400 feels like I'm being punished mainly because many of my future-proof tools  work so elegantly on Windows 10.
- Seth Godin -- "Powering a digital future" on Seth's Blog, December 24, 2015.
- Zap Tools everyone should know.
[Bernie Goldbach teaches business and creative multimedia in the Limerick Institute of Technology.]