Earlier this spring, I picked up a used electric lawn mower. After performing marvelously for most of the summer – it died.

Batteries no longer held a charge. Dead.

Not that unusual in this household.

The batteries in the 2 Dell Mini laptops in the house also, after 2 years, can’t hold a charge. Which, if memory serves, is about when the batteries in my Apple laptops also went out. Maybe sooner.

I called up the manufacturer – who said the batteries could only be purchased through them or Home Depot. Only Home Depot.

The Home Depot down the street from me had no lawnmower batteries on the shelf. Not even for this year’s mowers. Nothing. HomeDepot.com had something they said would work – but it nothing like the dead batteries.

I called up Batteries Plus – and they were more than happy to help. It was pretty remarkable to see how effortlessly they found and installed the replacement batteries.

We finished mowing the lawn. Yet today – the new batteries were dead – despite being charged over night.

I opened up the hood to find a wire dangling disconnected.

After a quick search online – I found the wiring diagram for this specific mower and it’s now charging in the garage.

So, no, I’m not worried about HP no longer making hardware devices. The TouchPad is the best tablet I’ve worked with in 10 years. And there’s a thriving internet community around it.

Plus, at least HP is saying upfront they’re divesting themselves from hardware. Unlike many other manufacturers and retailers that just act like their products don’t exist once they leave the shelves.