Wow. What a great week for this theme! First, as far as the world situation of technology goes, tech companies were showing off their newest and best gadgets at both the Consumer Electronics Show and MacWorld this week. Second, on a more personal level, my laptop died this week.
I had spent my lunch reloading the Engadget page liveblogging the Steve Jobs keynote at MacWorld. I hadn’t bothered to plug in my laptop, since I’d be going back to work after lunch anyway. So, when I got to work, my battery was just about dead.
I got to my desk, plugged in the laptop, and… nothing. The LED’s in the front did not light up. I wiggled the cord around, thinking that the AC adapter had gone bad (again). Nope, nothing. So, I plugged my iPod in, backed up everything that I needed onto it, and turned the laptop back off.
When I got home, I tested the AC adapter with the new multimeter I had gotten for Christmas. (I asked for a lot of tools this Christmas, and this was one of them.) It was putting out a constant 15 volts, which meant that it was working. The problem was the broken jack inside the laptop.
So, Tuesday night I spent an hour and a half taking apart the laptop to get to the part in question.
The pin inside had broken off inside the box. So, I set about trying to find a replacement part. Turns out that it’s a stupid proprietary part that Toshiba sells. You can’t just go to Radio Shack and buy a new one. I even tried a specialty computer repair store in downtown Spartanburg; nothing.
The average price online for this box was $40, although I saw one guy selling it for $25. That is way too much money for a little box with a metal stick in it, and since I need my laptop for work, I couldn’t wait for them to ship it to me.
So I took a friend out to lunch. Drew is a friend of mine from college who I mentioned the last time my laptop was seriously broken. I took him (and my brother and another friend) to Sticky Fingers, saving them from the terrible fate of eating in the Dining Common for lunch.
Drew was able to fix the little box, as he is much more skilled with a soldering iron than I am. After I got the part back, I was able to reassemble the laptop at home. Amazingly, it all still works. I’m typing this entry on it right now.
So, on the downside, I was without my laptop for a couple of days. On the upside, I got to work from home for a couple of days. I got to eat lunch with a couple of friends I hadn’t seen in a while. I got the experience of taking apart a laptop and putting it back together. And I got a couple of pictures for the photo hunt!