Saturday, December 23, 2006

Spider sense tingles for a REASON

When Sunny first told me she was getting my laptop fixed for Christmas, I had one of those really awkward moments.

You know, it’s like the gift you get from your Aunt every year who’s convinced you really like something that you absolutely hate…and gets you something related to it every single year.

In other words, you’re faced with an expensive gift you have absolutely no desire for, but you can’t say anything about it, and know that by not saying it, you’re going to get something similar next year.

Basically, Sunny got the laptop fixed for one reason only, so we could both play Second Life at the same time. I had to break it to her that my laptop wouldn’t even come close to running it. There’s also the simple fact (and the reason I never attempted to get it fixed myself), that I could flat out buy the same laptop now for less than it cost to get it fixed.

For the techies out there, it’s a P3 500, 128meg memory, 4 gig hard-drive and a 4mb graphics card. I bought it second hand almost 6 years ago

Don’t get me wrong, it was a wonderful idea, and I’m incredibly grateful that she put that much thought into a gift for me. I just had visions of the fixed laptop, gathering dust on a shelf somewhere.

Then something equally wondrous happened. I remembered how great it was to have a working laptop.

Sure, my lappie might not be the fastest on the block, but it can handle general word processing and web surfing.

Part of the reason I don’t write any more than I do is because I don’t like being trapped behind this desk. Feet up in a recliner? A whole different story. When it’s a freezing cold night, curling up in bed and reading the blogs before I go to sleep is my own, personal, geek heaven.

Long story short? I love my laptop.

Now we come to the fly in the ointment.

When Sunny told me it was away getting repaired, my first thought was “There’s no way they’ll be able to fix it.”

While I don’t have much formal training in computers, I can build a computer from scratch with my eyes closed. My fellow geeks out there will know what I mean…after a while you develop an instinct which tells you whether it’s worth the effort of trying to fix it…or whether you’re fighting a losing battle.

Basically, there’s something wrong with the hardware on the laptop. Sometimes it won’t turn on at all, or will work fine for an hour or so, before the screen corrupts and it freezes. Either that, or it’ll freeze, the screen will slowly change from normal to pure white…and then it’ll turn itself off.

I had a hundred different ideas. All of them hardware. I’d ran virus checkers, spyware checkers, reloaded all of the driver’s etc. Nothing fixed it. The big downside of a laptop is you can’ even open them up and poke around easily.

I was surprised, however, when it arrived back at the house, and seemed to work perfectly. I was still dubious. It had been known to work for a couple hours at a stretch…but it worked fine for a day or so, so we forked over for the wireless.

Then, yesterday, I turned it on, and started reading an ebook. 15 minutes in…you guessed it…the screen corrupted and it froze up.

Then this morning Sunny goes to check her email…she gets the start-up screen…and the screen whites out and it turns itself off.


Now the guy who fixed it gives a warranty, which is still in effect, but my instincts tell me that it’s unfixable. At least unfixable without searching ebay for components that aren’t made anymore.

Basically, if the guy isn’t a dick, I sense a refund in the near future…which isn’t a bad thing…except for the fact that we also spent a hundred bucks on the wireless setup, which becomes a expensive paperweight…unless we feel that the one cable wire is incredibly unsightly, and decide to spend another fifty bucks on a wireless card for the desktop…which for some reason I find incredibly doubtful. I can think of other things to spend 50 bucks on than to hide 6 feet of cable.

Moral of the story? Listen to your instincts.


Saffyre said...

Yeah but imagine how happy you will be when you finally get that shiny new laptop you have been drooling over.

delmer said...

The other night I took two HP notebooks -- one with a cracked display and one with a bad motherboard -- and made a single, good unit of the two.

(I had to tell someone and I'm short of nerd friends during the holidays.)

I do all my blog reading and writing from a notebook while I sit in a recliner. I'd never do as much of it were I using a PC in a bedroom or something similar.