Apologies for Silence (Post-Laptop Reality 2.0)

It’s been months since I’ve posted anything of length here.  In the interim, I ‘ve done a lot of traveling, a good bit of introspection, and as I have  moved back towards writing and posts of real substance I’ve hit a small speed hump that means regular posts are still, for now, a thing of the past and future but not something I can commit to now.  My laptop is officially on life support, having been resuscitated temporarily by a computer-savvy friend and returned to me with instructions to retrieve anything I have not backed up ASAP or risk losing it forever.  It turns out laptop video cards, at least in the case of my model, are soldered to the motherboard, so when they go out your options are replace the motherboard (which is expensive) or replace the laptop, which is (apparently) only slightly more expensive.  The DIY temporary fix involves covering the intake and exhaust ports of the machine and then turning it on for half an hour so that it overheats.  Sounds dreadful but it is simply a dire patch for a permanent situation.  Apparently, the intended result (and the result that my friend achieved in my case) is that the heat causes the solder points to expand and fuses the cracked solder back together however temporarily.  This fix, he says, can last for a day, a week, a year, two years, etc., but that when the solder cracks again, as it likely will now that it is weak, you will have to undergo the overheating process again.  Which may fix it again, or may not, as overheating the computer may cause other problems.

With that as my new reality, I have ordered another cheap back up drive to archive and possibly image my laptop before stripping it of substance and consigning it to the role of guest computer, I suppose.

So here I sit, at a Memphis Public Library  public computer, hammering out this place-holder for real prose (not lovely but certainly long overdue).  The guy next to me just left (finally!) after playing video games, punctuated by game-over sounds and repeated, more-than-audible, exclamations of, “Oh! My! God!” after each termination.  When his session ended (they have patrons on a two-hour timer here), he started singing (terribly and nearly tunelessly, of course) about computers and video games.  I believe the tune was “Deck The Halls,” but with more nasal delivery than strictly necessary for someone who wasn’t actually striving for obnoxious.

The going forward plan is that I will continue my lack-of laptop until after Christmas, so that we can take advantage of after Christmas sales to pick up another cheap laptop for regular internet use, bill-paying, ordering online, playing DVD’s outside, etc.  In the mean time, we will set up my study/office in our old bedroom (when we finish the floor of our new bedroom), and I will bring a much older desktop model out of mothballs and set it up again as my writing and blog-only computer.  I will in the meantime look around for a cheap (used) flat screen monitor to use with it, as the only monitors I have left from the old days will swallow half of my desk.

Until all of that happens, I have only these fleeting moments to log on and post, so that is the state of things for now.

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3 Comments

  1. Faith Lamplugh said,

    December 8, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    I enjoyed this post and look forward to hearing from you again soon. I Hopefully your laptop will live long into the future after your friend’s efforts but the picture you paint sounds grim. Good luck in getting up to speed again.
    Mom

  2. December 8, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Sounds like a pretty dire situation, Jim, but at least you’ve got a tech-savvy friend to put your laptop on life support for an indeterminate period, and a plan for the future. Good luck!

    • greenfae said,

      December 8, 2014 at 9:37 pm

      Thank you and Mom both for reading and commenting! I saw that Mom commented too, but somehow when I clicked on her comment to expand it so that I could read it, I must have hit the delete key accidentally. I’m sorry to have missed what she said but thank you both for reading and commenting! 🙂


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