We're a little crazy, about science!

Day 129: Everything is breaking!!!

Day 129 - repairs

Well it’s post Christmas day and I have to say my stealth wrapping was a hit. Of course, after the first gift (or even the second gift) people catch on, but overall it was a lot of fun and I even got a few apologies for some of the ill will based on my apparent lack of wrapping abilities. I HIGHLY recommend giving it a shot. So let’s talk about the image above for a minute.

My laptop is down… again. It probably needs replacing, but guess who doesn’t have the funds to buy a new laptop? If you guessed this guy, you would be 100% absolutely correct. This means it’s time to do what I do mildly well (see what I did there?). It’s time to do some repairs … again.

About a month and a half ago I had several, strange issues with the laptop that required my attention. Namely I would randomly lose the ability to use the trackpad. This would be resolved (mostly) by restarting the computer or giving it a twist. Seriously, a twist to the body of the laptop would on occasion fix the problem. It was a perilous time for sure.

The next issue with the laptop was the wifi, it would drop connection then the hardware would go out. As in I would have to disable it and re-enable it before it would work again, or sometimes restart the computer. Sometimes I would have to do this multiple times and this would happen fairly randomly so I wouldn’t be able to guess if I got 10 minutes of uninterrupted wifi connection or if I got 10 hours.

This problem may be a hardware issue, but it also could be a software issue, I haven’t completely isolated the problem, but if I had to take a stab at it, I would stay it is a bit of both. Thus the urgent need for repairs, it was going out quick and I cannot state how badly I need this laptop to work. I have a desktop computer thankfully, but the laptop is my lifeline for all my minor school work, to take to and from the lab, on trips out of the state, etc. I NEED this laptop.

So a month and a half ago, I held my breath and took a stab at fixing it as best as I could. It worked… until now. I have yet to have any trouble with the mouse, which I am attributing it to a lose connection and possibly the fact that almost all the laptop screws were loose allowing the body to twist in ways it should not be able to twist. My wifi connection has been (mostly) stable and I think it was a combination of hardware issues and software issues, I’m still hammering out the software side of things… stupid windows.

Anyway let’s talk about the latest issues, my hinge completely failed. That’s right, there were three wimpy screws for each side of the hinge and one of them (the left side) has completely broken, so it’s once again in pieces. This time I’m a little more comfortable with having it disassembled, but it still isn’t a fun time. I’ve applied a liberal amount of JB Weld (a two-part epoxy) to reattach the metal inserts to the plastic bits that hold the hinge together and I’ve clamped it all in place. Now the hard part, waiting until tomorrow to see if it dried in the correct placement.

So for now, I’m stuck using my desktop and debating about going into even more debt to replace my almost seven year-old laptop. Funny enough, it didn’t occur to me that it was that old until now. I’m probably due for a replacement, but things cost so much money!

On the brightside, I was recently made aware that my fellowship may come with funds for a new laptop. I have to confirm this with the school, but it would be nice if it did. Even if they only covered half of the cost, that would make it much more affordable for me to replace it. Not that I wouldn’t have to go into debt to get it, but it would make it a little more doable.

Everything around me seems to be falling apart, the AC, the washer/dryer, the water heater, the refrigerator, the stove, dishwasher, cell phone, heck even the garbage disposal started leaking! It’s been an expensive year and I really don’t want to have to add laptop to that list. In any case, tomorrow I will know for sure how bad things are, until then wish me luck!


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