When it rains, it POURS

May 2, 2007 at 2:43 pm

So, not much more than one week after I got back my fancy, expensive camera, I was sitting there, editing my photos on my powerbook, and *thunk* my chocolate milk is suddenly pouring all over the keyboard. My instant reaction was to lift up the computer, turn it upside down, and lay it on the floor to let the milk drain out. I wasn’t quite quick enough, though, and within seconds, the machine made a sad little beeping noise and shut down.

I spent the next half an hour, or so, soaking chocolate milk out of the keyboard with various towels, and then cleaning it up off the couch and the carpet. It may be a while before I ever drink chocolate milk again.

I decided to pull up directions on how to get under the keyboard on line, and I opened up this computer for the first time. I was a laptop repair technician for a couple years in college, so the idea of pulling the thing to pieces and cleaning it up wasn’t that scary. And it didn’t turn out to be difficult. Unfortunately, there was milk EVERYWHERE. A puddle in the middle of the logic board, under and above the RAM, under the harddrive and the DVD drive.

While I had my machine open, Mark was sitting on the couch in front of his laptop. At one point, he turned around on the couch and knocked over the TV tray that had his laptop sitting on it.

“Oh, it’s not turning back on.” He mumbled when he lifted it off the floor. He popped out the battery and plugged it back in to see if that was the problem. Suddenly, a plume of SMOKE came pouring out the side of his laptop, and BRIGHT ORANGE FLAMES shot out the side!! Mark grabbed the battery, yanked it out of his computer, and threw it across the room!

“So, that’s broken.” He said calmly.

We stood there silently, shocked and dumbfounded. Our living room smelled strongly of burnt solder and toasted chocolate milk. Liv wagged her tail.

The next day we spent doing triage. It turns out Mark’s laptop had the super extended warranty and was still covered for drops and spontaneous combustion. My laptop was over three years old, and replacing the logic board alone would cost over $800. I decided, rather than send it out and have somebody try to repair it, I would spend the first part of my money and energy trying to get my photos and music off the harddrive (if I still could) and then probably just replace the machine.

After having most of the computer shops in town turn me away as nobody can read the Mac File System, I learned that the drive was still working, and the guys at Run PC sold me a $20 enclosure that turned the laptop harddrive into an external drive. I was finally able to access all of my data on my work computer this afternoon.

I feel like some kind of weird necromancer right now. The hulking, sticky shell of my dead computer is still sitting in pieces on my dining room table. But I’ve managed to resurrect it’s spirit and soul temporarily inside my computer here at work. Hey there laptop! Not doing so well, are we?