View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Dammit Jim, I'm a Surgeon, Not a Computer Technician! 

Well, I'm not a surgeon, either. Would you want a surgeon who spilled coffee on his laptop keyboard? No? What, are you biased against the coordinationally challenged? I think we have an ADA suit here...

I sat down, ready to code away, put down your coffee, brought up the laptop, and then turned to the desktop machine for serious work. Two or three times, I reached over for a swig of java, so I figured I had this down pat. Naturally, the fourth time, splasho!

I dried out what I could, and then gave it a try. At first, the keyboard, all on its own, like one of those robots, started typing >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>. A reboot, and now it wouldn't come up at all. So, of course, I started taking things apart.

When that didn't work, I turned to Dell. A brief plug for Dell. Their support has always been first-rate, as far as I'm concerned. Twice, I had to send my machine in for repairs, and twice, they had it back the next day. Do you know what this means? It means that they had it fixed in-between Airborne's morning delivery and afternoon pickup.

Ahh, but I had let the warrantee lapse. Which means that I'm now looking at parts & labor & delivery charges. Dell, however, helpfully puts their how-to manuals online. Not those screws, dummy, those screws. Voila! A whole ocean of coffee hiding underneath the keyboard, just waiting for the Apprentice to mop it up.

One of the interview questions I got asked recently was about my proudest achievement, work or not, in the last few years. No, this isn't it. But it is why Home Depot makes so much money.

Update: Now the computer boots and works, but in-between the pleasant Dell blue screen and the Windows Starting text screen, it screams "Danger, Will Robinson" at the top of its beeping little lungs. That's going to be very annoying.

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