Friday, October 24, 2008

Where Can I Get A Keyboard Transplant?

Back in the days when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and I had a Headstart 286 computer (ok, there weren't dinosaurs in 1991, but there was Prodigy (*P) and *that* HAS gone the way of the dinosaur), peripheral problems were easily fixed. Mouse started skipping? Just unlock the ring, take the gray rubber ball out of the mouse, spray some canned air in there and your problem probably was solved.

If it wasn't, you went to your nearest computer store and got the part you needed. If there wasn't a store nearby, you opened the massive Computer Shopper and ordered the item and a week to ten days later, you were good to go.

Back then, laptops were huge and cumbersome. I know, because I sold them and I did. not. want. one. Time passed. We got windows, we loathed windows. Al invented the Internet and we used Netscape to browse it (causing the death of *P and the birth of AOHell)

I moved to selling software and peripherals and if my 3.5" floppy drive crashed (which it did), I bought one and replaced it myself. If I wanted to add a CD Rom drive, I got one (my ex installed that for me, though). When I got tired of having a 2600 baud modem, I got a 14.4 and installed it myself. If I needed a new mouse or keyboard, it was a simple matter of checking whether is was an RS-232 or serial port it was using, heading down to Babbage's and getting a new one.

A few years back, I got the laptop. It's had some fits and starts. Like the time we found out it was allergic to Direct X and needed a hard drive transplant.

They say spouses begin to adapt the appearance of their mates, or owners look like their dogs. In my case, my laptop is falling apart, much like its owner. See?

It started a few months ago. I tried to get some dust rhinos out from under the C and T key and accidentally popped them off. Three hours later, they were reattached in very precise microsurgery. For the most part, they work like they always did. You might not even notice that they'd been under the surgeon's care-she left no visible scars.

This week, another letter failed. The F. However, unlike the other two, the failure happened in a different manner-all the parts stayed there, but the bushing keeps getting shifted around. Now it looks like a loose tooth of the laptop world.
This surgeon has tried several means of remedying the F's issues, but F is getting stuck under the R, popping up like a jack in the box, standing straight at attention or spitting out the bushing.

The surgeon thinks that maybe a 'knee' replacement is in order, but it doesn't seem like the type of item that's found in the first aid aisle of Radio Shack, Best Buy or the local computer shops. (unlike people's knees, it suffers *too* much flexibility, rather than not enough)

I suspect that the laptop will have the colostomy bag of the computer world, an external USB keyboard. Which begs the question, if one dog year is equal to seven years, what is the computer equivalent? Has anyone ever had a visit from the laptop fairy that can tell me she DOES exist?

At least this isn't terminal...

3 People talked back:

Mike Golch said...

do you remember when floppis were just that not enclosed in a case as they are now?

ligirl said...

"At least this isn't terminal"...LOL, Woman, you SLAY me!!!

Seriously, though...sorry to hear about your laptop troubles!!! I think that Santa and Ed McMahon need to put their heads together on this one...

Suzanne said...

Mike, I do-and I remember the ITT Tech commercials with the reel to reel storage media!

Donna, Ed McMahon seems to have forgotten me, even after all those magazine subscriptions.