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Not Ready To Let Go.

September 3rd, 2011

I seriously need a new laptop. Mine is almost on its last leg, literally. It is missing two of the the four rubber feet that it came with.

The keyboard is toast. About 8 months ago I spilled a beer on it. A deliciously thick, extra sticky porter. I instantly pulled the battery. I then opened it up, entirely, and cleaned everything pretty well. I rinsed the keyboard out in the kitchen sink. Then, I let it all sit around for about two weeks to dry out. It mostly worked after that. There was a 1.5″ blemish on the screen and about 3 keys didn’t function. But hell, I am not picky. It still worked…. until about two months ago. That’s when I, but lets blame the dog, spilled the glass of water on it. Now only three keys work.

The USB ports are flaky.
It’s like my computer is an old Nintendo and my USB device is a Legend of Zelda game cartridge. Sometimes I have to wiggle it, push it in and pull it out until I hear the music. Also, the ports may or may not be active when returning from hibernation which then requires a reboot since de/reactivating them doesn’t do the trick.

My hard drive is failing. I am very surprised it hasn’t, yet. It must be quality. I mean it did survive a ten foot drop off of a balcony and onto the side of a rocky hill. Quality. Darn thing didn’t even blink. I guess the other couple of falls off of the table in front of the sofa, again I totally blame the pets ;), finally did it in. For about the last five months, I have been loosing sectors randomly. Every one in a while, I get to cringe at the *ker-plink* sound my hard drive makes as it reminds me that the end is near.

In addition to all of the poor laptop’s plights, the damned thing causes us to run the generator if we have a couple of cloudy days. It’s a pig. Our inverter says that it pulls up to 160watts when it is charging.

All that and I still haven’t purchased a replacement.

I don’t really want to. My current laptop is what I wanted. Once upon a time(OK more like all my life), I used to game…A LOT A WHOLE LOT. Back then, I got excited about my next video card or processor. Things like the bus speed of the north bridge were really important to me. I researched hardware deeply and knew exactly what the best bang for the buck was going to be. I did the same thing with my current laptop. Now, that gaming isn’t really part of my life anymore, I don’t need a separate video card with decent cache and a ton of memory. I need a hmmm… I guess that’s the problem. I don’t know what I need. Well, I do know one thing. I need a laptop with a smaller screen and a huge battery that is very low voltage and wont be too much of a bugger to get UNIX running on. (OK that’s four things. Sue me) I just don’t know how to research and buy something that’s not an enterprise server or wintendo.

I am going to have to figure it out, though. This computer’s days are numbered and as much as it pains me, it isn’t worth fixing.

Anyone want to buy a used laptop?

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8 Responses to “Not Ready To Let Go.”

  1. jenn says:

    Oh the fan just started its crap. I had forgotten about it. Every once in while the bearing dry out and make the most delightful sound. It is akin to the noise the generator makes. I can either dissemble the computer and oil the bearings or take a long metal stick and press up on the fan, hard. I have pulled it apart many times. Lately, I have been doing the later which placates it for a couple of days. Yes, I have already looked into replacing it. Not worth it at this juncture.

  2. Roxanne says:

    It fell off a cliff? I think I see the problem: your laptop is Undead, and the sounds are it shambling toward dinner. ISOLATE IT IMMEDIATELY from your other electronics. Take evasive steps, and FOR GODSSAKE, MAN, get into the RV and drive!


  3. alx says:

    doesn’t johnnys laptop do all the things your looking for

    • jenn says:

      Johnny’s laptop is a boondocker’s dream. It is rated at 14hrs of battery life and its power draw peaks out at 40watts. If he is not using it, it takes about 1.5hrs to charge it and about 10hrs of normal (web surfing) usage to drain it. It is the only one of its kind. The newer version is only rated at 12hrs. It also runs linux with ease. But… it has a 1.3ghz ATOM processor (just powerful enough for HD movie playback) and a 10″ screen.

      That works well for him, but I don’t think that I would be very happy with a screen that small. I also do video encoding and large image editing. He doesn’t. Once in a while, I like to play a game or two. While I usually end up playing Asheron’s Call (Darktide), which is circa 1999, I do have some newer favorites that I would like to play once in a while (every couple of months). Johnny plays games on occasion as well, but they are rogue-likes and would run just fine on a 286.

      I am trying to find a middle ground that has slightly stronger processor, a bit more ram, 13″ screen, and a 10hr battery with a 40 or 60 watt power supply.

  4. Blars says:

    Thinkpads (was ibm, now lenovo) tend to have a reputation of rugedness and being somewhat linux freindly. My experiece with a z61m is it eats batteries every 10 months, the keyboard has some intermitant problems (must be crumbs from the 6-foot high invisible rabbit eating at it), the display has gone out (so I use an external monitor) and it’s falling apart. After only 4 of 5 years.

    HP laptops had a reputation of working with linux.

    Pretty much everything needs drivers that don’t meet the DFSG (debian free software guildlines) for wifi, and sometimes for displays and wired ethernet.

    Take a dvd or usb stick with a live linux distribution to the store with you and try it out before you buy if you can.
    Blars recently posted..selling-out

    • jenn says:

      It sounds like both of our laptops seriously need to be put out of their misery.

      The IBM Thinkpad X220 is at the top of my want list, but it is more than I want to pay. I have never been a fan of Thinkpads, but this one had just about sold me… except for the price. You are right, they do have a reputation of being rugged. Your experience is enlightening. They do have that spill proof keyboard going for them, though. It turns out that I need one. 😉

      I looked at HP’s line of netbooks and laptops. I was unable to find one that fit my needs.

      Back in my bench tech days, the laptop to stay away from was the compaq.

      Right now, Acer has got a laptop that looks like it meets my needs at a price I can live with. Too bad I cannot bring myself to support Packard Bell. Their proprietary crap was a bane in my bench tech days.

  5. jenn says:

    Still no new laptop. Here’s hoping that mine lasts until the IBM Thinkpad X220i, Asus UL30Vt-X1 or Portege R830-S8310 are at a price that I am willing to pay.

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