Friday, 8 August 2008

Computer Woes

Time to get a new laptop. This morning, some milk was spilt on the keyboard.

And unless I press some complex combination of Fn, Alt, Shift, and CapsLock, different for each letter, the sentence above looks like;

T50e t6 get a new 3a-y6-. Th5s 06rn5ng, s60e 0532 was s-53t 60 the 2eyb6ard.


Emily S said...

One thing you could try first is to remove the keyboard from your notebook (in most cases it's quite easy to do) and put it in your dishwasher on a low heat cycle without detergent and with a drying cycle (that's important to avoid corrosion).

Put it inside a large colander or some sort of plastic/metal basket just in case any of the keys fall off.

Good luck! :)

Anonymous said...

Get a seperate wireless keyboard.

Anonymous said...

Get a separate keyboard that just plugs into the back. Make sure it runs under DOS.

Anonymous said...

You can also usually buy replacement keyboards for most laptops on ebay. Usually replacing a keyboard is just a matter of popping off a piece of plastic, undoing a couple of screws and replacing the old keyboard with the new one. Ba-da-bing, Ba-da-boom, good as new! On my laptop I've gone through a new keyboard, a new hard drive and a new DC power jack.

Of course if you want a new laptop this is an excellent reason!

Zoe Brain said...

A test with a USB keyboard showed the fault is in the keyboard, not the motherboard as I'd feared.

The computer is an ASUS A3H, which hasn't been made for yonks.

Excellent functionality, but the worst piece of misbegotten mechanical engineering I've seen for a long time. Replacing the keyboard requires complete disassembly. And I've lost count of the number of times I've had to re-solder the connection from the power input jack to the power supply - a design fault. It got so bad that the shop externalised the power jack out of the case for easy access.

A new keyboard is $14 in China, plus postage. All but a few of the old keyboard's keys have had the letter titles rubbed off, and two are missing - they broke. The spacebar is also in two parts now. A bad batch.

A superb package, with webcam, DVD burner, mike, card reader, really nice electronics and screen, and really awful manufacture and design of everything mechanical.

It runs XP, and transferring the old software to a new machine would be non-trivial. It would need a hard-disk transplant, then rebuilding bios and OS.

But still better than the months and thousands I'd spend re-configuring a new machine.

The plan is now 1) Use the $20 USB keyboard as a interim measure 2) Get a new keyboard and have it replaced - delivery will take a month or so. 3) Reserve a new ASUS XP machine with similar capabilities, and do a disk-transplant.

BTW I can really recommend YNZ technology, who have supplied all my computers for the last 15 years. Their prices are good, but their after-sales service is beyond compare. They guarantee for 2 years, but in fact, if they sell it to you, they fix it for a nominal fee (sometimes free) even outside that period. They also recommend ways of NOT spending money when not absolutely needed.

Thanks to everyone for the hints.

Anonymous said...

The power jack problem seems to be pandemic. I had to replace mine on my dell, one of my ex's had to replace the jack on their panasonic toughbook. One of my friends had the same problem with her iBook. It seems like no matter what shape they make the connector, they all have the same problem eventually.

Perhaps a workable solution would be if the power connection was flush with the case (think like the bottom of a cordless phone) and they held it on with rare earth magnets. The magnets would hold the cable quite firmly to the case and there would be no mechanical elements to break.

Oh well.

Zoe Brain said...

The magnet solution is used on Apple notebooks. The best design feature they have, IMHO.