3 December 2009

Sunday night I was sitting here, in front of a nice fire with the TV blaring complete crap, with my laptop warming my lap. I was playing around at JigZone as I am wont to do when I'm avoiding doing anything that is actually productive.

I noticed that the battery icon came on, indicating that the laptop was operating off the battery; I didn't think much about it, because once in a while it does that. A few minutes on the battery, then it recharges.

But this time it kept right on working off the battery. So I set it aside and looked at the power adapter, and the little green power light was not on.

I shut down to preserve what power there was left in the battery, reasoning that the adapter was shot, and I would just go get a replacement in the morning.

It seemed reasonable at the time.


A new power adapter was not the answer, because it did not work. And the laptop would not power up at all. The Spouse Thingy has the exact same laptop, so I plugged the old adapter into it; no dice. I plugged the new adapter into it; it worked. I then plugged his adapter into my laptop; nothing.

This distressed me mightily, as I can't just sit here and watch TV. If I'm watching TV, I tend to have the laptop here, and I surf the net or do puzzles and JigZone. So we took the sad little dead laptop the the local computer geek, who said it sounded like the motherboard...but as it was a relatively new laptop, he suggested I save the bucks it would cost to have him open it and try calling Gateway, because it was still under warranty.

And this is where Thumper learned a lesson: when you buy a laptop, or any computer really, register it with the manufacturer. and keep the receipt. I did neither; Gateway had no record of my purchase, and I had no proof.

So I got online with my ancient desktop system and whined to Murf, who was only online to check email and peek at Facebook. He didn't have a lot of time, but he listened to the details of my favorite toy's demise, and called his friend Dack, who does unspeakable things to computers these days.

Dack asked a lot of questions, but in the end said he was fairly sure I'd gotten a power surge that took out the adapter and the motherboard. He asked what model Gateway I had and looked it up in his nifty database and reported back the price of replacement parts.

Almost the cost of a whole new computer.

He also recommended I get a much better surge protector, because, obviously, I cheaped out on the one I was using (and, um, yes...I did...)

Funny, more than one person suggested I get a better surge protector. My cheapness apparently shines through.


Now I sit here with a spiffy new laptop, but it is not with the thrill I would normally get from getting a shiny new toy. I got this one with replacing the ancient desktop system in mind, as it's not very happy about some of the software I ask it to run, and in the next year I plan on upgrading the publishing software.

No, I did not want to wait for Christmas to see if Santa would replace my laptop. Since this is at least 50% a business need, Santa could not be sure exactly what I would need.

Besides, as a business purchase, it's at least 50% tax deductible.

And yes, I registered this laptop. And I'm keeping the receipt.

Just in case.


Anonymous said...

Thumper, I feel your pain. The first time technology "fried" us (30 years ago), my husband was attempting to make surround sound by hooking up our TV to really large speakers. He blew out the TV. He has now progressed to "improving" more expensive things.

Angel and Kirby said...

We ran into that, too. We knew we had bought a service plan, but Dell could not find it. That is because we bought it through Sam's Warehouse. No receipt or proof could be found. WE had no idea that Sam's could pull a two year purchase record an membership. They found the info and proved we did not have to pay for service on a laptop that was 14 months old. However, Service cannot reproduce the issue so is sending it back with out doing anything!t

las794 said...

Ouch, the unexpected expense! Hope you'd backed up your data before the old laptop went bye-bye. :)

Derby said...

So whaddja get Thumper?

Curt said...

Wow. Blogging from the future.

If you've time machine and haven't shared I'm gonna be kinda upset

Marti said...

Sorry this happened. I spent $350 last March because of a virus attack on mine.

You might want to fix the date at the top of your blog entry. In a hurry for Christmas? ;-)

Karen Jo said...

Ouch! Because of all the thunderstorms around here, I actually have my computer plugged in through two surge protectors. I hope all goes well with the new laptop.

The Whiskeratti said...

Great timing to need such an expensive new thing :(

David E. Francis said...

December 12? 8 day from now. Hmm, Thumper, did you find a way to post from the future? If you did, you should write a paper on how you did it. Or, you could sell the procedure. I know I would like to know what the future winning lottery numbers are so I could win big!!! :->


Chicka said...

Of course now that you've done both (kept the receipt and registered the laptop), nothing wrong with happen.

Murphy's Law. Damn that Murphy.

Shaggy, Scooby and Scout said...

I had my motherboard replaced a little over a year ago. Darn computer started typing 's' on its own when ever I'd touch the keys. It was still under warranty, thank goodness!!!

Thumper said...

Yes, I am so damned talented that I can blog from the future. I fixed it, though, as to not mess with everyone's heads. It certainly wasn't a mistake on my part, like looking at the little date icon in the corner and seeing 12/3 and typing 12 instead of 3...

Sleepypete said...

Sparky bits aren't as reliable as they used to be ...

Had something similar happen with my old laptop, although I got a lot luckier. Instead of the problem being on start up, the laptop wouldn't shut down properly ...

I got away with it that time, although I think I may be acquiring another laptop in the January sales if this one stays noisy. Will be avoiding Gateway :-)