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.