Some Random Stuff
I’m not obsessive about cleanliness or neatness in general, but when it comes to anything that I’m going to ingest, eat off of, or which will TOUCH any such thing (i.e. people’s hands who are preparing things I will eat), I definitely am obsessive about cleanliness. However I wasn’t always this way, and as a kid, I put a coin in my mouth at least one time. I have no idea why, really. But for some reason I distinctly remember the taste and feeling of it even now. I also have no idea why that is, nor why I thought of it while driving yesterday.
My little sister IMed me this the other day, about our cat CJ:
Maria: there was a spider on the ceiling and mom wacked it on the floor and CJ batted it around for a while untill it stopped movin (it wasn’t dead, it was just scared) and then he licked it up. a live spider!!!
"A live spider!!!" That cracks me up : )
In other news that isn’t funny or random, I fixed a problem on Kim’s notebook yesterday, for which she sent it back to HP twice and they did nothing but wipe the hard drive and leave the problem intact. The problem was that it would sporadically just shut down for no reason at all, and then refuse to turn back on. They apparently couldn’t identify the cause of problem, which is strange because it’s a common problem with notebook computers. It stems from the fact that over time, as the receptacle for the power plug gets jostled and worn, the solder joints connecting it to the motherboard start to weaken and break. It gets to the point that if you turn the power plug a certain way, it works fine, but bump it just a tad, and it breaks the contact. Eventually, if it goes long enough without being repaired, there is no contact at all unless you press/hold the plug to one side, or up or down or something, and when you let go, it loses the contact immediately.
We disassembled the whole thing, which with notebooks is always a little tricky, and then I re-soldered the 3 connections for the power jack. But upon re-assembling and testing, it was no different. Which was pretty frustrating because the disassembly and re-assembly is quite a process -- not that it’s hard, but it’s sort of tedious because there are so many screws and different pieces which aren’t standard at all from one notebook to the next. But I ended up doing it 3 times so by now I’m pretty good at it :)
The second time, I removed the jack completely and just soldered two wires directly into the motherboard. This didn’t work either. My last resort was to try maybe soldering the top of the board, too; instead of just soldering the pins when they come through the bottom, I now put some on the top too. This was tough because there’s so little space and so many components right around the jack, in addition to the fact that the jack itself is tall and there isn’t much room to get the tip of the iron into the space around it. I replaced the crusty old tip on my soldering iron with a nice pointy new one, soldered the tops of the pins, and that fixed the problem.
I’m pretty excited that it finally worked, because the only other source of power is the battery, which charges in the laptop through this power connection. So basically the computer would be trash, even though the rest of the system is mostly fine, and it’s decently spec’d too -- 700MHz PIII, 384MB memory, 40gig drive, etc. So I was really glad to be able to save the poor lappy; it’d be such a shame to have to get rid of it over something like this.