Monday, December 25, 2006

Duel to the death...

...while the rest of you were, I hope, opening presents and enjoying a loving day with those near and dear to you, I was slowly sinking into a major funk. I'm nowhere near being able to describe my feelings coherently, so that's not what this is about.

Naturally, as my anger grew, the more it seemed to me that everything was (a) going wrong or (b) happening for no other reason than to twist the knife deeper. Finally, the last straw: my neighbor started playing his "jazz" CD again, over and over. And over and over. I went for a walk -- from whence the bird photo came -- and, when I returned, he was still at it. The bass slicing through the thin walls was making me crazy.

In a moment of sheer and wonderful frustration, I decided I needed to replace the dead CD/DVD drive in my computer. Like now. Today. The first effort several days ago ended in failure, thwarted by a silly piece of plastic.

I vowed that today I would make the repairs, or one of us would not emerge from the room whole.

It was at this point that I discovered a basic difference between cheap and "quality" computers. The former, like my old $199 Chinese beast, are assembled with millions of tiny screws and rivets. All the drives and switches are fastened down solidly. But my fancier (and pricier) new machine has drives and subassemblies that slide into place.

That fershlugginer piece of plastic I thought was intended to discourage user service is what holds 'em down.

So: Side panel and front cover off (45 seconds), slide out messed-up drive (two seconds), unhook cables (five seconds). Take deep breath, slide in replacement (two seconds), hook up cables (one minute for my large fingers), replace panel and cover (30 seconds).

And it works.

I can once again listen to music while I work, and can get back to burning the CDs my friends requested.

It was easier than assembling kids' Christmas toys, too.

Damn, I wish I could fix busted relationships as easily as I can fix busted machines....


DAL said...

Heh. I knew you'd fix that sucker. Business PCs are usually built to be worked on, so everything uses as few fasteners as possible (are you using a Dell?) I had an old NEC 386 like that.

IBMs on the other hand, are a PITA, with tiny, slotted screws, and lots of them. They were made to be worked on by IBM personnel under contract, of course.

MrScribbler said...

It's a Compaq, dal. I had an IBM years and years ago, but in those days I wouldn't do anything more than hook up the cables and hit the "on" button, so I have no idea what was inside.

Hell, I was still in DOS-land back then!

dave said...

Ain't technology grand? :) It's too bad they haven't found any good English translators for the Japanese instructions yet. Maybe that's why technology can't fix damaged hearts, something gets lost in the translation. We need to fix that. We'll be rich. :)

Happy Holidays.

KauaiFinn said...

I remember my first home computer: APPLE II (IBM was behind the game, but not by far. My father, being an IBM'er, i can imagine probably had to keep this purchase a secret)

DOS is all there was... and boy oh boy!! it had enough memory to hold an entire ESSAY!! it was a technological MIRACLE!!

we certainly got spoiled quick, didn't we?

Glad you got your doohickie fixed.

And thank you for being there for me, while you were struggling so much yourself!

You are a very unselfish man...

**HUGS** and alooooooha!

MrScribbler said...

Too true, Dave. It's all the outsourcing that has messed things up....

KF -- My first computer was an Epson that looked like a modern laptop and had just enough memory for a 2500-word article. The next one had no memory at all, but relied on two floppy-disk drives, one for programs and the other to save work on.

likeisaid said...

Our first computer was a Texas Instruments one. I only played games on it, had no idea how it worked. I loved Missle Command and PacMan. I've come a long way. :)

Interested said...

See, you don't need me after all :)