Friday, January 8, 2010

My Decorated Laptop

When I wrote Livvie Owen Lived Here, I lived at a boarding house in western North Carolina. The house was shared by the landlady, her daughter, two local fellows, my partner, me, six cats, and five dogs, and we all -- well, all the humans anyway -- shared one computer.

So when my landlady's daughter offered to sell me a laptop with a broken screen for $25, I bought it in hopes that I would be able to fix it, or at least plug it in to an external monitor and make do.

A month of saving, an Ebay spree, and a YouTube tutorial later, I installed a new screen. The laptop has worked beautifully ever since, save for one crash last year that was quickly resolved.

So, okay, my partner and I like to throw snowballs. I mean, is that a crime?

According to my 20-pound Rat Terrier, it is. When a stray snowball hit the window this afternoon, Lola apparently darted under the desk, clotheslining herself on the power cord and smashing the computer to the floor.

Don't worry. It still works. If it didn't, you would not be reading this. And I'm so relieved that the screen didn't break, because, without my partner's help, I would never have been able to get all those tiny screws into all those tiny holes to put the laptop back together the first time, and I didn't fancy going through that again only a year later.

The problem is, one of the ... hinges, I guess you'd call it? Broke. Now the screen sort of ... wobbles around. I have to line it up right to get it to close. There's a jagged edge of plastic held on by one of those tiny screws I can't get undone, and part of the frame sort of ... popped loose and won't pop back.

There are many who would turn to a professional. But I'm broke, I've got no car, and there's a blizzard on.

Okay, so. Duct tape? Nope. I don't seem to have any. Electrical tape? Seems to have all gotten used when my cousin installed our baseboard heat. Superglue? Dollar Tree brand, which I'm not putting on my computer.

Aah, yes. Painter's tape.

When we moved into this house, we had high hopes and big dreams. We bought complimentary colors and began painting with gusto.

Six hours later, we were permanently done. Not the house, I mean. Just US. The trim still hasn't got painted. In fact, there's still painter's tape up in my office, framing the unpainted trim that I've just never gotten around to. Luckily, there are also still six unused rolls of painter's tape out on the porch.

And half a roll holding the screen onto my laptop.


I love this little machine, though. It's a trooper, that's for sure. It'll be a sad day when I actually have to replace it.


H. Dooley said...

Six hours later, we were permanently done. Not the house, I mean. Just US. The trim still hasn't got painted. In fact, there's still painter's tape up in my office, framing the unpainted trim that I've just never gotten around to

That's what we did in our first apartment on 10th Street. If you just accept that you aren't finishing the trim and take the tape off, it will look a lot better. We got so excited when we finally did that. We considered it a home-improvement project at that point. The place looked high-class. See, it's all about standards. :)

Anonymous said...

Sarah, that is one epic journey for sure! There is definitely a strong connection between your laptop and you. I don't see ever getting rid of it. :)

Karen Strong said...

I can relate to this. My laptop is covered with scotch tape and my monitor hinges are pretty much gone. I'm scared to even close it. But it still works!

I'm cheating on it right now with my day job laptop -- it's so sleek and nice. But it's just a physical relationship--no love involved.

Lillian C. said...

Wow. That has to be the coolest thing I've ever heard of. Tape on a laptop--sweet!

I wonder if I should do that with my laptop? Maybe it'll fix the line of off-colored pixels on the right half of my screen...

Sarah Dooley said...

Heather -- On your advice, I took half the painter's tape down off my office trim. That half does look much better. (Then I got distracted, lol.)

Nathalie -- Is it possible to frame a laptop? I would if I could!

Karen -- I'm glad it's not just me!

Lillian -- I don't know. I think having a strip of painter's tape on your screen would be even more off-colored than just some off-colored pixels!

KLM said...

If it's any consolation, I'll add this: the mark of a virtuoso is that he can still produce beautiful music on a poor instrument. Likewise, as you've just demonstrated, a good writer can post an entertaining story on a blog even with a busted laptop. :)

BTW, I use painter's tape for all sorts of things other than painting. Many is the time birthday presents have been sealed with it.

ASUS Laptop said...

Tweak your computers power options. We like to choose a laptop power scheme that turns off the notebook monitor and hard disk after ten minutes or less of inactivity.

ASUS Laptop said...

If your laptop is not going to be used for an extended period of time such as a week or more remove the battery from the laptop and store it by itself.

ASUS Laptop said...

If possible run programs off the internal hard drive instead of your laptops CD/DVD drive for it typically consumes less power. Copying programs or music even from the optical disk to the internal hard drive is a quick way to increase battery life.