Friday, June 29, 2007

A Computer Glitch and Maintenance Mentality

My faithful desktop computer, which has served me well way before I started blogging, has finally succumbed to the normal wear and tear sustained by any gadget (at least that's what I hope). This happened last Sunday when the computer alternated between trying to boot up and shutting down, the indicator light coming on and off.

I won't say the signs were not there but I thought those signs were just an aberration. I am referring to the times when the computer just emitted a continuous whirring sound, much like the harddisk was frantically trying to stay awake. But it had never failed to reboot, the usual remedy for a non-fuctioning computer such as a hung screen. Little did I know that these "hiccups" are percursors to the death knell that will invariably ensue.

Well I could be stretching the truth a bit with the death knell thing since the computer still has some semblance of activity, albeit functionally "dead" like a comatose patient. My colleague concurred with my diagnosis (afterall I have seen my fair share of computers in my lifetime and in fact they are a big part of my work routine, though I can say the same things about cars but that does not mean that I can double as a car mechanic) that it could be just a problem with the power pack. He advised me to get hands-on with the repair by first removing the power pack unit and remembering all the connections, and bringing it to the shop to get the same if not at least a compatible unit.

So that's the task at hand for me and for that I've enlisted the help of WT to mechanically dismember the computer to get to the power pack (probably because he majors in mechanical engineering at UF). Until then, I will have to make do with the old laptop from WT's school days in Singapore, which, except for the missing B key and floppy disk cover, is still giving us good Internet access. Who would have thought that this old Acer Travelmate 528TE is actually outliving the Compaq Presario S6010V?

The thought of getting a new desktop did enter our discussion of what to do but we felt it's prudent to defer that until we are sure that the power pack is not the problem and heaven forbid, we may have to bring it to a computer technician to fix the problem, if at all it can be fixed, simply because of the high cost of maintenance service here.

Because of the computer breakdown, I will have to make do without another faithful companion to my blog, my wife's flower image. Let's hope this is only a stop-gap measure but the moral of the story is really the need for a maintenance mentality. Let's all resolve henceforth to pay heed to the maintenance needs of our life and environment.

[Update: After some tinkling involving unplugging all the connections of the power pack, cleaning up the dust that has settled on the wires (my brother has earlier done a good job of dust removal, with half face mask and all), and putting the connections back (there are 8 connections but 3 are unused), and Presto!, the power came back on and stayed, hopefully long enough for this update, and for the insertion of my wife's flower image.]


CM said...

I am the going global fan and I miss your essay since the last entry.

I accidently come across this blog and found that your computer is down.

hope your computer will get well soon.

Chin Meow

Say Lee said...

Dear Chin Meow,

Thanks for the note. And I hope to get back to my blogging routine real soon.

We are scheduled to attend a buddhist summer camp in the coming weekend and hope to share our experiences here.

Say Chong