Hardware: the parts of a computer that can be kicked

(I totally stole that quote from some guy named Jeff Pesis, whoever he is.)

The past two days have been a nightmare, technology-wise.

First, my laptop froze about 5 times while I was trying to write my thesis manuscript (translation: browsing facebook and youtube) … then, my tablet decided that it’s had enough after 4 1/2 years of abuse, so it started going bonkers …   AND THEN, as if those two problems weren’t enough, the techie deities realized that horrible things must always come in threes, so our router suddenly stopped working as well.

ARGH!

Okay, I know I have bigger things to worry about (such as my impending thesis deadline), and the problems were easily resolved within a few hours, but did they really have to happen one after the other?  Tch~

The laptop issue was mostly my fault, I admit.  I’ve had my Vaio for three years now and I haven’t really been taking care of it.  I hardly turn it off because it’s so much quicker to just let it hibernate, I don’t defrag or reformat because I’m too lazy, and sometimes, when I’m in a rush, I just put it on standby and throw it in my backpack.  Honestly I’m surprised that it’s still working after all that abuse.  Anyway, it’s gotten extremely slow these past few months – it takes about 30 minutes to start up (which is why I just let it hibernate) and opening applications freezes the entire thing up for a few minutes.  Ckloy and Raffy have been bugging me to reformat the thing after they saw how slow it was during our Singapore trip.  I kept making excuses about how I have so many important files that I didn’t want to risk losing, but then I realized that I was risking more by not doing anything to fix the problem.  The other day I was trying to decide when I should do it, when all of a sudden, my entire system went crazy.  Every window I opened suddenly started scrolling down by itself, and the pages in my browser started zooming out until I could no longer read what was written on them.  It would stop for a while after I restart my laptop (which takes about 30 minutes, as I’ve mentioned earlier), but then it would happen again as soon as I plug my tablet in.  I asked some people if it was a virus or a hardware issue, but they couldn’t really tell since they didn’t have my laptop in front of them (I asked them through text).  Either way, I decided that I couldn’t put it off any longer.  I backed up my files (thankfully I was still able to) and dug up my laptop’s recovery disks.

Because I’m such a cheapskate and I like pretending that I know computers, I tried to do the entire thing myself.  I probably would have been able to do it too if it wasn’t for the 2nd recovery disk.  For some reason, my laptop just couldn’t read it.  After 3 failed attempts (which took an entire afternoon), I gave in and decided to just pay a professional to do it for me.  My poor pride is still a somewhat bruised, but it recovered a bit when the guy at the computer shop told me he couldn’t get the disks to work either (it was bad news I know, but at least I know that my failure wasn’t because I didn’t know how to use a CD – that would have been embarrassing).  Anyway, they guy worked his magic and after about 8 hours, I was able to get my baby back 🙂  Phew~

(Old picture of me with my laptop taken about 3 years ago, when it was still shiny and new XD)

As soon as I got home, I turned my laptop on (which only took about 2 minutes, YAY!) and plugged my tablet in.  And guess what – the windows were still scrolling down on their own and the pages in my browser were still shrinking!!!  After a quick search online, I found out that my tablet’s scroll wheel was most likely to blame.  I tried looking for solutions, but no one (except one person) seemed to have the same problem as me.  After a bit of tinkering around, I discovered that the windows stop scrolling (and shrinking) when I apply pressure on the top of the tablet, near the scroll wheel.  For a few minutes I surfed the net with my left hand pressing down on my tablet, while my right hand used the mouse.  Eventually I looked for something to keep the pressure on the tablet since I needed both hands to type.  Guess what I came up with.

MASKING TAPE! LOL~

Yes, it looks horrible, but at least it’s still working, the windows have stopped scrolling, and I can browse the net without having to resort to a magnifying glass.  Phew~ After being a tablet user for 4 1/2 years, I can’t imagine not having one.  When I first got it in 2007, I used it mostly for drawing, but these days I use it to edit my photos.  I guess I’ve gotten spoiled over the years, these days I hardly ever edit pictures without a tablet unless I really need to.  My tablet may look pitiful at the moment, but at least I can still use it.

As for the router issue, I tried to fix the old one (shook it vigorously, opened it up, cleaned it, yelled at it …) but nothing worked.  We’ve been having problems with it for the past two months anyway, so we just replaced it with a new one.  Luckily my dad had an extra router lying around the house, and we were able to use that.  It took a while to set it up, but we managed eventually.

Anyway, thankfully everything’s been resolved now.  My laptop doesn’t freeze anymore, my tablet is functioning properly and we have wifi again.  Hopefully they continue to work without any more problems in the future, especially since I’ve got a deadline coming up.

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One thought on “Hardware: the parts of a computer that can be kicked

  1. Pingback: Let’s have some fun – some Bamboo Fun! « What I have shown you is reality …

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