Ok. As you may know by now, the East Coast of the United States had a heat wave last week. It was oppressing. I had trouble keeping my house cool. Couldn’t get it below 82 degrees.
It wasn’t just hot. It was humid. The combination was stifling. It brought total productivity in my neck of the woods to a literal crawl.
Because of the heat, I was keeping a steady supply of water beside me to stay hydrated. My family gives its water the Brita filter treatment and then we drink out of cups (rather than, say, plastic bottles).
It is not unusual for me to drink and eat throughout the day in front of the computer while I get my work done. I’ve always thought it was ridiculous to have rules about not having drink and food around the puter. That’s part of the fun of being a techie (you know our late night friends Jolt Cola and Joe Coffee). I even look forward to a browse of the DrudgeReport, Digg and CNN while sipping my morning coffee.
But the difference between this last week and all the weeks before is that I ALWAYS had a full glass of water by my side. So instead of 2 hours of risk each day, I had 12 hours of risk each day. And you know what…
I spilled an entire glass of water onto my laptop. This is my “text only” laptop, a Gateway 3018GZ. I’ve had it for 2 years. It has worked quite well for the purposes that I intended it to serve. I did try installing Pirates! on it once but the Intel graphics chipset couldn’t handle it. But that’s ok. That’s why I’ve got 7 additional computers sitting around the home.
Anyway, I spend far and away the most time on my Gateway laptop because most of my work is text based. I write, write and write some more. Sometimes I write articles. Sometimes I write code. Sometimes I write essays. But if you wanted to track my footprints, you’d wanto start with this laptop.
So like I said, I spilled an entire glass of water on this sucker. The bottom third of the screen got some. The entire keyboard got a lot. Spilling liquid on a notebook has been known to result in critical failure (motherboard and other circuitry).
Honestly I didn’t know what to do so I just did what seemed obvious. I flipped the notebook upside down with the hope that the water would drain out. I held it upside down for 10 minutes, several minutes after the last drop dripped. The keypad was still wet, but at least there were no puddles to drain down into the innards of the computer.
The next thing I did, still holding the laptop upside down, was to lay it keyboard down on my absorbent couch. The screen portion bent over the side of the couch like a pair of legs. Still on and functional, I wiggled the Gateway notebook around on the couch, hoping to get most of the moisture sopped up.
About three minutes later, I went back to my desk and started blogging. Everything seemed fine….except…
On the bottom left portion of my screen there was an obvious blotch…a water spot. Water had made its way under the screen. Then the backlight of the monitor starting flickering. Oh no. Just like every other laptop I’ve had…the first thing to go was going to be the screen. These things persisted for about five hours.
But now everything’s back to normal. The water spot is gone. The display is no longer flickering and seems perfectly fine. Who knows whether I’ve expedited the death of my laptop or not, and whether there are problems lingering without current symptoms. But for now, I’m living proof that you can save a laptop from a glass full of water…and even post about it on your blog the next day.