Friday, September 28, 2007

the percy senility fund

I'm sorry to say that my faithful Dell Inspiron 600m laptop computer (aka Sir Percy, aka Ladislaw) has officially become senile.

I just had a new hard-drive installed last Christmas, which more than doubled my disk space. But ever since then, things have only been getting worse. The power cord has frayed right near where it plugs into the computer. Around May, near the end of the semester, I finally bit the bullet and bought a new cord, out of fear that I would lose all my data and have no way to retrieve it.

The universal power cord worked fine for a while, except for one thing: it couldn't charge my battery (which is, itself, a hand-me-down from my brother-in-law when he bought a new computer). That wasn't too awful, since I have become accustomed to not using my battery much. And I could still pull out the original power cord from Dell and plug it in for a while, just long enough to get the battery charged up. But it was still annoying.

Then the universal power cord started having trouble of its own. I'm not sure, but it seems that part of my laptop where the power cord plugs in has become loose, so that the cord doesn't fit it right. That was a very annoying problem all during the summer (mind, this started only about a month or two after I first bought the cord -- which was pretty pricey, too). Still, things worked all right.

In the meantime, besides all the power cord drama (which is by no means finished yet ... stay tuned), my computer has just plain been running slowly lately. Even when I clean up my files and de-frag the hard-drive, it doesn't help much. I've been thinking for a while now that I would like get more RAM, but that is both expensive and difficult. So I'm making due instead.

Now, to finish the power cord drama: It's recently been getting harder and harder to get either power cord (the original or the universal) to stay in the right position, so that they are actually providing power to the laptop. That means that, unless I either command the luck of the gods or decide to sit with my hand pressing the cord in just the right place, the battery runs down to critical levels. This has happened a number of times in the last few weeks, but today it's been worse than ever. I have sat all day long with my hand pushing the cord, and after leaving it for a mere hour and a half (while I ran Mom for an emergency chiropractic visit -- seriously), it had already run down the battery completley. As in, 0% battery remaining. Clearly the battery is getting old, too.

I'm not sure it's worth it at this point to upgrade everything. Actually, I've been thinking that for quite a while now, but I have been holding off on looking for a new computer because I didn't want to buy another until I could afford a MacBook Pro. And I was far from affording a MacBook Pro. Still am.

So, in hopes of raising awareness about Laptop Senility Dysfunction (LSD) -- and also some money -- I am establishing the Percy Senility Fund. Should you wish to contribute, please send me an email, and I will provide donation details. (If you don't know my email address, I don't know you well enough to trust an email from you, so ... I guess we'll have to figure out some other donation possibility. Maybe a PayPal account.)

Plain? It's as ugly as a parson's widow! (22 points)


Emily said...

My previous computer had a similar problem with the power (and it wasn't just mine; Lisa's power junction also went bad), and my dad was able to take it apart and put in a new power plug thingy. If you know someone who's really tech-y, it might be a short-term solution while you save up for that MacBook Pro.

(Another idea is to try to find a reconditioned MacBook on the Apple site-- you can usually get some really good deals there.)

gryffinkat said...

Thanks, Emily! I will definitely give the refurbed Macs a try. I think you may have forgotten something, though ...? (Namely, to ask for my address so that you'll know where to send your check for the Percy Senility Fund. *polite cough*)