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4th January 2006

Help needed…

posted in Uncategorized |

My laptop died tonight. All of a sudden, it turned a whitish gray with blue vertical lines running all the way across. I restarted it, the screen came back okay, but the instant I touched it the screen died again. And then I couldn’t restart it. I’ve played with it all night, I think there’s something wrong with either the motherboard or some other connections from the case to the computer, because it seems that it’s the movement that causing the screen and then the computer to go wonky. It was pretty windy last night, and I did have it plugged it to charge and I’m afraid that it got hit by a power surge. Tay (fileg), have you or Jim experienced anything like this with your laptops? Advice on where I might first try to tackle the problem. I tried resetting the parameter RAM, and I was able to start the computer after that, but it didn’t last long.

I hope I can get it figured out soon. I was really hoping to take it with me to Kenya, so I could keep in touch, and if it’s having problems…. Well, I leave in 10 days. (pauses a moment to freak out that it’s only ten days) I don’t know what I’m going to be able to get done.

The other favor. In addition to trip planning, match list planning, and teaching, I’ve been informed that the yearbook committee needs our pictures and layouts by the 10th of this month. I’m having a hard time coming up with pictures (it’d probably be too weird to put the one of me in the wedding dress, right? *sigh* but I looked so pretty…), but I’ve got a few ideas. I’m getting new pictures of Chris and me to go into it (yay, for having a digital camera!), and I’ll put one of me in Guatemala and probably one of the black and white ones I showed you all earlier, my family, etc. It should be okay. Although I think the last picture of my family was taken during my college graduation…

Anyway, my problem is actually the text portion. It’s a rather large area, and I have no idea how to fill it. That’s where you come in. I need quotes–funny, inspiration, friendly, witty, something, and ideas of what I could write without sounding too cheesy. Something that in years to come, people will look at the yearbook and think fondly of me. Any ideas? Bueller?

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  • jim will stop in for tech consult-

    “..Like so many post-romantics, you find suffering glorious. Pain has become your substitute for religion. But pain is not glorious, it is boring. Joy is glorious. Praise is glorious. Because they are hard. You have to work at them with your whole being.” Andrew Harvey (Encounter with a Stranger)

    “An infinite universe will always have the capacity to surprise. The Earth moves, and stones fall from the heavens. Tonight, perseids clatter to earth like hailstones. They embed themselves in arctic ice caps, they sprinkle the forests of the Amazon with a fine cometary dust. Meteors clatter at my feet and I dance in the road. ‘Up, noble soul’ cried Eckhart. “Put on your jumping shoes which are intellect and love.” I put on my jumping shoes and go leaping between the hedgerows. ” – Chet Raymo

    In this very breath that we take now lies the secret that all great teachers try to tell us.” – Peter Matthiessen

    of course, all these years later, I would not be embarrassed if I had gone with “Elen síla lumenn’ omentielmo”

  • Thankfully (touches aluminum) we have not seen that sort of problem with any of our laptops – or laptops we support.

    Is your baby an iBook? I recall reading of a similar sounding motherboard/display problem with some of them where Apple had a replacement policy, but it was a couple of years ago.

    If you press down gently on the running laptop in the areas where the screen hinges to the main body does it affect the display (improve or degrade)? If you gently pinch the screen/lid in the same regions, does the display change? How about if you pinch the sides of the display? Does the display change for better/worse as you slowly open and close the display/lid? These tests are to try to isolate the trouble to the notoriously fragile connection between the display and the body of the laptop.

    Another diagnostic test would be to boot off of the Apple Hardware Test CD/DVD that came with your laptop and run the tests and see if it narrows down the problem.

    Yet another would be – if you have access to an external monitor – is to connect it to your laptop, boot with the lid closed (or push the power button and immediately close the lid) and see if the same display issues occur with the external display. If they do, then it is probably the video subsystem on the motherboard. If the external monitor behaves fine, then it is probably the connection to the display or the display itself.

    These are not really solutions, but they may help you narrow down the problem.

    If the tests you do seem to point to the connection going bad, then with sufficient nerve and dexterity, one can make sure the connectors are well seated and if the “cable” looks damaged replace it with a new one.

    One seemingly unrelated thing to check is – have you put any additional RAM in the laptop recently? You may want to take any additional RAM out leaving only what came with the laptop and see if the display problem disappears. Or try removing it all and re-seating the RAM.

    Unless you have someone close who services Apple products and you can put pressure on, you are not likely to have it back in 10 days. It has happened – when something went kerflooie with our PowerBook 180 while it was under warranty we called Apple, got an Airborne Overnite box the next morning to put it in while the courier waited and several days later she returned revivified in another Overnite box.

    • admin says:

      My baby is an iBook, bought 3 and 1/2 years ago, just outside of warranty. Grrr.

      My dad said that he had the monitor problems that you mentioned where if he moved the screen, it would go instantly to sleep and had it repaired several months ago. This seems to be a little bit different. Pressing on the display or where the case and display met had no effect. However, when I pressed on the case at the base of the keyboard on the right side (the m,./ end of the keyboard), the screen went blue. If I closed the case, the computer indicated with the blinking light that it was asleep, however, when I flipped the lid, the screen went complete dead and the computer didn’t respond and required restarting. However, it took holding down the power button for several seconds, as to hard power down, and then pressing it again to get it to start and then it just went to a black screen and I’ve been unable to get it to power up again.

      I don’t have either of the CD start disks or an external monitor. My dad lent it to me for a few weeks (I wasn’t sure I was going to give it back after my trips), so all of that stuff is with him.

      There hasn’t been any new RAM put in the computer as far as I know. I don’t think we’ve had anything done on it for a long time.

      I won’t have time to fix it before my trip, but I do appreciate your insight. Just having a general idea of where to go to attack the problem is a big help.

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