I took another look at that broken laptop I’ve been working on since… well – since before the beginning of the new year. And now it works, hoorays!

Patially assembled laptop

The display! She is working!


The last thing to plague me on this was reassembling the backlight. I was trying to drop it straight down into its frame, but I found that if I removed part of the frame and slid it in from the side instead, then it fit a whole lot better. Anyhow, now it’s working. I brought it home for Beth to use, and she was beside herself with joy. That is, until I told her to get off and practice her piano.

Once I got the thing working again, I went to the snack room and got a Hershey’s bar to give to our solder tech as a “thank you.” She was delighted to hear that it was working again, and she seemed to genuinely appreciate the chocolate. I told her I thought her help was worth way more than 40 cents, but… it’s chocolate! She was very appreciative, but I think I was even more so.

In other laptop news, I got a new keyboard for my main laptop today. The Y and H keys had been sticking, and since it’s under warranty, Dell just sent us a new one. Bill (our IT guy) and I installed it. This new Dell comes apart a lot easier than the old ones. I also got a new power adapter, as the strain relief on the old one slid out of it’s little hidey-hole:

Power Adapter composite

Red arrow points to badness


No telling when that thing would fail me, but I’d rather not wait, especially when it’s under warranty.

The other thing that happened today was that I got a call from the service tech who was going to realign our satellite dish. He said he’d be at the school at 10:30. Jonathan had told me that he would get out of class at 10:00, so I expected him t oshow up at my office no later than 10:15 or so. Only he didn’t. I called him at 10:15 but he didn’t pick up, because he was in class. (He was wrong about when he’d get out.) So I sent him an email telling him where I’d be. Then I drove to the school.

The tech was there already, and Katrina (the teacher) showed him to the network closet. He was hooked up to it and – just as I could not, – he could not connect to it. I told him to switch to a 169.254.x.x IP address and all would be roses. And it was. The signal strength was 1 (out of 100). He said that either we were way “off the bird” or our receiver was blown. Then he told me that he didn’t have a ladder high enough to get up there (the dish is on a second-story section of the roof) so he’d have to rent a truck with a lift. And (thinking it was already Friday) suggested that he’d see me again on Monday. Sigh. luckily he realized that today was only Thursday, so he corrected that. He called a place to have the truck delivered here tomorrow morning, and then told me he’d be here at 8:00am. I was fine with that.

But then he called me when I was on my way home from work to tell me that he needed to pick up a new receiver unit for us from the airport first, so he wouldn’t be there until 9:30. I was fine with that too. Hopefully we’ll be back online at the school again tomorrow.

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