{August 28, 2007}   oops.

well, I was having far too much fun to think about my blog… until today.
I started off the morning by crashing my bike, hurting myself and damaging the brand new front wheel (although I think it’s minor enough that once the brakes are adjusted it won’t really matter). then when I got home in the afternoon, I dumped half a glass of fruit juice into my laptop (oh, and all over my clothes, of course). the rest of the day (after taking apart and cleaning the laptop as best I could) I got by with nothing more than minor injuries, like pinching my finger in my cellphone, and slamming my leg into the bike pedal a dozen times :P
then in the evening I decided my poor laptop should be dry, so I put it back together, wiped off a few bits of juice I’d missed (the stuff got *everywhere*), and tried to turn it on.


it’s dead. :(

I spent months researching this laptop, I put it together myself, I had stickers all over it… and now it’s dead. :(
it was fairly old even when I bought it – I had trouble finding places that still had the parts – but it’s been incredibly reliable, and the most linux-friendly machine I’ve ever had. I don’t want it to be broken. wah. :(

and I’m going back to china on monday, and I *need* a laptop there ’cause it’s my only link to the outside world… and I am not fucking looking forward to trying to find a vaguely linux-friendly laptop in china, and making sure I’m being sold what I expect, and trying not to get too badly ripped off on the price…

I’ll try the laptop again in the morning, I suppose, just in case it wasn’t quite dry enough and I didn’t make things worse trying to turn it on too early.

I am a very lucky girl. it *did* turn on again in the morning. I can’t test whether it can function completely, though, ’cause I had to take the heatsink off while I was cleaning it, so now I need to replace the thermal paste before I can leave it on for more than a few seconds. :)
this update would’ve been up earlier, but a power outage got in the way, and then I was on my way to the beach :)
strange that wordpress didn’t save a draft for me – maybe it doesn’t do that for edits?

Jan says:

I don’t think you’ll have a hard time finding a linux-friendly laptop in chian because the chinese governemt promotes their own linux distribution called ‘Red Flag Linux’ :)

I have always found Acer to provide superb Linux friendly laptops. I have an Acer Aspire 1410 running Kubuntu without any fuss. I also have Gentoo on my Acer Aspire 9410. Everything just works.

Of course, it’s probably due to the pure Intel chipset, which is very well spupported by Linux.

Andreas says:

Take it apart and rinse everything that does not look like it will rust with plenty of water. Especially avoid soaking the hard drive. Electronics (printed circuit boards and the parts on them) are very resistant to water, actually, as they are reportedly being washed during the manufacturing process. You will often find in the specification of e.g. relays that they are “wash proof”. If the juice did not cause any power regulator to output a too high voltage or similar your chances are good to recover the machine. Try it. And let it dry for a long time before powering it on after washing. There are places where the water goes that you cannot see.
At the moment it probably doesn’t work because the acid in the fruit juice makes it a good conductor.

Andreas says:

Just wanted to add that I have actually done this once. I dumped stuff on my amplifier. Opened it, thoroughly rinsed the part with juice in the shower and let it dry. No problems aftewards.
Yeah OK, an amplifier is far simpler than a laptop but still…

Thomas Zander says:

Ah, I was just thinking that it was a long time ago we heard from you! Good to know you are still alive and kicking. :)

Very sad about your lappy :( With the most lousy timing possible! Good luck, and try not to worry too much when flying back to China!

jks says:

Aww, that sucks. I spilled coffee on my brand-new laptop a couple weeks ago and killed it too. Luckily I tricked Lenovo into doing a warranty replacement ;) but the new mobo’s on backorder for another two months.

And hey, don’t they make Lenovos in China? I’ve had really good luck w/ Kubuntu on my Z61t.

Jade Nexus says:

the Acer 9410’s are great machines all around, very linux friendly they are, and you don’t have to put a second mortgage on the home to own it. and, after owning more than 1 (not due to technical issues), they can take a pretty good ass kicking! the first machine got 600ml of cranberry juice dumped in it, it continued to run even with the juice submerging it. i took it apart and cleaned the entire mainboard with distilled water, the key here people is DISTILLED WATER, not tap water. the minerals leave corrosive deposits on the board. then clean the board with anhydrous alcohol, to absorb the water remaining in the places you cant see. then thoroughly spray the key IC’s with Electrosol to dissolve any corrosion. Electrosol does not dry and is dilectric but its not a great idea to leave the ICs this way so, then we use some Hexane to dry away the majority of the remaining electrosol. most notebooks, if my procedure is followed, can be saved from a liquid spill. I fix machines deemed by the manufacturer and service depots to be ID’d-“Irrepairably Dead”

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