If you have a laptop, do yourself a favor and don't eat anything near it. Its an easy rule to follow when you first get a laptop and the pain of paying $800-$1200 on something that can easily be knocked over or dropped is still fresh in your mind. But as the years go on you tend to take your laptop for granted. Well I made the mistake of eating next to my laptop this morning, as I do many mornings in an attempt to stave off hunger until lunchtime. Stupid trail mix. I was typing an email when I noticed that the H and J keys were awfully firm. So I took a peek and noticed a tiny peanut shard resting underneath them. I figured it would be easy enough to pop the keys off, remove the obstruction and move on. After all I've done it on my desktop computer many times. Wrong.

Fearing that I had broken something I decided to pop off two of the lesser used keys Q and Z so I could examine the assembly of the key's undercarriage and put my H and J keys back together. This worked for a little while, and for a brief moment I considered leaving everything intact and sliding the Q and Z coverings into the H and J slots, since I don't look down while I type anyways. But I quickly found out that in popping the keys off like a desktop computer, rather than gently sliding them off I managed to damage the metal lock that keeps the key in place. There are four tiny little clasps, thin as a than safety pin with the durability of a wet noodle. With these broken I really had no hope. So I (barely) managed to get Q and Z back where they belong, J was damaged only to the point that the back of the key sticks up when you press the key. The H is gone forever.

While I was tying this entry I got the bright idea of again using a less important key to put in the space of the H, since the bottom clasp of the H is only damaged, not broken. I figured at best it would give the H the exact opposite problem I am having with the J key. Amazingly it worked. So now I have no - key, and a - where my H should be. Its confusing when I do look down.

Of course replacement keyboards for laptop computers aren't something you can ever find locally. So I have to order myself a new keyboard. Its going to put me out about 3 days and anywhere from $12-$50. The local repair shops need the same three days to order the same keyboards I've found, but they're going to charge me $75-$100. Its good to be your own computer guy.

Lesson learned: Don't eat peanuts or trail mix near your computer. And if you do, please me more cautious in removing the keys on your keyboard when you spill.


Rach said...

oh...that sucks. Good thing I don't like trail mix.