Ah, Technology…

Okay, so ever since the top row of letters on the laptop (with all the vowels aside from “a” and other frequent flyers like r, t, and y) were rendered non-functional back at the start of July, I have relied on workarounds to keep using it. First, I fudged writing words by cutting & pasting the missing letters from existing documents. Kludgy but effective.

When I got home from our unexpected journey, I connected an external keyboard from an old iMac and was back in business. It does rather tend to cover the laptop’s trackpad, however, so I also grabbed an external trackpad I had stored in the office. Once again, I was fully functional on the laptop — as long as I didn’t need to take it anywhere. Packing up the core 3 items proved to be only a slight hassle, but add in having to take along the power supply (battery life seems to have also been greatly diminished by the spill), it’s not a light load.

Anyway, yesterday, I packed the rig up and got down to the TechSTART office to supervise a couple of student interns. I’m bouncing back & forth between my office where the laptop is and where the interns are working with the 3D printer in another room, so I left the laptop open.

After all, it was connected to the charger, with the green light glowing to indicate power.

Suddenly, the laptop dies. Screen goes blank, hard shut-down mid-task. Not good. It’s happened a few times since the spill, apparently tied to rapid die-off of the battery power once it dips below 50%. Easy enough to restart…except this time it wasn’t. I tried restarting it at least 5 times, only to watch it die again mid-start-up-sequence. Fighting panic, I double- and triple-checked the power cord. Everything looked fine. Finally, the start-up sequence ran through to letting me unlock the laptop — only to die as soon as I tried to enter my password. Calming myself down, I tried once more and got it going at last.

And saw the battery level was sitting at 51%.

Huh? I’d swear it had been hooked up to power the whole time. Slowly, I restarted the various programs shut down without warning. All the while, I’m watching the power charger’s cord-light and seeing the battery power stuck at 51%, even after 15 minutes connected. Great, I’m thinking — the battery is fried. I shut the top to let it try and charge some more. Mostly, I didn’t want to do anything to cause another shutdown until I got it home and backed up the drive.

When I went to set that up back at home, I suddenly realized I never saw the charge cord show an amber light to indicate it was charging. This time, it did, and I watched the battery power slowly climb to 60% and keep rising steadily.

I still don’t know why it died at the office. I am typing this at that same office with the identical rig. I’ve been watching the battery level like a hawk, and it’s been at 100% the whole time. It even indicates it is connected for charging. Good. I’d rather not have to suddenly buy a new laptop now. Eventually, I will, but I’d rather hold off on that for now.

As I have said before, I love technology…I hate technology

About bullersbackporch

I am a native Austinite, a high-tech Luddite, lover of music, movies and stories and a born trainer-explainer.
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