Tuesday, January 27, 2009

and if it ain't that, what the hell is it?

kitty watching meSo the moment you've all been not particularly waiting for... After the last posting I got online and hunted up a new mainboard for the notebook, cheap ($10 plus $10 shipping, as opposed to $25-$250). And in fact, it's an upgrade -- I'm going from a 400MHz to a 500MHz so it's faster. Dell may suck at providing an owner's manual that's worth anything, but as for the Service Manual, it's amazing. So I spent an hour or so carefully taking the machine apart [photo] per the instructions, swapped out the motherboard, put everything back together, and it fired up on the first try so I did something right. But... It's still saying the unrecognised batteries are unrecognised and the one it does recognise isn't taking a charge. I know I asked last time, "what are the odds?" Well, there you go; the longshot wins, it's the batteries. Batteries cost $50-$125, though I've located two online dealers offering this model for $30. Hmm, welcome to my upgraded machine that for now I still have to plug into the wall?

On that other stupid issue I mentioned last time, the 2gb memory stick that isn't universally recognised... Kingston lamed out on me. If there's a known issue, for goodness sake, admit it. In this Information Age, we will know if there's a known issue courtesy of Google, possibly before the manufacturer is aware of it. So the end result of the back-and-forth was the guy suggesting I download USB driver updates from Dell (sorry, there are none) and ending that my port isn't compatable with the drive (gee, why not?). I thumbed my nose at the dude and told him there's a known issue, probably related to its power rating accidentally being higher than standard... look it up or own up to it, techie, Kingston 1gb and 4gb drives work where the 2gb drives fail. When I was checking notebook and UPS battery prices at Batteries Plus near the Mall ($33 for UPS cells is way good, $129 for the notebook battery is not so good) I noticed they had a pocketknife-folding 4gb drive made by MaxFlash [who?] for $20, so picked one up. Yeah, of course then I went across the Mall parking lot to BestBuy for a doodad and found they have Geek Squad branded 4gb thumbdrives for $12... I think I'll stick to no-name, I find myself assuming their Geek Squad drives are as reliable as their techie reputation. :-D

Photo: I was meandering through an abandoned house a few miles away with my camera, and the neighbor cat was looking through the big hole in the front door at me...

if you knew of the issue, why call it in... hoping for a FRU?
As a matter of fact. Or teching.
That shot of the cat is terrific! It looks like just the kind of thing one would expect to see in an abandoned house. Ooooooh, scaaary!

You really DID take that computer apart. I wouldn't have the faintest idea what to do with all those parts laying on the floor. I'd end up with Frankencomputer.

So long as the critter works afterwards. :) Didn't solve the battery problem but I intend to order a new one soon. And blog, too.
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