A progress report on the patient

The laptop, that is.

It’s back from the repair shop, taking a charge like it should, and as a bonus, the touchpad is fixed, which means I won’t get scolded on airplanes anymore for using my wireless mouse.

Audio and video still randomly decide when to stop working, but I didn’t ask anyone to fix that. When dealing with this sort of machine, you learn to choose your battles wisely. The bottom line, the beast is back, for better or worse.

Thanks Dave*.

One more thing — my previous post about the perils of purchasing a refurbished laptop is drawing some decent search engine traffic. I hope my warning isn’t going unheeded.

*My local computer repair shop of choice appears to do business without a website of its own, but I’ve never walked in and seen the place anything but bustling, replete with work in progress piled on the shelves. I guess there’s still something to be said for a sign on the street and word-of-mouth advertising.

Resist the urge to buy that refurbished laptop

Especially that blue Toshiba model that you see for around $1,000 when that’s exactly what you can afford to spend.

Back in December 2004, I did my research, I comparison shopped, and I bought a lemon.  A refurbished lemon with a 90-days-only warranty at that.

I’m not going to get into model numbers and vendors here, but let’s just say that when a deal sounds too good to be true, the quality control guys were probably all on holiday that week.

So now, as my laptop is in the throes of the second of what are commonly listed as the three major malfunctions of this particular genus, I’m faced with a choice:

Do I spend another couple hundred bucks on repairing the lemon, knowing that Problem Number Three looms out there in the dark, or do I fold and ante up for a Mac product of one flavor or another?

And then there’s the wildcard entry: Computer #3 in the house, the dormant desktop that needs a hard drive.  I could always hit up Fry’s for a cheap and big drive, then install Ubuntu…

…not sure I want to take on that sort of project right now, though.

Anyone having any luck with Ubuntu out there?  We tried Redhat a few years back, and it was more compiling than I was really willing to handle.

If you see a picture of a shiny white computer on this blog sometime soon, you’ll know what happened…