When it comes to my computer I have a tendency to ramble. It’s hard not to, since in many ways it is the single most personalized object I own – even more so than my recumbent bike. When my old Vaio broke down I thought long and hard about what to replace it with. I ended up with my Asus 901.
It’s not perfect, but it’s a pretty good computer. Small, light, powerful enough to do what I need. But before I left England it had all but imploded on me.
I had spilt a drink on the keyboard – never a good idea – which made several keys sticky or non-functional. The power cord was getting frayed until it finally broke. My memory had been constantly shrinking, to the point where my C drive had only 300 megs left. Watching a video would eat into that to the point where I got “low memory warning” on a regular basis.
The prospect of buying a new netbook, especially after moving and not having an apartment or job yet, was not one I wanted to deal with. Buying a replacement power cord, however, looked like it was going to be anywhere from 100-150 bucks. And that still wouldn’t fix the keyboard problems. And even if I could, it just felt like more and more would go wrong until I had to buy another one anyway – a slowly self-destructing pile of junk.
Fortunately, my father-in-law’s friend Doug is a wizard at computers and computer repair, and has connections to get parts I normally can’t. He found a replacement plug for twenty five bucks after tax, and was able to remove the keyboard and give it a good clean. A couple of non-essential keys still don’t work (like Tab and Cap Lock), but it’s good enough for now. Charles found a replacement US keyboard for 15 bucks which I’ll get in a week or two.
Lastly, I found the Support DVD for the Asus. Rather than having all the software on it to re-install onto the Asus one at a time, it instead has an optical copy of the Solid State Drive. So I blanked the SSD and copied the original factory settings. When all was said and done rather than having only 300 megs of memory, I had 1.9 Gigs! I also added a program that should prevent that problem from happening again, at least for a while. And even if it does, I can do this again just as easy.
So it seems that far from having to worry about buying a new computer, I might be able to stretch out the usefulness of this one for years to come.