Netbook CPR

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.

Yay me!