Computer Blues


There are those who learned computers sitting on someone's lap and there are those of us who were the lap they once were sitting on and now we are learning from them. I admit computers entered my life in 1986. Now our children and grand children grow up with computers, not so with my age bracket.

Computers continue to be a learning experience for me. Recently I completed doing my tax record keeping and popped the CD into the tray to back up my work. Slid the tray into the laptop. Ever have the weird intuition that something was wrong? When the tray slid back out, it was empty. No CD in the tray. Tilting the computer, doing the shake, and crossing my fingers, but nothing produced the CD. It had disappeared into the unexplored cavity of the laptop. Not only did the data need to be backed up but that was the last blank CD disk.

Life has its challenges. Now I could have gone into full panic mode and gone screeching out of the driveway in a mad dash to the Geek Squad, collapsed into a fit of despair or reached for the last of the box of Valentine chocolates. Independence is both a good thing and a bad thing. No computer was going to get the best of me if I could help it.

Second set of options were to
1. Calm down. Frayed nerve decisions are sometimes risky.
2. Read the directions in the computer manual. No, that is always the last resort.
3. Call for help. Screaming was a consideration but a phone call to my techie son seemed like a better option.

Doug, my techie son, calmly taught me
1. Unplug every connection to the computer
2. Remove the battery from the laptop. "Stop, please, I pleaded. How do I do that?" He explained that I should look for a thumb slide and gently remove the battery.
3. "Look for a screw or a set of screws on the side of the computer close to the CD cartridge or one on the underside of the computer around the CD cartridge area." "Yeah, I found one on the underside of the laptop. Uh oh, it takes a very tiny Phillips head screw driver." "Do not use a screw driver with a magnetized tip," he is strictly cautioned. "Computers do not like magnets." The search is through all the drawers, tool boxes and jewelry cases in search of a tiny Phillips head screw driver. Finally found one in the case of a multi purpose Swiss army knife set. Now the task is to remove the screw without stripping the threads. "Wow, it is out."
4. "Slide the CD cartridge out carefully." I poked and prodded, wiggled and jiggled, and even tipped and looked, but nothing happened. "OK, the next option is to put everything back together, power the laptop on, open the CD tray and power the laptop off with the CD tray open." "Now gently tip the laptop and do the shake, rattle and roll move until the CD slips out." Being a lady who knows how to take instruction, and that I was desperate, I accepted. Suddenly out slid the MIA CD disk. "Alleluia, alleluia, uh oh." Along with the CD came the entire CD cartridge assembly. It landed on the rug, bounced once and came apart. Hmmm. "This could be a problem." Perhaps I should have gone to the Geek Squad after all. The good news is that the CD is recovered. The bad news is the disassembly of the CD cartridge.
5. OK, the tray needs to slide out of the cartridge with the tray up. Slide it back into the laptop, snap the front back on the cartridge, and gently turn the laptop over on its face. Now the fun of replacing that tiny Phillips head screw. Done.
6. Cross you fingers, think wonderful happy thoughts and take a big drink of espresso. Here comes the big test. Insert a CD in the tray and gently secure it in place before sliding in the CD tray. The butterflies are in total disarray; it is either nerves or the big drink of espresso. A strange whirring sound emits from the laptop. I eject the CD and gently slide it back into the laptop. Silence. The tension is worse than meeting your new mother-in-law for the first time when you know you have a spot on the front of your shirt. Could it be, yes, it is music playing from the CD. It works! "Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia."
7. "Thank you, Doug, does not seem like enough. If anyone ever complains or criticizes a geek from here on I'll feel like kicking them in the shins." A geek has just saved my laptop from eating and digesting the last CD.

Next time you see a geek, give them a hug for me. Alleluia. Not only that but I learned something in the process. We are never too old to learn new tips, tricks and techniques.

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Source by Elaine Love