I’m immensely proud today because I took my laptop apart, cleaned the optical drive’s lens and put it all together again. And it’s still working. And now it plays DVDs again.
Lately I had been spending quite a bit of time gazing at nice and shiny and new Macbooks. (Also at spinning wheels again, but that’s another story.) And then I asked myself why I wanted a new computer that badly. Apart from it being shiny and new, that is. My computer is now four years old but then it’s working fine, and I don’t really want to spend that kind of money right now. So I sat down with myself and thought about why I want a new computer. And then I found that there are two things about my old one that drive me crazy: 1) the battery is no longer working so I always have to take the cord and plug with me, and 2) the DVD-player isn’t reliable anymore, it only reads certain DVDs, and sometimes it decides that it doesn’t like a certain DVD right in the middle of the film. That’s very annoying.
Now mostly my laptop sits on a desk in my studio-office-room but every day in the evening I unplug it from everything that is attached to it, and haul it, an external DVD-drive, the power plug, the drive’s plug and cable, and the current DVD of choice off to the kitchen so that I can watch an episode of Dr. Who while my son sleeps. With earplugs, of course, but I keep the earplugs in my handbag near the kitchen.
When I first got my laptop I would go and sit in the garden and write or surf the net but I no longer can because of the battery. Having to bring all that other stuff with me every single day when I move the computer from studio to kitchen and back is annoying and I really don’t like it. Often I leave the external drive in my bedroom where it clutters my dresser. At one point I contemplated making a bag that holds all of this stuff at once so I could better move it back and forth, and then I thought again. Of course, if the problem is the battery and drive what I need isn’t a bag (though bags are good, I like bags), what I need is a new battery and a new optical drive.
And so that’s what I’m doing right now. I ordered a new battery (and I hope it will arrive soon), and I looked around on the internet and found a tutorial for getting at the drive, and one for cleaning the lens of the DVD-drive with alcohol and a q-tip (some people say you shouldn’t use alcohol by the way, just so you know). So that’s what I did today. I unscrewed a gazillion teeny tiny screws, I put them on the table in order so that I would remember which one to put where, I almost broke the drive when I tried to open it, I almost gave up three times, I cleaned it, I had to put the drive back in and out again six times, and in the end I broke some plastic thing that should have held a screw (but the screw is still there and is not lose, and the thing it was supposed to hold is not lose either, so that’s good), and then I put it all back together again, turned it on and tried it out and – it’s a miracle – it still works and it even reads DVDs again. Yeah!
This is just one example of the things that go on my nerves day in and day out. The small things. The top of the dresser that’s crowded with yarn because I have been wanting to get a new shelf for the yarn but I haven’t. The heaps of CDs on top of my stereo that don’t have a place to go, the magazines that are sitting in a pile on the floor because they don’t have a place to go, the pair of jeans that I have to pull up every other second, the sneakers that are scruffed and on the verge of disintegrating, the handbrake of my bike that doesn’t quite work, all these things, insignificant and tiny things those bother me the most.
And I was only reminded of this because I finally decided to do something, anything about the things about my computer that had been going on my nerves for more than a year at least.
What’s bothering you?