Tag Archives: Water

Leaky Laptop

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My friend has brown gunk leaking out of the bottom of her laptop. I’m not able to see it in person, but the above is what it looks like. She says that nothing has spilled on her laptop, but that’s the only explanation I can think of. Could it be something else?

Grynx has a couple of interesting posts on this kind of thing: One post describes rain getting in to a router:

It didn’t look that bad from the outside, but gee it really looked bad on the inside. The brown gook is what was left after the water dried. It seems like the water wasn’t that clean and that it contained a lot of minerals which has rusted.

He points out that the problem is not the water:

The water in itself is not your enemy but what is contained inside the water is. Especially the minerals which will be left after the water evaporates and in this case it went really bad as the minerals decided to corrugate.

I can only assume this is what has happened to my friend’s laptop. Over time the water has gone but left behind the minerals which have corroded the circuitry inside. What can be done about it? Well, the best thing would be to take it in for servicing, but if you wanted to try to resolve the problem itself, there are some interesting solutions among the responses to the post, and in this post on cleaning a laptop that has suffered from a wine or soft drink spill.

Among the tips:

  • Clean the laptop as soon as you’ve spilled something. Don’t just dry it out and think the problem’s gone.
  • As soon as you have done the spill, turn the laptop off and disconnect the power. Remove the battery.
  • The key is washing off the residues. Suggestions: compressed air, rubbing alcohol (which contains Isopropyl alcohol), contact cleaner, WD-40, distilled/deionized water.
  • When you dry it out, leave it for several days. Use a hairdryer and/or compressed air as well.

There’s another video here on cleaning up a spillage from eHow.com.

All these stories, however, have the computer/device not functioning. My friend’s does. But with that kind of gunk coming through, I can’t help feeling its days are numbered.

Update: Apparently, it’s not a liquid spill but a partial melt of the rubber seal around the hard drive, a problem not uncommon in the model (a Toshiba Portege R100.) It explains why the machine is still functioning, for now. Sounds like a design fault they need to fix.

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How Not To Build Buzz

How not to build buzz in the blogosphere: Tell bloggers how to do their job. Just got this in my inbox from Bubbler:

Hello from Glenn Reid, founder of Five Across (Bubbler people),

We’ve shipped Bubbler 1.0, and the world is starting to notice.

John Battelle, one of the founders of Wired Magazine, posted to his blog yesterday asking who might be using Bubbler. Check it out at batellemedia.com and add a comment and a link to your blog if you are excited about it.

I’m sure this is not really from Glenn (the from email address is announce@fiveacross.com), and actually Bubbler is not a bad tool. But I’m not sure telling bloggers to link to another piece is going to appeal to their sense of having their own brain, not least because Battelle’s piece doesn’t say more than

Bubbler seems like a cool idea, I’d heard of it before, and now SVW has a write up. It’s something of a mashup between blogging and first generation webpage building apps…if anyone is using it, lemme know…

I can well understand it’s hard to hit the right note when approaching bloggers. I think the best way is just the simple, straight way: ‘This is what we’ve just done, let us know if you’d like any more information.’ I’m convinced the way is not to tell them how to do their job. That said, by posting this I’ve now done exactly what they asked what they asked me to, so I suppose it does work.