It was Saturday night, and I was getting dinner ready when I heard the crash. I knew what it was before my fiancee yelled my name…yet again, my netbook had gotten tangled and flown off the coffee table. My Toshiba has been through this a few times and it never flinches. But this was different.
I had forgotten to clear the table before leaving the room earlier in the day, and I left a full glass of Crystal Light Pomegranate Cherry on the table. And when my fiancee tripped, I think you can guess where the flying glass of liquid aimed itself; direct hit, right on my poor netbook.
Luckily, years of reading various internet forums left me with some idea of what to do. I opted for the “throw it against the wall and see what sticks” approach. First, I yanked the battery. Then I put the computer upside down over a floor vent to dry out the keys. Finally, I stuck it in a ziploc bag full of rice, in a cardboard box, under the refrigerator (I read somewhere that under the fridge dries out soaked gadgets). And then I waited.
It took everything I had not to check all day Sunday, but I left it until this morning. And when I took it out of the fridge/box/bag/rice combination, I really thought it was not good news. There were red splotches all over it, and the rice was barely pink, so I feared it had not pulled enough moisture away. Holding my breath, I popped the battery back in and booted up…and to my amazement it booted fine! Immediately I grabbed an external hard drive and backed up a few important files.
The keyboard gave me some trouble, especially the spacebar. Lots of sticking. Francis had suggested taking the computer apart and wiping down everything internal with isopropyl alcohol. I didn’t have the right screwdrivers to tear it all down, but I did have a can of compressed air and alcohol wipes. A few passes with the wipes, followed up by compressed air, and the keyboard was back to its bouncy self.
I still can’t believe my netbook survived a direct hit like that. If it had been hosed, I think I would have hesitated to spend top dollar on a new one. With the iPad, Notion Ink Adam, and many, many other tablets coming down the pipeline, I would be hesitant to buy a new netbook when I know I’m drooling over these future devices. Luckily, it’s a moot point, as the Toshiba has truly shown itself to be a nearly indestructible laptop! Not bad for !
Do you have any stories about gadgets brought back from the brink of destruction? Any tips for the next time I decide my netbook needs a bath? Share them below!