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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Geek Gurus

I am one, in some ways. And so is my beloved spouse. I'm good with software, he's great with networking, and in general we get along just fine with our consumer electronics. Of which we have plenty.

But when it comes to things like hardware choices or actual repair of a piece of hardware (especially laptop hardware), we tend to consult the experts. At Chez Gamers' Babes, this is usually one of our Friday Night Gamers, in particular James (Lizzy's Best Boy) or Nate (my future in-law, if Abby has her way). James found my laptop for me after exhaustive questioning as to what I really needed and what I really wanted, and what I could live without. He took into account the environment (yeah, three kids and a cat - it's a dust bowl in here) and my pocketbook, and found me what has proven to be the perfect computer for my school-and-work-from-home purposes - a Lenovo G555 widescreen (15.6 inches). I love it.

And a week or two ago the screen started to go out. It still seemed to be working in the background (I had sound, for instance) but the screen would flicker and die at odd intervals for a couple of days and eventually it would show the booting screen and then flicker to black. After extensive troubleshooting online (thanks, G+ buddies!) and in person, it was determined that at least part of the problem is the video inverter. Great, I can get that for $9 from an ebay store. So it came in the mail, Nate came over to test it and... well, it worked in and of itself, but it didn't solve the problem. More troubleshooting (mostly on Nate's part, although with a few panicky pointed questions from me to help him along) ensued. Turns out that the LCD cable (which is of course IBM-proprietary and therefore not available locally, even at Redmond Cable) has a short. This we know because after cleaning it all and plugging the LCD cable in, the picture came up, but the second we let go of the cable, it flickers again. Okay, how much can an LCD cable be?

It can be $44 plus shipping, that's how much it can be. Or I can get the whole screen assembly for $70. Of course, given that I am unemployed, either is moot, at least until next week. Or maybe the week after. Unless I can find that part for less money so I can order it sooner, I'm still using the kids' computer - the one they use at Grandma's house. They're getting impatient with it not being available.