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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

More dumb computer stuff

Okay then. After setting up a functional but old and slow computer I went back to see what I could do with my netbook. The first thing I did was a long overdue backup. After that was done the computer started acting wonky again so I shut it down.

With all the files saved my next plan of action was to upgrade the Ubuntu software. What the heck, it might have been a software problem, right? Wrong. All that did was give me a nicer desktop display of a malfunctioning computer.

So it was down to hardware. My keypad looked pretty crappy so I thought I might as well remove it and see what happened. To run the computer I plugged in a cheap USB remote keypad. That did the job. Perhaps there was some sort of short inside the keyboard? Whatever it was it caused my computer to act in a lot of weird ways. Looked like the harddrive was dying.

My little Aspire netbook computer is now in the sweet spot of technological obsolescence. It's still recent enough that parts are available, but it's old enough that suppliers are selling parts for whatever they can get. Originally a replacement keyboard was over $50. Now it's available for $12.88 -with free shipping.

I'm going to keep the old tower computer handy, just in case. Plus, instead of squinting at the 10 inch monitor on the netbook, I've connected the display to a big 22 inch monitor. That way I can keep pretending I don't really need glasses.

I'm glad the fix was so inexpensive. There are other things I'd like to spend my money on right now. For example, I took advantage of Memorial Day sales and purchased Thule roof racks for my lovely wife's new car. A car isn't fully useful to me until it has a good set of quality racks. Gotta have some way to carry my canoes. Over the years I've carried everything from lumber supplies to furniture on roof racks. They make all kinds of fancy straps and holders for Thule racks, but I'm a big believer in good rope and knowing how to tie my knots.

Oh, helpful hint. If you ever need to work on a computer, see if there's a youtube instructional video. After watching a couple of videos on my little tablet I discovered removing the keyboard was a lot easier than I thought. (another helpful hint, have a second device like a tablet or smart phone to watch those videos on.)



  1. Replies
    1. I have to at least try to fix stuff before replacing it.

  2. I've got roof racks for the Jeep, but we don't use them much because I've got the F250. I never really trust roof racks, I'm afraid something will blow off and kill the elderly woman driving two feet off my rear bumper.

    1. Good racks, good cordage, good knots -and to heck with that tailgating granny . . .

      I can haul 12 foot lumber inside the van, so that's what will do most of the heavy lifting.

  3. Lots of good info on YouTube. I'm glad you have the problem fixed for now!