—Silvia (part two)…

December 22, 2011

Thanks to Dell’s excellent documentation on shall we say not-so-excellent products of the time, I discovered that a bluetooth card could be installed pretty easily (eBay!). That little blue LED lit up for the first time and I was so pleased with myself. I now had the ability to sync my BlackBerry wirelessly, though painfully slow… and not all files were compatible. Yea.. cool.

I started playing with Linux, or more specifically Ubuntu after a serious hard drive crash (another casualty of that fan). I ran one of their recovery programs to try salvage my data, as at this time the only option Windows was giving me was to install a fresh copy. It dumped file fragments in a bunch of folders. (I still haven’t gotten around to piecing them back together as it wasn’t really critical stuff.) Didn’t exactly save the day, but I liked the concept of Ubuntu, its light weight, and simplicity. And I loved the startup sounds of the drum. So I did some research on how to create a separate partition on a new hard drive I got on eBay, and installed it side by side with Windows. Everything worked so well in Ubuntu. The challenge came in learning the commands, but it detected all my devices and drives without hassle.

The non-working media keys were really annoying me so I began to try to figure out what went wrong. I knew it had something to do with overheating but other than that I had nothing. Turns out the media keys, power button, as well as the Num Lock and Caps Lock LEDs are on a “daughter board” that plugs in to the mother board with a really crappy connector. And since Dell decided to go with so much plastic, over time the case warped pulling the connector apart. At first I just tried applying pressure on it to keep it together. Then I wedged a tiny piece of folded cardboard between the board and the case to try to force it back into place, but the case flexed so much it would conk out with every keystroke. I needed better tools.

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