Report Card

If my blog were marked alongside the GCSE exams then we can be sure of a few things:

  • It wouldn’t get lost in some farcical mishap involving a train and a briefcase
  • Full marks would be awarded for consistency of layout
  • The final mark would read “must try harder”

Trouble is, you see, June has been so monumentally busy that I’ve lost track of time. During the time since my last blog entry (24th May) there’s been a whole host of things happened. Given that I only get a chance to blog at weekends, things have been quite sparse on the update front:

  • A barbeque (thanks Sharon and Chris)
  • A wedding (congratulations Rhys and Nicola)
  • A trip to Sunderland (long drive!)
  • Another wedding (congratulations Natasha and Chris)
  • A birthday party for a 4-year-old
  • The in-laws visiting for a weekend
  • A week in Devon with said relatives
  • A birthday for Katrina

All of that in just 4 weeks. I don’t remember having that much of a social life at university… maybe I don’t remember it for a reason though…

Added to this was the unfortunate incident of spilling a good quantity of lemonade into the keyboard. This has ended up making my “E” key very sticky and hard to press. Combine that with my naturalisation onto my work laptop and suddenly typing on my home PC keyboard feels quite wrong. Every keystroke is just a little too stretched to be comfortable.

Hopefully normal blogging will resume soon(ish). Now where’s that magical time-machine gone?

Ust a Nimute!

Hurrah! I’ve got the keyboard fixed on my work laptop today.

When I’m working at home, Lucy often wants to come and say hello to me while I’m sitting in the kitchen. She likes to sit on my knee and watch me working on the computer. Unfortunately, she also likes to play with the keyboard.

Somehow, the other day she managed to flick the cap off the letter “J” on my keyboard. I’ve done this myself many times: if your nail gets caught underneath the key it can jump off. Normally quite easily fixed, but for some reason this time it broke one of the plastic mounting, rendering it unrepairable.

This meant that, while the ‘J’ key was functional, you touched the bare membrane underneath, rather than pressing a proper key. This was a bit of a pain, because one of the main passwords that I use several times a day at work contains a j character. I promptly changed that password, because it was becoming annoying to try and type quickly when you can’t even feel the key you’re pressing.

Normally my ThinkPad T42p would now be classed as beyond economic repair (it’s over 4 years old) and a new one would be ordered. Three or four years ago, I would have jumped at the chance of a new machine, but age has provided me with great wisdom and has demonstrated that shiny kit syndrome does not always pay dividends. I decided to try and hold out for a fix, otherwise I need to go through the pain of getting a whole new machine setup from scratch, not to mention the problems which had been reported with some of the newer laptops which were becoming standard issue.

Thankfully, one of the very kind people in our local tech support department managed to source a used keyboard from a dead machine and I fitted it myself in about 5 minutes. Three screws in the bottom, shove the keyboard at the top, pop it out and remove the ribbon cable. Swap keyboard, reverse the instructions and done.

The only problem is the type on the ‘N’ and ‘M’ keys are worn off, but that’s only a problem if you don’t know your way around a keyboard. Mow where’s that buttom for creating a mew post?