March 13, 2006 — A few days ago I was working at my computer when it made a few clicking sounds and stopped. I couldn’t get back into it when I tried.
I took the laptop to one of the local repair shops and the owner looked at my laptop within 10 minutes of my arrival and let me sit in his workshop and watch him. (This is typical of the kind of response we’ve gotten from so many different kinds of service here in Mexico. In the US, I’d have left the computer and gotten a call eventually.)
It turned out to be a motherboard problem, and he described my options. I could order a new motherboard from Dell but with shipping costs and Mexican import customs costs, it would cost nearly what a new basic Dell would be. It just so happened that a big Dell exposition was going on right now in Guadalajara, so I could go there the next day and order just exactly what I wanted. Mexican Dells can be ordered with English keyboards and versions of Windows, but I’d have to wait about a month for it to be built in Panama and then shipped to my doorstep via UPS, Fedex, or (reputed to be the best here) DHL.
“So I have to get a new computer!” I exclaimed happily. I do love computers!
Yesterday a friend helped me to extract what I could from my hard drive, using a little case he put my hard drive into which had USB connections. I got all the most important recent files before the hard drive itself died too. (I’ve blogged before about the “good bad luck” Kelly and I seem to have.)
Was it the fluctuating Mexican power, even though we use surge protectors and Kelly had created a grounded circuit? Didn’t seem to be. Destiny has decreed it’s time for me to get a new computer.
After some time online, I decided not to go into the Guadalajara expo. Kelly has a widescreen Toshiba that I’ve been jealous of since he got it last year. I could get one locally but it would cost over twice what one costs in the US, as there are steep customs duties. For now, it’s back to sharing a laptop with Kelly. We did this last year without murdering each other!
UPDATE: I ordered one online in the US and friend brought it down a few weeks later. Excellent!