Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Umteenth Telephone Call

Miss Dell returned from the hospital after I spent a horrendous few hours of discovering from the telephone company and Miss Dell's relatives that she needed a motherboard. Expecting six weeks without my companion, I resigned myself to using Sis' computer and gave myself a moratorium from research and answering emails.

To my surprise, Miss Dell left for Memphis for her operation on Thursday, returning the following Monday! Looked fit as a fiddle. I hugged her as I took her out of her cozy box, hooked her up to all the wires required by DSL--making her look like a real patient--and turned on the power.

She didn't blink, wink, or sniffle. Her eyes were dark. I could hear a faint heartbeat when the power button was pressed. SHE'S ALIVE! But her breathing was shallow.

Another phone call to her parents. They weren't home, but their maid-- called a tech supporter-- on call somewhere on the globe, speaking in broken English I barely could decipher, was ready to help me. Time: 2:30 p.m.

--Tell me your problem.
--Well, I sent Miss Dell to the hospital because I couldn't connect her to DSL. She's home and won't even look me in the eye!
--I see. You say she doesn't look at you?
--That's right. She is as dark as night. Like, you know, like she's dead.
--Let's perform a few tests. Hit the power button and tell me what happens.
--OK, I have turned on the power but the little light at the bottom edge flickers.
--What about the second light?
--Oh, it's flickering--oops, it's now off.
--Turn off the power and look at the back of the notebook.
--OK, I'm looking
--See the large latch? Push it and pull out the battery.
--Oh, that was easy. So that's what the battery lookss like.
--Find the rectangular compartment on the left hand side.
--I don't see an opening that shape here.
--Do you see where drive dee is?
--The what?
--The seedee drive,where you put your seedees.
--Oh, yes, the CD drive.
--Take out the screw of the door near the ceedee drive.
--Gosh, I don't have a screw driver that small! Why didn't Dell send me one with the computer?
--Just take out the screw.
--Ok, ok, I'll go look for a screw driver. What if I don't find one?
--Don't worry, we'll do just fine.
(I remembered the small set I bought at the grocery store to repair eyeglasses. However, this Phillips screwdriver is a shaft only. I find a small pair of pliers, hoping to get a good hold on the shaft.)
--Ok, I've got a screwdriver. I'm loosening the screw. Hey, it won't come loose! Should I turn left or right to loosen?
--Just relax. You will do just fine. (Obviously, she doesn't understand my English!)
--What if I can't get it loose? Can we continue?
--I told you not to worry. Let's look at the other side for now. Do you see a screw near oh?
--Where is oh? OH, I see, you mean the letter O. I see it.
--Now, loosen the screw and remove the door.
--Look, I couldn't loosen the last screw; Why do you think I can get this one loose? Hmmm, this isn't as difficult as the other one...I think I've got it...YES,I'VE GOT IT LOOSE!! Now, what's next.
--Take out the memory cards.
--The what? I've never done this before. There're no cards in here.
--The little green memory cards. There are white latches on the side. Lift them out.
--Look, I've never taken apart a computer before. Are you sure you'll stay with me to the end?
--Have confidence. I'll stay with you. Lift the green cards at a 45 degree angle.
--Is it ok to put my fingers on them?
--Sure, no bother. Take them out and put them aside.
--Do you see the small black arrow? Push it towards the right and when you do, take out the ceedee drive.
--You mean I don't have to remove the screw?
--This is another way to get the ceedee drive out. Now, turn over the notebook and power it on.
--Hit the effentee.
--Uh, please repeat that...
--The effentee.
--Sorry, I don't know what that is.
--F as in Frank, N as in Nancy, tee.
--Ohhh, the FN key. Ok, I'm hitting it.
--Does the light turn on?
--OK, turn over the notebook and return the memory cards,the ceedee drive and the battery.
--Don't leave me, just in case I forget where everything goes.
--Just don't worry.

Time: 4:30 p.m. Final diagnosis for Miss Dell: her el eee dees were out. A minor short? The tech said I'd receive new ell ee dees on Friday and she'd call and tell me how to put them in.

Gosh, another few hours to look forward to on the darn telephone. I'm ready for an Apple.

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