A bit of bad news by SwooshyCueb

So, my laptop battery has decided that 40% is essentially 0%, and I'm not getting even close to the battery life I was getting two days ago. Thanks to Linux's amazing power management, I used to be able to squeeze several days out of a single charge, but now I'm usually getting about an hour before the machine shuts off.

In addition to that, I've also been putting off getting a new AC cable. (These things don't last long, do they?) If I don't hold my mouth right when plugging this thing into my laptop, it doesn't actually charge the battery. For whatever reason, when it's plugged in and not charging, overall system performance suffers greatly. A small problem with this model laptop is that the power cable tends to slip out rather easily, so when I've got a full charge and it slips out, I have to leave it out for a few minutes so I can tell whether or not I've plugged it in properly when I plug it back in, as it won't actually charge if the battery is already full.

I'm also missing a couple of keys from the keyboard, and I need to get the CD drive replaced, but these aren't really a priority to me. Unfortunately, these are the only problems I'm currently having that are covered by my service plan, as the battery is an aftermarket extended battery, and for whatever reason the service plan doesn't actually cover the AC cable. I'm not sure if this is because the plan just doesn't cover it, or if it's because I paid for one out of pocket about a year ago so I could have it rush delivered. I'm also hesitant to call up Dell because they always try to replace my backlit keyboard with a non-backlit keyboard. I absolutely need this backlit keyboard. Furthermore, the last technician they sent clearly did not know what he was doing, and watching him root around in my laptop gave me quite the anxiety attack.

Barring any miracles or drastic changes to my budget, this likely means I won't be able to afford MFM this year. I'm terribly sorry to anyone who was hoping to meet up with me in Olive Branch, but it looks like it will have to wait yet another year. My budget is much tighter than I'm used to at the moment, as I'm having to pay for summer courses, and I may have lost some of my scholarships for the fall semester.

TLDR: It looks like I'm not going to be able to afford MFM this year, as I need to replace a couple of expensive components on my laptop that are not covered by my service plan.

A bit of bad news

SwooshyCueb

18 July 2014 at 09:15:19 MDT

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    This may sound ridiculous, but have you tried taking the battery out and blowing on it?
    Preferably with Canned Air, I had this older Toshiba Model which the battery was going the same way of not charging, or running out incredibly fast. Two Problems came up: The Battery wasn't able to sit securely in the socket when used so even just tilting it brought it down to saying it's an emergency, and other problem was because it was loose it just accumulated dust and food when transported in a backpack, so the nodes had less area of contract.

    Also AC Cables' life span is usually cut short by coiling. Which is also why some people end up going through a pair of headphones every week. Some people tightly coil cables because it makes it easier to store or looks more organized et al, but loosens the wire on one or both ends. Which is why some wires end up only working if you hold it at the right spot like it's a TV Antennae. There's a few ways to tie cables that don't loosen them but lately I've just gotten a new backpack with a pouch as a dedicated space for the AC cable.

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      Just blew out the contacts on the battery, so we'll see how that works. I'm not holding my breath though. (Pun intended.)

      I haven't ever really bothered with tying up or coiling my power cable. I take my laptop with me everywhere so that would probably end up eating up an hour of time every day. The damage to this particular cable, I believe, is mostly caused by the laptop end being at peculiar angles for extended periods of time. (Example, it comes out of the laptop, and as soon as the actual cable part starts it makes a 150 degree angle turn.) I do try to avoid this, but I don't always notice when this happens.

      The last one died because the big plastic block that contains the transformer and rectifier heated up enough to melt the outer insulation, which made the physical strength of that segment of the cable weak enough for part of it to sever while it was in my backpack.

      I've had the backpack I have now for about five years, which is amazing considering every backpack I've had prior has only lasted me about four months before giving out on me. When this one wears out I'll look around for one that has a pocket specifically for the AC adapter.