Musings of a rugby-obsessed tech guru. Let's solve some digital drama!

Lesson 1: Your Computer is NOT an Old TV

So depending on whether or not you own a television with cathode ray tubes (CRT) in it, you might recall a time when your TV was acting up: the v-hold was going crazy; you had “snow” all over the screen; or the video game you were playing suddenly went berserk and looked completely scrambled. What did we do to solve these problems? What else…slap the body of the TV! A few bumps here and there and we were back to our viewing pleasure!

Nowadays, the CRT TV is for the most part nonexistent. It’s now either LED screens, LCD screens or both that are found on almost all of today’s modern television sets. My how the times have changed! So what does this have to do with computers? Well if you’re like my last client–who happens to be a friend–you might need to be reminded of the lack of CRTs in today’s modern computer monitor and informed more-or-less on a few basic “Yes and Nos” when it comes to taking care of your computer.

So a friend of mine recently brought over his old HP zv5000 laptop because he needed me to fix it. He said that the display was acting up and he didn’t know why.

Upon removing the keyboard to see if the ZIF–zero insertion force–connector had a tear or something, it is here where I realized what the real culprit of the computer troubles was…the computer’s owner!

When I called him to find out what exactly caused his keyboard to have a dent, his response was simply, “Oh, those are from when I gave it a few chingazos,” which is Spanish for “hammerfists.”

Because of the many “chingazos” he’d given this thing, not just to the keyboard but also to the LCD monitor and everywhere else imaginable, he ended up fracturing his inverter board!

The inverter board relays information from the motherboard to the monitor so you can see what you’re doing on your computer.

Now it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that not only are computers expensive but also FRAGILE (like today’s modern TV). Unlike the CRT TVs many of us Generation-X kids grew up with, if your computer is relatively new, chances are it has an LED/LCD monitor–guaranteed to be on all of today’s modern laptops.

And because there are no CRTs in an LED/LCD display, a simple slap to the monitor WILL NOT solve your display issues…nor will it transfer you back to your Nintendo days of glory (but how cool would that be if it could? Just sayin’ :-D)

Ultimately, he decided to shell out over $600 for a brand new laptop. I’m praying that he exercises better judgement with this new computer. I mean, unless your come from a pretty well-off background, not everyone can shell out that much money on a moment’s notice…and pretty much we all rely on computers in one form or another.

Don’t be like my buddy and punch, slap, shake, and/or throw your computer! Sure you might feel a sense of stress relief to be short-lived by the fact that you destroyed something that cost you somewhere between $500-$1000+ depending on when you purchased it. If you want your computer to last–and function–well beyond its warranty, treat it with care for as long as you own it and DO NOT under any circumstances issue a chingazo! It can’t even defend itself!


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