Date: 2006-12-22 15:57:00
flaky laptop power connector
My laptop power connector is getting really flaky. It's a poor design (Compaq Presario R3000) and has been getting lots of abuse over the last few years (I almost always use my laptop with the power plugged in because its batteries don't last very long). Lately, it's been randomly losing the power connection while it's plugged in. In order to restore power, I have to unplug and replug the power, which of course is just making the physical connection problem worse. If I plug it in just the right way and orient the power cable just so, and don't fiddle with it, then it sometimes stays connected for a longer time. Annoying, needless to say.

I'm not sure what the best way to deal with this is. Perhaps I'll bring it in to work and try to convince one of the hardware engineers to have a look at it. If I can find a replacement part for the existing power receptacle, and a replacement can be soldered in, that would be great. Otherwise, even if I had a short power lead hanging out of the laptop and a new pair of connectors between the power brick and the laptop, that would be okay too. There's nothing wrong with this laptop except the annoying power connector.

Some of you will undoubtedly suggest, "buy a MacBook!" I've thought about it, but they cost a small fortune here and I don't know whether I'm ready to give up Windows on my primary desktop just yet. Then again, I mostly use my laptop as a web browser and SSH terminal, there's very little Windows-specific stuff I actually use. It's just a matter of familiarity.
If you can hold off until March I'm sure one of the cows could be convinced to smuggle a US-purchased MacBook in to the country. Then again, the NZ$700 or so savings might not be worth the wait.

You know you want one. :)
Oh I'm pretty patient. I've been having this problem for months now, it just seems to have become much worse recently. Then again, it's not likely to get any better by itself.

At least I've got some time to think about it. :)
don't apples have a power connector that only clings magnetically to the laptop so it even falls out more often?
That would be a vast improvement over the current situation. Right now, I might lose power to the laptop at any moment, even if the plug is still physically plugged in. It's a bad electrical connection problem caused by damaged physical connectors.
You clearly haven't used one. You've got to apply a decent amount of force to yank it, but it's also not dependent on the same physical connection to both transmit power and keep the connector in. That means that these connectors will likely last a hell of a lot longer than normal ones.
They cost a fortune over here, too.

And you should absofuckinglutely try OS X. It's *way* closer to unix than it is to windows. Yes, you'll have to fumble about for a while on some of the configuration stuff initially, but it actually seems a shitload easier than on windows.
Remember, Greg had that 12" PowerBook from UD for a long time.
Yeah, we've also got a Mini for Amy and I'm in charge of maintaining it and making sure everything works right. Also, I wrote the OSX Agent for UD so I've got a bit of dev under my belt too.
I guess I'm committing a crime by saying this, but... You can put Windows on a MacBook. Apple makes good hardware, no matter which OS you choose to install.
I was wondering who was going to be the first to mention that. :) That's a reasonably good option.
Also, would you need a MacBook or MacBook Pro? My iBook is a lot more powerful than I expected - far, far more than I need as a web browser/SSH terminal machine, and the (base) MacBooks are a good bit faster in everything except graphics.

Then again, you could probably get a non-Apple laptop that would be "good enough" for web/ssh for a good chunk less than that.
If Greg is really patient... there are some rumors that waiting until late 2008 would allow for some really cool features to arrive (not talking about AMD processors in Macs, no idea when/if that happens).
Heh, I don't think I'm that patient. I think my power connector might become an electrical insulator if I waited until then!
Yeah, I imagine I would be quite happy with a base MacBook, I definitely don't need anything fancy in the way of graphics. Looks like NZ$2k for the lowest model here.

But Apples are shiny. :)
[info]bovineone : docking?
You might also try looking for a cheap/used dock and plugging the power cord into that. Most laptops have a completely separate dock connector, so the flaky connection issue hopefully won't affect the docking.
[info]ghewgill : Re: docking?
I think this one is low end enough that it doesn't have a docking connector at all. I'll look on Compaq's site though.
Greg Hewgill <>