DO I LOVE COMPUTERS?? I don’t know. Sometimes they just take over your life. I have been struggling with numerous computer problems for about two weeks.
First we needed more RAM. “Oh it’s a simple task”, they said, "just take out the two old sticks and put in the new ones. Nothing to it".
So we bought the two new sticks, and one day when I felt like wrestling with the computer we made the move.
Now our computer desk looks pretty good from the front most days. But I’ll bet your computer from the back looks like ours does. Less than three foot square to get into, the darkest place in the room and a mass of wires plugs and what have you, including dust.
O.K. So all I have to do is get into the space with a flashlight, pullout all the plugs attached (and remember where each one goes for when we put it back together again) then pull out the unattached computer. Now I’m not skinny or small, and getting up and down out of a chair is sometimes not so easy, but I thought it might save us a hundred dollars or so if I did it myself.
It took me about 45 minutes to get into the space, pull out all the cords, label them and then get around to the front of the computer to pull it out into the room. DONE.
O.K. so now I’m breathing heavily and my knees are hurting but I’ve got the computer at hand. So how do you get inside it? I naturally thought of a screw driver, but didn’t see any screws that looked like they would give me access. Then I saw a part that said ‘Lock’. What was it locked with? I pushed and pulled and fiddled -- very gently, in case I broke something.
Aha! Half an hour later I found the secret: push the ‘lock’ part back and carefully wiggle one side of the computer off, without bending or breaking anything.
Behold! The inside of the computer!
What? Where? I wish I’d thought to take a photograph. The whole inside was covered with a thick layer of dust and I couldn’t see anything that looked like the sticks of RAM I needed to take out.
I found one of my largish paint brushes with soft hair and began to remove the dust. Dust bunnies everywhere! But I was very careful. Half an hour later I could actually see wires and soldered bits and a small fan, but I couldn’t see anything that looked like the sticks of RAM I needed to replace. Maybe if I turned it on its side I would be able to see better.
Carefully I tipped it on its side like it was an unexploded bomb. All I knew was that I had to treat it carefully or – just like that – we’d be shelling out several hundred dollars for a new computer.
Success! There were the two memory sticks tucked away where I could now see them. I’m not sure how I got them out without breaking the little plastic tabs that held them in, but I did.
Quickly I replaced the old sticks with the new ones. Then I put the computer back together and replaced it in its slot in the desk. After squeezing into the space at the back of the desk again, I carefully replaced all the plugs.
An hour and a half. Job done!
Feeling smug I turned the computer on and checked to see how much RAM it was now showing.
WHAT? No change? One of the new sticks was not working. “Probably not tightly in place,” my son said when I called him. This time I went to the computer web site where I read that to place the RAM in its appropriate slot, one must PUSH HARD – perhaps with as much as twenty pounds of pressure! Should have looked at the web site in the first place!
I made a cup of tea and sat down heavily in the arm chair. I’m not going to go through all that again today, I thought. But after sitting for half an hour and enjoying the cuppa’ I decided that the second time through shouldn’t be nearly so bad, since now all the dust was gone and I knew what to do.
I was right! Twenty minutes later the computer was up and running with the right amount of RAM and I decided I deserved a degree in computer technology.