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today's events

Crisis! I was going for my measuring cup, and a wine glass fell out of the cabinet and utterly shattered! Oh no! Except, it fell into the large kitchen sink. Total shrapnel containment! Except maybe for one piece on the counter, I don't know if it leapt up there or fell off when I was picking up pieces to put in the trash. But yeah, as far as shattered glass crises go, this was about as mild as it could be.

***

I'm not experienced or bold with hardware. But I've been worrying about my laptop fan for a while. Partly the temperatures reported by acpi -t[1], partly the knowledge that I'm much better at washing dishes than I am at dusting my household, and between me or my tendency to live on mildly busy streets, the dust piles up amazingly fast. So I randomly decided today to see if I could clean it out a bit. My old set of screwdrivers doesn't have one small enough for laptop screws; fortunately, in cleaning a few months ago, I found another set of screwdrivers I got who-knows-how, which does. Sometimes, hoarding really does pay off.

So I carefully took out and arrayed the screws -- I could have been more careful, put them in a cup, but I trusted my careful habits, mostly correctly in this case -- and eventually got one part of the bottom off, exposing the fan. There wasn't that much dust, actually; either it's piled up in the internals, where I'm not brave enough to go, or the fan actually works. There was some dust on the battery grill, and a lot on the fan grill -- kind of a lot: enough to obscure vision, not so much that I was rolling off felted mats. Then again, I took a hand vacuum to it quickly enough.

Apart from that, meh. Put it all back together, cleaned the table, turned it on, and hey, it still works! *And* it's claiming a much lower temperature than it usually does. Success?

But, we have some screws loose -- literally. Most of the screws are pretty short, but two were long and deeply recessed. And a couple seemed to just fall out of the laptop, too -- one long, one short. I thought I had everything lined up properly, and I don't remember any holes being screwless in the first step, but in the end I was a short screw short, despite supposedly having an extra. I don't think it'll matter, the panel is secured by two other screws (but it's a dust hole!), but, weird. As for the spare long screw, I put it in a coin purse.

[1] Such as they are: it was alternating between 56.5 C and 62.5. And not in the course of operation: one boot would be at 62, the next at 56. Now it's claiming 36.5. So I don't have a lot of faith in the accuracy, but insofar as it's measuring anything at all, that may have improved.

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Damien Sullivan
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