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Programmed obsolescence: my laptop has died

A brief history of computers getting old

Programmed obsolescence: my laptop has died
6 June 2011

What a weekend... as soon as I wake up on Saturday I turn on the computer and I see with horror how my screen fills up with lines and pixels like crazy. I reboot and it gets worse. I reboot again and the screen goes black!!!!!  :*******((((

It was the graphics card, an Nvidia 7900 GS with 256 MB of VRAM. Apparently, the card gets very hot and because the fans of the DELL Inspiron 9400 jump very late, over time the solder joints have been cracking to the point that they no longer make good contact (I have learned this by reading forums of poor unfortunate people like me).

After some research, I found some crazy people who say that they have fixed their graphics cards by putting them in the oven at 200 degrees for 10 minutes. It may sound crazy, but it makes sense. That way the solder joints reheat and re-solidify fixing the cracks caused by the drastic temperature changes.

My laptop cost me $1,400 in September 2006 and I refuse to give it up for dead. I don't want to succumb to industry shenanigans to force me to buy a new one. The other day, talking to my friend Ari about this issue, he told me to watch the documentary "programmed obsolescence". The story of how different industries program their products to stop working when they reach a certain date in their life. Yes, it's true. It is not an urban legend. It's consumer society taken to the extreme.

Back to my graphics card... the thing is that I have put it through the oven 3 times and I have not been able to fix it :( I have started to look for options on eBay and I hope I can find a solution soon because I can't be without a working computer!

I don't know if it was the death of my PC, but Saturday night I ended up with Alex (my roommate) and his friends. They were having a barbecue and we joined in. We ended up pretty drunk on Tequila, coconut liquor imported from the Philippines and beers everywhere. Sunday was spent hungover watching Oprah and fixing the 1001-movies-to-watch-before-you-die post. What a job it is!

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