Charles Engelke's Blog

February 27, 2004

Two Icons of American Products Don’t Mix

Filed under: ThinkPad — Charles Engelke @ 1:13 pm

I finally did it: spilled a Coke across the keyboard of my
ThinkPad. I was tired at the end of a long day far from home, making me very
clumsy. There was also a lot of clutter on the hotel room desk as
I was gathering all my stuff to pack for my return trip, and as I
was avoiding the clutter, I knocked down the Coke can.
The Coke was more than a foot from the ThinkPad, but
I knocked it over with a lot of force.

At first everything seemed fine. I mopped up the spill, and ran
a damp washcloth over the machine to clean it off, and it kept running
just fine. But after I powered it down it wouldn’t turn back on.
Not only no boot, but no visual appearance of any activity at all.
Just the faint sound of the CPU fan, without even a hint of disk
activity.

Several hours later it worked again. But now the keys felt like they
had padding under them, making it hard to type. The ThinkPad needs
a keyboard cleaning, or maybe even a replacement.
Even if I were willing to live with the
soft keystrokes, eventually the ingredients of the Coke would
corrode the electronics. In the meantime, I’ve been lucky to be
able to swap my hard drive into an identical ThinkPad, so I’m not
really having to pay a personal price for my clumsiness.

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