Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I dove into the world of owning my own computer when I bought my first Gateway back in January 1997. I was still living at home at that time, and busy finishing my last semester of college. It was fun to be able to do all my homework on a computer and not a word processor (soooo boring), but what really fascinated me was connecting to the world wide web! That computer got a lot of use, including the huge cow box it arrived in. I still use that box today to store my wardrobe for the different seasons. Currently, all my summer clothes are in it!

When I moved into my apartment, of course the Gateway came with me. I continued the world wide web obsession, even though dial up left something to be desired. Ah well! It was fun!! And then suddenly, my computer died. NOOOOOO!! I had started going back to grad school, and well heck! I needed a computer!! So, I used part of my loan to buy another one, and I got another Gateway. It was a thinner model, and it wasn't a tower model, which I found kinda nice as it didn't take up too much space. I got through my grad school degree using it, and then it started having problems. NOOOOOOO!! I could barely get the thing to power up, and every time I did, I tried my best to save files and such on CDs. And then finally one day, that one died!! 

And so, I bought a Dell! I was tired of trying with the Gateways. My Dell worked quite well for some time, and then it started getting dinosaur-slow. Even though I was now hooked up to cable modem to get on the internet (which, let me tell you, I would leave as the very last thing to give up when trying to trim bills!! It's soooo convenient!!). Soooo, I looked into my first laptop! I bought that in June 2008, another Dell! It looks like this!

So, it's been almost 5 years since I've had this laptop, and besides a few issues here and there, I think it still works pretty well. It's not ancient slow yet, it seems to work, and I'm really hoping that'll continue for several more years before I really need to consider buying another one. The only problem is that up until this afternoon, my keyboard looked like this:

Yes, that is MY keyboard, not a stock image I found on Google like the ones above! lol Notice that some of the letters are completely scratched off? And the ALT key on the left side of the space bar is completely gone? Well, maybe the fact that I use my laptop pretty much every day, also pretty much several times a day, caused the poor keyboard to get so worn out!! Now, the scratched off letters weren't really a big problem for me. I'm one of those people who don't look while they are typing. That's because I had a typing teacher in high school who was VERY STRICT, and apparently I memorized the letters so I wouldn't get my knuckles rapped with a ruler (yes, I'm serious, and no, she was not a nun!). Unfortunately, if someone else tried using my laptop, and they used the hunt-and-peck method of typing, they mostly looked at my keyboard and got frustrated since they couldn't find the letter they needed!  What was bothering me a LOT was trying to actually hit some of the keys. Certain letters would basically need a body slam before the letter would show up on the screen, and then sometimes when it did work, the letter would show up at least 4 times. GRRRR!! 

I tried several methods of getting the letters on the keys. My sister tried using a Sharpie over the summer. That lasted only a few days, and my fingers got rather black. Then K. suggested using some labels he gave me a few weeks ago. I did try that, but I think the labels were too old. After several days, the letters started to peel off. And so then, he suggested using a permanent marker, and after letting it dry, trying to put a clear coat of nail polish over it. Hmmm, ok. Tried that, and failed! Even after letting the marker dry overnight, all the letters smeared out as soon as I put the nail polish over it. lol

So last week, I finally started researching how to change a keyboard on a laptop, and if that was even possible. Guess what?? It is! Then I looked up my Dell model on Ebay, and found several keyboards for sale. But before I bought anything, I searched for videos on Youtube for directions on how to replace the keyboard, and how easy (or hard) it was to do. I found a great video that made it pretty easy, watched it at least 5 times to get the steps down, and then went back to Ebay to buy a keyboard!

**By the way, aren't you amazed at what is out there online to help find info?? I mean, I googled, ebayed, Youtubed, and ebayed again for this entire thing!! LOL**

Today I got the keyboard in the mail. I was excited and nervous!! I was about to try being a techie geek!! I watched the video one more time before shutting down the laptop. I took stuff apart, being ever so careful not to break anything. Within about 10 minutes, I had this!

I DID IT!! I changed out my keyboard, and I didn't kill my laptop in the process! AND, the keyboard works!! WHOOO HOOO!!!  I'm so proud of myself! So, I will contine happily using my laptop until it dies, and I really pray that I didn't just jinx myself saying that!!! LOL


sunshine said...

WOW, I am utterly impressed with your tech skills, good for you, nothing like make the best out of a bad situation and the best part is you saved some $$$ in the process... Good job!!!

Teddybear said...

I am impressed as well, not sure I could do that. I have been trying to get the battery out of my laptop with no luck. Once it is in there it is hard to remove. Great Job.