Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Motherboard Saga

I never really thought about motherboards until February 10th! One moment I was using my computer and the next......the computer was gone. Just blank. While living in a third world country something like this puts me in a panic. It is hard to find car and computer parts here in country. I had this gut feeling that this was going to be a frustration and indeed it turned out to be. And to make matters worse, Renee's computer died on the 13th. She sent a scholarship application and the next moment the computer was dead. It was really quite strange how they both died the same week.

I am actually quite surprised to be on the computer today though, as I had resigned myself to the fact that the computer was a goner and when we get back to the states in July my problem would be solved!

When we moved to Jamaica 4 years ago, I brought Ryan's old computer for Renee and me to use. Two years ago it died. When Den went back to AGTS for a class he was able to get it repaired for Renee to use and then he purchased a new one for me. Toshiba's are better for humidity and seem to do better in island climates.

When the computer died on the 10th Den was able to find a little computer shop here in our town to confirm that it was the motherboard. The computer man wasn't able to get a motherboard but we were excited about being able to bring one in with the evangelist that was coming to our house on February 22. Den knew it would be tight to get one shipped to Kevin in North Carolina but worked real hard to get it done.
While searching for the motherboard he learned that my computer was no longer being made and this made the search even more difficult. Ryan and my father joined in on the search. Then all of a sudden the Toshiba company promised they had one and so Den got it shipped to the evangelist.

He brought it in through customs and all went well in that regard. Den gets it over to the computer man and lo and behold it was not the right one. Kevin will return it when he leaves the island on March 8. All was not lost because the VFCC team arrives on March 9 so the three guys continue the search! Den finds one and the company guaranteed the delivery to VFCC only to email 2 days later and say that is was not available. This happened 4 times with 4 different companies. Talk about frustration.

That is when I resigned myself to the fact that I had written my last Jamaican blog and facebook was a thing of the past!!

More importantly than facebook was the question, How is Renee going to do her homeschooling course and finish by May? I told the homeschool advisor that 2 computers had died and one is in the critical care unit! Den's computer is not long for this earth so it has to be handled very gingerly and 3 people using it may cause it to die before we get home in July!

I have helped Renee with her Information Technology class, so I know that without a motherboard, you simply have a black box to stare at. I know that the only thing a motherboard doesn't do is the power supply. I know that the motherboard is the brain of the machine, that is why it is called a MOTHERboard, hehe!
I know that without a computer in today's age work doesn't get done, homework gets slowed down, I mean even Renee's library only has encyclopedias from the fifties, friends lose contact, business emails don't get answered and the list goes on and on.

Yesterday we were prepared to take the information from the 2 computers that died to Den's computer for Renee to continue her studies, she is really behind and today.....a different story!

The computer man asked if he could try something and that he did! He went to that motherboard and showed who was in charge! He re-soldered contact points in the motherboard and re-worked the circuit board and today it works!!! I am hoping that tomorrow it does too! He took a look at Renee's computer and said that there is no hope for that one! We thought there was no hope for that one 2 years ago so we got extra mileage out of that one!

Looks like a little city to me. Sure is amazing when you look at a motherboard from this point of view. I wonder if any little people live in there! When I was little I used to think that there were little people in the television set.

One thing that amazes me about the Jamaican workmen is that he can take a huge problem (with a car or the computer) and break the repair down to a soldering gun and some wire that would be a throw away in the states. It has amazed me since the time we arrived and now getting close to the time we leave. Amazing people for sure!

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