Someone decided…

Someone decided yesterday that my computer wasn't clean enough. She has been very into cleaning things lately. Generally this takes the form of taking one of Anand's wipes from the container and then wiping (her airplane, her dolly, the couch, etc.) Generally, I think this is a good trend, that she likes to clean, although it does make me wonder if I'm really doing so much cleaning that she thinks this must be a fun activity that mama loves to do. For the record, it is not -- or at least not when you're doing as much of it as I have to with two little ones around. Anyway, the point of this was that she decided to clean my computer, and instead of using a wipe, very carefully picked up the glass of water sitting next to the computer, put her hand in it, pulled some water out, spread it over the keyboard, and repeated the process until I walked over and saw what she was doing (so quietly, so sedately, letting me attend to the baby in peace, and I, fool that I was, had been grateful for her newfound ability to amuse herself). And thus, the computer was drenched and when I picked it up, it dripped water.


I pulled the battery, patted the computer dry as best I could, held it in the air until it stopped dripping, and then put it down. The internet says wait three days before trying to turn it back on, since if there's any water in there when I do, it might spark and fry the motherboard. Thankfully, I had another laptop on campus, which I ran in and grabbed yesterday, so I am not computerless. But the two aren't sync'd up, and there's a tiny bit of stuff on here that I don't want to lose, so I don't want to just try loading the backup onto here. And I'm not absolutely positive I'm fully backed up -- for reasons mysterious to me, sometimes the automatic backup seems to stop backing up daily, so I may have lost a week or two of stuff. Luckily (hah!) I haven't been writing much lately, so I wouldn't lose much fiction. Mostly the typing has been design stuff, either going out in e-mail or uploaded to the web, so that's okay.

Hopefully, my main computer will come back from this. The secondary is a MacBook Air, which seemed really cool when I had the university buy it for me as part of my hiring package, but which I quickly realized is a crippled little machine, and not what I want for my main computer. That's why it's been living in my office, barely used. I guess I'll get used to it if I have to, since I don't think buying a new computer is in the budget anytime soon.

The moral of the story is:

  • don't leave drinks sitting next to computers
  • be suspicious of long contented silences from toddlers
  • don't teach your daughters to clean anything
You pick.

5 thoughts on “Someone decided…”

  1. 🙁 on computer.

    On the plus side, computers often recover just fine from water spills. No guarantees, but I’ve seen several instances where water dried out without causing any harm. (And even if the electronics get damaged, the disk may be recoverable.)

    Did you try blowing air across the computer? A fan or a hair dryer set to cool (not hot) or a can of compressed air? Might help evaporate the water. I don’t actually know this for sure, just speculating.

    Oddly, the sites I’m seeing don’t say to pull out the keyboard or remove the case. I would expect that to help air things out and prevent any water on the keyboard from getting into the internals, but maybe there’s a reason not to do it.

  2. The cleaning part reminds me of “Housework,” from Free to Be, You and Me.

    When I was a kid, I always thought it was teaching the wrong lesson. It concludes “Housework is just no fun,” and “Make sure, when there’s housework to do, that you do it together!” Which I now suspect is partly code for the entirely sensible idea “Make sure that it’s not the woman of the house who does all the housework!” But when I was a kid, I thought they should instead give recommendations on how to make housework fun so everyone would enjoy it.

    Of course, I didn’t have any such recommendations of my own. And although washing dishes (for example) can sometimes be kind of meditative, I certainly can’t say that I find housework fun, as evidenced by how rarely I do any.

  3. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    They said that blowing hot air could do damage, and I didn’t see anything about cool air, so I figured better to do less. Someone did say that putting it in a closed container on a bed of rice would help dry it out, because rice is a dessicant (being careful to put something in between rice and computer, so rice doesn’t get INTO computer ports). But we don’t have enough rice or an appropriate-sized closed container.

    I like doing housework fine, as long as it’s entirely optional and infrequent. 🙂

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