Donut Age: America's Donut Magazine

Strange but true technology fixes

I was rather amazed some months back when I discovered, while trying to solve a faculty member's printing woes, that the consensus fix for gunked up inkjet cartridges is to nuke them briefly in a microwave and even more surprised when it actually worked for said faculty member. I think, however, I've found an even less likely (and less advisable) computer fix. Shortly after getting my MacBook Pro last May, the latches that keep the laptop closed stopped working. It was one of those irritating problems that one never fixes because doing so would be more inconvenient than just living with it.

Tuesday night, I fumbled a nearly full mug of coffee directly into my lap, which was occupied by my laptop. All I could think to do was hold the machine up vertically, so the coffee would run off it quickly. Eventually, it also occurred to me to shut it down. An indeterminate, but definitely non-zero, amount of coffee got into the chassis of the computer. I left it turned off and standing A-frame-wise on some paper towels for a couple hours. When I dared to turn it on again, it did manage to start, but it was being very wonky and it was past my bedtime, so I gave up and started contemplating worst-case scenarios. I'd made a complete backup only a few days earlier, so I wasn't too concerned about my data, but the likelihood of being without my computer for several days at the least was truly horrifying

The next morning, I went to work and steeled myself for assessing the damage I'd done. First, I noticed with surprise that the latch had magically started working again. Then I turned it on, and it booted up just fine. Not trusting my good luck to last, I did an immediate full backup and then begin gradually putting it through its paces. Since then, it's been working as well as it ever has. Aside from some coffee stains on the keyboard, there seem to be no ill effects from that little shower.