December 22nd, 2006


flaky laptop power connector

My laptop power connector is getting really flaky. It's a poor design (Compaq Presario R3000) and has been getting lots of abuse over the last few years (I almost always use my laptop with the power plugged in because its batteries don't last very long). Lately, it's been randomly losing the power connection while it's plugged in. In order to restore power, I have to unplug and replug the power, which of course is just making the physical connection problem worse. If I plug it in just the right way and orient the power cable just so, and don't fiddle with it, then it sometimes stays connected for a longer time. Annoying, needless to say.

I'm not sure what the best way to deal with this is. Perhaps I'll bring it in to work and try to convince one of the hardware engineers to have a look at it. If I can find a replacement part for the existing power receptacle, and a replacement can be soldered in, that would be great. Otherwise, even if I had a short power lead hanging out of the laptop and a new pair of connectors between the power brick and the laptop, that would be okay too. There's nothing wrong with this laptop except the annoying power connector.

Some of you will undoubtedly suggest, "buy a MacBook!" I've thought about it, but they cost a small fortune here and I don't know whether I'm ready to give up Windows on my primary desktop just yet. Then again, I mostly use my laptop as a web browser and SSH terminal, there's very little Windows-specific stuff I actually use. It's just a matter of familiarity.