Happy New Year all!
It's almost two months since I wrote anything, mostly due to lack of time: if I haven't been working, I've been sleeping.
This weekend I've been holding a "laptop clinic" for the family. The result is one repaired and working keyboard, one cleaned and working DVD drive and one completely trashed BIOS - not caused by me I might add.
The keyboard - fairly simple. A liquid induced burn out fixed by an eBay purchase.
The BIOS - no solution really.The laptop is a geriatric Acer TravelMate with a seriously screwed chip. Randomly set BIOS passwords and nothing past the time and date shown on the Basic Settings screen. It was to the point where it wouldn't even recognise any of the hardware properly. This will be cured again by eBay I suspect. I was able to salvage everything of importance of the hard disk so no real loss.
Now the DVD drive. If you have a family who like to grow their hair long, and you start getting problems with their computer and home entertainment kit, don't go looking for you nearest repair man first, go looking for the large hair ball (or similar) wrapped around the central spindle of the drive. It'll save you money!
Go careful out there people - it's a rough world.