Skip to main content

REPLACING A KEYBOARD: YOUTUBE MAY NOT BE YOUR FRIEND

I bought my Acer Aspire 5336-2615 laptop about six years ago when my old tower went on the fritz. It's been my home office, on my desk, main machine ever since. It doesn't travel. Well, it did follow me when I moved across the Atlantic from eastern Pennsylvania to the south of France. But it's not used as a portable. It stays parked on my desk most of the time. I use a tablet when I'm in other parts of the house or on the road. Oh, I do take the Acer downstairs to the router when a direct connection is desirable over my slower WiFi if I have large files to upload. Basically, though, the Acer just sits there.

It's been a workhorse for the simple tasks for which it is used. Word processing. Lots. Surfing the internet. Lots. Streaming video and music. Lots. No gaming but it is the platform on which I prepare a two-hour internet radio program every week. That means stitching together two dozen songs or more with appropriate commentary into a single MP3 file using fairly complicated sound editing software and a USB microphone. So it's a busy little beaver. Doubling RAM to 4 GB helped speed things up. And a 500 GB portable hard drive keeps the Acer's available memory within reason and assures backup in case of implosion. Given an initial price of about $350, I have had no complaints...until recently.

The left-side Shift key stopped working. I googled, poked around a bit, and discovered that uninstalling the keyboard and restarting might work. It did. Once. But using the right-side Shift key was a reasonable if inconvenient workaround. Not reasonable, however, was having to use the number pad when several of the number keys quit working. And not having the ( key available at all was simply unacceptable. The interweb agreed. There were no quick hacks. Time for a new keyboard.

New keyboards for my Acer are cheap as chips, even in France. You have to be careful though. My first search resulted in an AZERTY keyboard with the key tags in French. But QWERTY keyboards with tags in English are readily available.

Then I made a mistake. I watched a YouTube video showing how to replace an Acer keyboard. I thought that it was specific to my Acer. It wasn't. Or maybe it was but the presenter was simply an idiot. Bottom line? It advised pulling the damn machine just about completely apart. Whoa. Not for me. I'm a reasonably handy guy. I can put together complicated IKEA furniture that will function perfectly without leaving any leftover parts on the floor. But I will not gut my computer on my own.

Fortunately, a young lady lives just down the street whose car carries signs announcing her computer repair business. I called. She came. I'll call her Mlle D. Yep, the keyboard needed to be replaced. Up we went on amazon.fr. We made certain that we ordered an English-language QWERTY keyboard for the right model. A few days later, the keyboard having been delivered, I called again. Twenty minutes later, we were sitting together at the kitchen table. I watched as Mlle D opened a toolkit not much bigger than a couple of decks of cards, one on top of the other, filled with tiny tools. She attached a small screwdriver blade to a multi-purpose handle. And then, after taking out the Acer's battery, she proceeded to pry off the keyboard. Seriously. She pried off the keyboard. Carefully. But she pried off the keyboard. Simple as that.

Merde!

After pulling off the keyboard, disconnecting the cable from the motherboard, and attaching the new keyboard's cable without snapping the new keyboard in place, Mlle D reattached the battery to make certain that all was in order. It was. Snap after careful snap and the keyboard was installed. The price? Embarrassingly low. After all, she explained, you're a neighbor and it only took 20 minutes.

Sometimes, even when life throws you a curve, you can still hit a single. 

You can watch a video of the right way to do it HERE. I wish that I'd seen it in the first place. The presenter claims that his website contains a searchable database that includes videos for many popular models.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

RESTAURANT ETIQUETTE IN FRANCE: SIMPLE PRIMER (WITH TONGUE IN MY AMERICAN CHEEK)

My recent reading of a poor internet review of a favorite restaurant of ours prompted this post. Some people simply should not be allowed internet access. Speech may rightly be free, but it shouldn't be worthless. From reading the review, I could determine that the reviewer was a tourist who started out in a bad mood because he had to pay extra for parking a camper van that exceeded the maximum height for parking in the free lot. His party arrived at the restaurant at the end of lunch and without a reservation. At first, he was told that an empty table that he pointed out was reserved. When he persisted, he was informed that lunch was over. Since none of the other restaurants in town were still open, the reviewer had to miss lunch. Let me count the ways... RESERVATIONS ARE NECESSARY. Maybe not at Burger King, maybe not in a touristy restaurant in a touristy destination. But if you are really hungry, if you really want to try that restaurant that everybody's talking ab

RESTAURANT TEN, UZES: RESTAURANT REVIEW

Ten sits just off the market square in Uzes, one of the prettiest villages in southern France. The newly renovated space is airy and comfortable with tables of sufficient size and sufficiently spaced to provide for a pleasant dining experience. Service was cheerful, fully bilingual, and attentive without being overbearing. The food presented well to both eye and tongue. And the rate of approximately 30 € per person for a party of five included starters, mains, a dessert or two, two bottles of local wine, and coffees at the finish. Reasonable if not cheap eats.  So why am I hesitant to give an unqualified thumbs up?  It took me a while to figure it out. Uzes is a quintessentially French village in a quintessentially French region of southern France. There are those who will say that the Languedoc is just as beautiful but less crowded and less expensive than its eastern neighbors. I know. I'm one of those people. But the fact remains that for many people, villages like Uzes are t

BAD NEWS, FRENCH MORTGAGE, SAUSAGE, AND BITS AND BOBS: #13

  CONTENT The news ain’t what it used to be.  I’m retired. I have wifi. I have Reuters and Google News and Flipboard and The New York Times and more sources for ‘content’ on my phone than I could ever need.  Not so long ago, scanning through those sources was enjoyable, might even have evoked a chuckle or two.  Remember the Chris Christie meme? How many ways could an obese governor lounging in a beach chair be photoshopped into wildly inappropriate current events stories? As it turned out, lots of ways, lots of very funny ways. Where are the memes featuring the politicians of today that evoke laughter and not disgust?  COVID. Trump. Boris. Putin. Ukraine. China. Climate. Supply chain. The price of energy. The price of food.  The world is too much with us... ON THE OTHER HAND UPI reports that a chicken walked up to a security area in the Pentagon, unaccompanied and unarmed. Yes. A chicken. Not a Bird Colonel. An actual chicken. With feathers. When I was in college, we stole