03 October 2008

Let's just continuing screwing myself, shall we?

First, yes, I'm still sick, and still COMPLETELY high on cold medicine. I did not trust myself to drive this morning because it took me 15 minutes to put my shoes on. Second, my life is awesome, per my problem below, for which I am soliciting advice from you, internets and friendly folk who live in/on/inside of/with the internets.

Last night in sleep-dazed blear, I knocked a glass of water off of my bedside table. Onto my NEW LAPTOP. Whose coverage, in all of its extendedness, does not cover water damage. I took the hard case off and mopped up as much water as possible and sort of left it open and upside-down-ish to dry. This morning there was all this condensation on the screen, which was a troubling sign. I have it all backed up on my portable harddrive (good news!) so the data itself is not a worry or a factor. As of this moment I haven't turned it on, because I remember hearing somewhere somehow that if you fuck up your electronics with liquids, it's best to leave them off. I don't remember for how long. When should I turn it on to see if I broke it? Probably I did, but I'd like that confirmation, yknow? Also? Does anyone know if computers have those little thingies that cell phones have that turn red when watered? I would assume they do, but if that's so, I'd like to look at it meeself, because sometimes I've damaged my electronics with a full glass of vodka or by dropping them in the toilet or whatever, and that little white dot has miraculously not turned red, even a little bit. And if THAT is the case, I like to pretend that I don't understand why none of the buttons on my cell phone work, and just take it in to be fixed all full of wide-eyed innocence. It works. For me. So these are my questions, Internet:

1. Does my MacBook have a water damage indicator somewhere on its insides?
2. If so, would I be able to take my computer apart enough to check that myself before I start telling the tech guys that I DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED just to look like a jackass for lying when they check the thingie that may or may not exist? I'm fairly competent with tools and the dis- and re-assembling of THINGS, but if it requires a microscope or special apparatus or something, then it's out of my league.
3. If the answer to the first is yes, and the answer to the second is no, is there a supplemental insurance policy I can buy that covers water damage that I can buy and then wait a week or whatever to use and get my computer fixed? AppleCare is not the answer, because it specifically does not cover water damage. I've totally done this with cell phone insurance (why is it SO easy to drop your cell phone into a shot glass coffee cup?), does the same thing exist with computers?
4. If the answer to the third is no, what the fuck do you recommend I do if there is something dramatically wrong with my little computer?

UPDATE To answer some supplemental questions I've received:
The computer was off at the time of the spill, and I took out the battery.


  1. Dude, I feel like an ass.

    I saw your Twitter cry-for-help, missing the fact you had a URL in there, and thought you were looking for advice... as in like... lifeadvice. And THEN I saw the URL about your laptop accident, felt like a total tool, and deleted my Twitter update offering you to call me and talk for advice.

    SO to answer your cry for help for real this time, my best suggestion is to leave it off with the screen up for a couple of days. If it was just water, everything should dry out in a couple of days. DON'T plug it in, and definately remove the battery if you can. If corrosion is going to happen, you want to make sure it doesn't seep its way to that.

  2. Holy crap. First off, I'm sorry you feel awful, but yay for cold medicine-induced haziness!

    Second, OMG your laptop. I don't know if Macbook has a water indicator for damage but let it dry out, maybe remove the battery, use a hair dryer if necessary and try to turn it back on. Then I would take it in to the Apple Store and play dumb.

    I hope you feel better!

  3. I'm the most non-geekish person alive...but would like to let you know the very laptop I am typing on at this very moment once had a giant (and I do mean GIANT) glass of tea spilled on it. It did not work for 4 days. And then...wow! Who knew? It works just fine...well...uh...er...except for the fact that I think it has some kind of virus I will never figure out and that I have no idea where the 'scroll down' key has been for something like a month.

  4. A few months ago, my youngest spilled OJ on my new MacBook.

    You've done the right things so far. The Apple Store suggested also placing it around rice. B/c rice absorbs moisture.

    Mine wold NOT turn on after the dry out and I went to the Apple store and they took it in the back and ran some tests, did some magic, replaced the battery (free of charge) and it has worked ever since.

    OJ is much worse than water b/c of the acid and the sugar.

    They say that at some point I will have to have it repaired ($800) but I might as well wait until it is kaput to do that.

    I'd say stop at the Apple Store on your way to the Sleep Is For the Weak event. Are you still going? I'm not sure I can make it - I have a ton of work this weekend and I was hoping to catch some music at the FREE Hardly, Strictly, Bluegrass.

    TMI? Good Luck. Tweet me if you ARE coming in town. I still really would like to meet you in person. -V

  5. While I offer very little in the way of helpful answers to your questions, I can absolutely relate to the depths of clumsiness and frustration you describe. Just yesterday, I accidentally dropped my keys in a dumpster while throwing out the trash. Disgusting... just disgusting.

  6. uh, less than ideal news from this end. my macbook got about a quarter cup of soda or crystal light (something) on the keyboard last spring. i turned i over, dried it up, etc. worked fine for a few hours and then never turned on again. i dissected it (easy to find instructions online on how to do it) and left it for a few days, and sadly, it never "dried" out to the point of function.

    the really bad news is that i also played dumb with apple & had it mailed in for applecare. within a day, they of course contacted me because they somehow knew it was damaged by a liquid. my guess is that there are several such red dot mechanisms in the thing, but i have no clue. anyway, apple's policy when that happens is to replace everything the liquid COULD have fucked up, rather than testing component by component to see what is actually damaged "which you can do on your own if youd like" but your apple care is then null in void. fantastic, $850 policy that is.

    good luck dude.

  7. I washed my cellphone once. It was in my pants pocket and I washed it. It wouldn't come on, so I took the battery out and put it in a ziploc bag full of rice. After about a day, I tried to turn it on and it came on but the screen still had condensation inside. I probably should have put it back in the bag, but the heat of having it turned on seemed to dry out the screen. So maybe you can kind of do something similar with a laptop but placing it in a trash bag with like a whole bag of rice or something. I would close the bag but not seal it with tape or anything. I used instant rice. It actually does work on phones. Also you can buy those bags of desicant that you find in shoes and purses and stuff, and those supposedly suck out moisture too.

  8. Oh, hell, I hate it when that happens. Plus, you've got a cold?
    I have a rider on my homeowners insurance for that very reason, and they will replace it if I do it again.

    I spilled coffee on mine, and I think because it was sticky that it never worked again. My friend had luck with water by keeping the laptop off for days.

    Good luck!

  9. Thank you world. I'm going to try the rice.