So last week, Sunday July 2nd, I was home alone, my wife and her mother having gone to church and the kids all out and about. I was going between working in the kitchen on my supply of meat for the week and playing FF14 in my room. It was nice. The house was quiet except for the background noise of the game soundtrack and, fortunately, it was nice and cool.
For the umpteenth time I moved from the kitchen back into the room, sat on my little stool, picked up my controller and went about doing something in-game that I needed to do when all of a sudden my laptop power went out. I thought it odd, considering that nothing else in the house seemed to have lost power, but with the high temps and everyone in the city running their air conditioners it wouldn’t be the first time we popped a breaker. I noticed, however, that my power line adapter was still on. For those of you who don’t know, a power line adapter is a small adapter you plug into an outlet that turns your electrical wiring into a network connection. The master goes plugged in next to your network switch while the remote can be put anywhere in the house and, assuming they are on the same circuit, you get a wired network connection.
Seeing that the adapter was still on I was seriously confused.
That’s went I smelled the burning.
Moments later, smoke from beneath my keyboard.
As fast as I could I unplugged the power adapter from the laptop and realized, with much horror, that something was burning.
After a little research I found that the physical connection between my second video card, which was contained in the ‘Ultrabay’, a port that can house different pieces of hardware, shorted out, likely from the dust and junk that ends up in our work laptops because we go out into the field with office computers. I was able to salvage the hard drive, memory and SSD drive, but the computer itself was completely fried.
Fortunately I was able to get another laptop by weeks end, but still, no one ever likes to see their computer smoking. Also, if I had left it plugged in and left the house it likely would have started a fire. Not cool, man. Not. Cool.