Home > Misc., OSX > Must…have…laptop…


Well I’ve been without my MacBook Pro for over a week now. I think I’m having withdrawals.

But wait, how am I writing now? WIZARDRY? YES! YES, IT IS WIZARDRY! No wait, maybe it’s just because I have a PC as well. Sorry to get your hopes up. Anyways, here’s the basic story.

I had my macbook pro, and like the fool I sometimes am I was drinking some milk next to it. And…you can guess the end of this story. No? Uh…okay, I’ll tell you. I turn around and knock the milk all over my keyboard. For future reference to all you out there, don’t EVER let this happen by placing a beverage near your laptop. You’ll be wishing you’d just gone without the soda/milk/whatever instead of having to deal with sticky keys.

Of course, me being me, I couldn’t live with sticky keys. I wanted to clean underneath.

So I plucked off each key. And lo and behold, nothing happens! I checked all the keys after I got them off and none of them were damaged in any way. So I take a q-tip and some rubbing alcohol, and spend some time cleaning the keyboard. There’s all sorts of crud under there, dried milk, stuck hairs, anything you can think of. No, not monkeys, monkeys weren’t under there (unfortunately). I also used tweezers to get rid of whatever was inside little crevaces. I made scratches to the plastic underneath the keyboard but hey, as long as the milk and stickiness is gone, all would be well in my mind.

So I then take the key caps (that I plucked off the keyboard) and begin cleaning them with a q-tip as well. Then I pour some rubbing alcohol in a cup and put all the key caps in the cup, and FINALLY go to sleep (by this time it’s around 3:00am).

When I wake up, I drain the cup of the rubbing alcohol, and rinse off each key cap individually in the sink (almost losing a few keys down the drain in the process). Then, naturally, I dry each key cap separately with paper towels, and use my floor heater to further dry them. Satisfied with their condition, I begin placing them back on the keyboard.

And I break 8 of the key caps.

You see, each key cap has a VERY fragile “pinsir clip” on the bottom. See this guide for more information about the specifics of what’s underneath each key cap on this model of the MacBook Pro (15″ early 2008 model; it also explains how to “safely” remove the keys as well).

So I ended up typing on the keyboard anyways, just pushing down the little plastic parts underneath the key caps when I need to use that key. For a while it was working but eventually one of the plastic pieces came off; AND, as I was still using the keyboard while finding the best place to get it repaired, some of the OTHER keys that I thought I successfully put back on broke spontaneously while I was typing. Happy happy joy joy. For all I knew EVERY single key on that keyboard might be just waiting to break off so I knew I had to get it repaired.

Thus I took it to a mac repair store to just replace the entire keyboard, and they told me it’d be done in a matter of 3-4 days for only $150 USD! I was more than excited, as everywhere else I found was much more expensive and told me they’d take much longer. But as with many things, such luck seems too good to be true, as the other day the store called me and told me that “Apple must have sent them a defective keyboard” because my computer “wouldn’t turn on,” and that I shouldn’t come to pick up my computer until “they called me”. Well now it’s Friday, and they’re only open until 5pm on Thursday, so I’m guaranteed a wait until Monday.

The moral of this story ladies and gents? DON’T BOTHER CLEANING YOUR KEYBOARD IF YOU SPILL SOMETHING IN IT. Just get it replaced if the keys are sticky; if you’re not an expert it’ll save you time and money getting the entire keyboard swapped out instead of making my mistake and wasting time trying to clean it yourself only to break stuff in the process.

Oh, and the answer to the brain teaser in my last post was 2. If you have two cakes, then regardless of how many bridges and trolls there are you’ll always have 2 left over because each troll will take away 1/2 of your total which is 1, and then give you one back. 2*0.5+1=2. Go here to view the source of this teaser.

Anyways, leave a comment about a computer self-repair attempt of yours that went horribly wrong.

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