Sunday, October 25, 2009

My monitor

How many of you remember about this time last year, shortly after Ike blew through, that my monitor died? I wrote about it September 21st in one of my "Bits & pieces" posts.

Well, actually I had begun writing about it a week or so earlier, but it was not until the 21st that my son-in-law had a chance (Things didn't get back to 'normal' in their household - or anybody's in the Houston area, as a matter of fact! - for quite some time.) to come over and officially pronounce it deceased. "We said a few choice words over it," I wrote, and then he went over to WalMart - there's one just around the corner from here - to get me another.

All was working well until mid-September this year, when - all of a sudden, while working at the computer, the screen on the monitor went completely white.

I took my big keyboard off the top of the closed computer where it was resting - love my big keyboard! - and opened it up to see what its screen looked like. Perfectly normal. I thought, "Hmmm!"

I checked all of the obvious connections (There are plugs and wires everywhere!), but could see nothing amiss. I even wiggled and jiggled a few. Nothing on the monitor but white. I moved some dust around and blew like crazy. Still no change.

I decided to leave the computer alone for awhile and come back to it later. I thought, "Maybe I'm on it too much." I mean, what did I know?

And so I did. Later, I came back in here, jiggled the mouse a bit and discovered that the monitor appeared to be working just fine. Whaat?! I went back to doing whatever it was that I had stopped doing when everything went white in the first place.

About five minutes later, however, the same thing happened. Nothing but white on the big screen, but everything A-OK on the little. Hmmm! I waited a day or so before calling my son-in-law to ask his opinion about what was going on. I wanted to see if the process would repeat itself over and over again. (I was particularly interested in seeing what would happen after being away from it for several hours, such as overnight.) It did.

I called my son-in-law. He asked me all of the obvious questions. Had I moved anything? Had I accidentally kicked and dislodged something with my feet? Had I checked all of the connections? Etc. and blah. His opinion - without actually making the trip over here to look at it - was that the monitor was dying. "But," he added, "until the monitor screen is white all of the time, I can't be sure."

Well, it wasn't white all of the time ... only after I'd been working at the computer for about five minutes. But then, just a couple of days later, it happened. The screen turned white and just stayed that way, 24/7. I e-mailed my son-in-law, who asked when I wanted him to come over. He had an extra monitor I could use, he said.

The truth? I didn't want him to come over. The house was an absolute mess. "Worse than ever!" I told him. Besides, I was getting used to working off of the little screen with my big old keyboard sitting on top of those little dinky keys. Only I had to be careful where I set the keyboard down. Have you ever had a 'stuck' key? Seriously interferes with your ability to sign in and type messages or blogs and makes all sorts of weird sounds.

I did have one question for him, tho. Did he think there could be a possible short somewhere, either in one of the cords or plugs? I mean, I had been sniffing like crazy and looking as hard as I could, but could detect nothing that smelled or looked 'hot'. (Bein' as how I'm a smoker, I've always been extra aware of how quickly and easily things can accidentally get set on fire. I've never in my life smoked in bed, for example. Can't even imagine such a thing!)

No, he didn't think so, he said, but I continued my sniffing and looking routine anyway. But then, just a couple of days later, a really strange thing happened. The monitor screen all of a sudden started working again - some of the time, at least as well as it did before its 'all white all the time' existence. What the devil?!

If I came in here and there was a white glow in the room, I knew it was deader than a doornail. However, if I came in here and there was no white glow, I knew that it would be working for however long it chose to before going white again. And the times varied ... usually only a very few minutes, just like it had when I first noticed that something was wrong.

I reported this to my son-in-law, who had not the vaguest idea what was happening. I got used to just ignoring the big screen and leaving the little computer open with the big keyboard on top for my use.

But then an even stranger thing happened. I had been sitting here, working away at whatever - maybe even playing Bridge Base Online - when I realized that the monitor screen had been working for perhaps an hour or so. Hmmm! I reported this to my son-in-law, who said, "Hmmm!"

It worked perfectly fine all that day and the next, but then went back into its 'fussy' mode of coming and going as it pleased - all white and nothing working one hour, screen working for about five minutes after startup the next. I became quite used to expecting absolutely anything.

However - there always seems to be a 'however', doesn't there? - it has decided to work 24/7 again for reasons known only to it. For the past three days or so, I have been enjoying the wide screen. Oh, the luxury of it all!

This monitor's problems are very different from what happened last year! When that monitor died, it was a complete and utter 'black death'. No on again/off again white screen, no startup teasers, nothing. I still think it was fried by all of the power surges that came along after Ike, but we'll never know for sure. I mean, no autopsy was conducted or anything.

I asked my son-in-law how long monitors are supposed to last, and he told me that the times varied. The other one that I'd had had been in the family for a few years, so he wasn't too surprised when it gave out, but I wasn't the least bit pleased that this one started acting up when it was barely a year old. I didn't like that one little bit!

One might even suspect that they build things nowadays with little timers set to go off a day or two after the warranty expires and start things going awry, mightn't one?


Tammy said...

"One might even suspect that they build things nowadays with little timers set to go off a day or two after the warranty expires and start things going awry, mightn't one?"... I've wondered about that often, too. I don't like the monitors from Walmart, as they seem to die just after the warranties expire...have had it happen to me TWICE.

steven said...

hi goldenrod, i've always bought apple computers and the only big thing that has happened so far (touching wood) is the logic board on a laptop decided to fly away to the pixilated version of heaven. otherwise ten years of worry free computing. other things go the day or day after the warrnaty expires. dishwashers, washing machines, toaster ovens, cars, clock name it!! have a lovely day. steven

Goldenrod said...

I'll pass along your 'good news' about WalMart to my son-in-law, Tammy. Sometimes he reads my blogs and comments on them (not on the blogs themselves, but in a separate e-mail to me). So, he might even get your info w/o my telling him ANYthing!

Didn't you have some problems with WalMart last year in re your TV?

It's a manufacturer's conspiracy, I swear it, Steven! And how about all of these new cars whose headlights automatically come on whenever the car is in gear? Lightbulb manufacturers' lobbyists run amok, that's what it is!!

I'm pretty sure I wrote very early last year, just after I began blogging, how I first got a computer. (Prior to that time, I was a complete and total 'computer illiterate'.) It was a Christmas gift from my daughter and son-in-law. A complete, but very welcome, surprise.

And so, I can't really be a chooser here. I'm not paying my own way on some of this stuff. (Doesn't mean I can't comment, tho, right?)

I know you've always said in your posts how pleased you are with your computer. That tickles me. Chuck has a Macintosh, I think, with a ton of accompanying gadgets. He's always tinkering.

Btw, guys, I have a white screen again. So what else is new? :)

Jennifer Albright said...

Did you figure out what was wrong with your monitor? I just bought one and it has turned all white. Tried it on two laptops.

Goldenrod said...

My best advice to you, Jennifer, is to return that sucker back to wherever you bought it .. immediately, if not sooner!

Good luck!! And no, I still have not done anything about my on again/off again monitor. lol