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Thread: Just your friendly neighborhood guru....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    on the landline, Mr. Smith
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    Default Just your friendly neighborhood guru....

    My neighbor across the street just became a switcher. His son is an sys admin in the Porrtland OR. area, working on Linux and Win systems. The son got a MacBook a while back, and loves it: every OS he needs, and is liking OS X more than he expected. So he talked to his dad - my neighbor - into switching. Neighbor is raving about his Macs. That's right, two: MacBook C2, and a 20" imac C2, both with 1GB of RAM. Nice way to go.

    So what do they need a guru for?

    Two weeks into the honeymoon......teenage daughter spills a soda on the MacBook while it is running. Luckily she had the presence of mind to immediately turn it over so the soda would drip back out of the keyboard, instead of down inside. The 'Book would still run and appeared to suffer no internal damage, but the keys and the trackpad/click button were so sticky that they were unusable.

    He asked my advice, and I suggested we wash out the keyboard. "Really?!", he asked. Nothing to lose, I suggested. The keyboard was trashed, so worst case and we kill it, he would have to buy a new one.....same as if we didn't wash it out.

    Cracked it open thanks to nice instructions from over at ifixit.com. A littlte tricky, but easy compared to ibooks. The entire top comes off as one piece: keyboard, track pad, and power button, all integrated together. One 1/4" ribbon cable connects the assembly to the logic board. About a dozen very small phillips screws hold on the top case.

    They were so lucky. drops of soda on the HD, optical drive, the CPU heatsink and heat pipe, the fan, and even one on top of one logic board component.....but nothing on anything to cause a short.

    Carefully cleaned the internal components. Soaked the keyboard assembly in warm soft water and worked the keys until they felt perfect, then rinsed it again. Let it dry for three days to be sure there wasn't so much as speck of moisture.

    Fired it up, and everything is perfect. No sticky keys, buttons, and the trackpad is silky smooth. No screws left over either.
    Last edited by unclemac; 12-07-2008 at 11:14 PM. Reason: typo
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Under the Midnight Sun
    Posts
    656

    Default A job well done!

    Glad it worked out
    MacBook Pro Uni 2.4GHz with express card slot

    iMac G5

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    7,056

    Default

    Yes, definitely well done. Of course, the dark side is that they will be coming to you every time there is even a hiccup. I have three, two communicate by phone with Intel iMacs, one in Oregon, one in Maryland, and of course Da Boss with her iBook G4. Not sure how I communicate with her. k

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    200

    Default Nice Save

    I might have suggested a final rinse with distilled or deionized water but heck it worked, Nice save.
    Bob

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    on the landline, Mr. Smith
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    Default

    Yeah, I thought about that too Bob. Would have prefered it. But it worked, and I doubt there will be any minieral deposits to worrry about with the pounding a keyboard gets. And the softened water has very little minerals in it, at least compared to untreated tap water. I hope.

    Kaye: you are right, more folks to support. But that is the price of fame I suppose.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Mt. Holly, NJ USA
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    247

    Unhappy I wish distilled water would fix things

    around here
    Tom Babb

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    237

    Default

    Where my wife works, after someone spills their coffee into the keyboard, the IT fellas come and get the keyboard give you a spare, and then in about a week they give it back. All nice and clean. So my wife asks, "how do you get it so clean?" "We put it through the dishwasher at home. On low heat and pull it out before the dry cycle. Let it dry a few days." I kinda half throught they were kidding her. But, . . .

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    on the landline, Mr. Smith
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    Default

    Probably not kidding.

    Done a a few times with desktop keyboards, and it has always worked with no issues. Gave me enough hope to try it on this one.....I did not know what to expect about the track pad though. Afraid I was gonna wash all of the magic dust out.

    Update: Neighbor just brought me a nice bottle of Red Zin. Living in wine country has its perks.

    Cheers!
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    1hr N/W of LA LA Land
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    3,318

    Default

    I've cleaned beer out of a few mixers in my day. Much worse than coffee or soda in a keyboard.

    The soft water will probably be fine. The important thing is to make sure it's completely dry before powering up.

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