Take it easy, take it slow

Volume 10, Issue 24; 26 Mar 2007; last modified 08 Oct 2010

It's possible to use a laptop with a broken fan. It's not easy, but it is possible. Unless you want to get real work done, of course.

The fan on my ThinkPad failed. It failed once before, but that time the machine knew it wasn't working and wouldn't start. This time, the machine seems to think it's fine, but it isn't. Bad things happen if the machine works too hard. Or they would, except some kernel module is smart enough to execute a controled shutdown when the temperature sensor reaches 85°C. (This is definitely a feature. The alternative probably involves smoke and possibly fire.)

So, what can you do at less than 85°C? Practically speaking, not much. You could read mail except that spam/virus filtering is way too intensive. You could write weblog essays, I guess, but building the actual weblog is way too intensive. Copying images off a digital camera would be ok, except that converting them from raw to JPEG for previewing is too intensive. You get the idea, I'm sure.

I had planned to start thinking about a new laptop this summer, intent on buying one just before the warranty on this one ends. But warranty or not, if it won't run reliably, it's going to get put out to pasture sooner rather than later. To Mac or not, will again be the big question.

In the meantime, the laptop is off to warranty repair again and I'm struggling to (re)re-build a work environment on this desktop box. Productivity may suffer a bit this week.