in the name of Cthulhu and for the love of all that is holy has anyone seen this laptop cord????

Technical difficulties; the story of my life. And bitching about them publicly seems to be the key to success in my life. They were supposed to have ended nearly a year ago, when I arranged to buy Eve, my fantastic new (lightly used, only driven on Sundays, albeit by a Vangroover singleton, not a little old lady) laptop, a Dell Inspiron. It has bells! It has whistles! It has the machine that goes PING!

It has a dead laptop cord.

And, of course, they are available for sale. For almost exactly half of what I paid for the computer in the first place.

I went to ReBoot, my favorite little DTES computer bits and bobs shop. They were very sweet and went through all their cords and turned up blank. I went to FreeGeek, which I dare not do by myself since they’ve probably read what I’ve said about them (repeatedly, over the last three years) and would off me if I walked in without escort, so I got an intimidatingly-tall escort and away we went to the retail shop of Freegeek, where we were told “You want a laptop cord? You’ll have to wait till So-and-So gets back. He’ll be back in a half an hour. Maybe.” No, here’s the box, you can look through it yourself. No you can leave the model here and we’ll see if we have it. Nada.

I believe the technical term for this is “par for the course.” I do believe they mean well. I do believe they have a wonderful mission. And I have never, not once, seen them deliver that mission to anyone on the Downtown Eastside, although I have frequently offered my ear to my friends who have to vent about their experiences therewith.

I support them, I really do, I just wish they didn’t routinely suck.

Anyhoodlewinklewhatever, we rooted around for far too long anyway and So-And-So never showed up and they didn’t have the cord in any of the boxes we could get our paws on, nor did they seem to have any index of anything they had. Or if they did, they weren’t telling.

Which brings us to YOU!

Knowing as many people in the tech scene as I do, I have reasonable faith that one or more of you has, in that inevitable pile of plastic-coated macrame under your desk, a cord exactly like this except for the fact that it, you know, works. It is, of course, unlike every other cord on the face of the planet (certainly different from all of mine, and who thought we’d ever see the day when I have an extensive collection of laptop cords, eh? and a fine lot of good it has done me).

And the netbook I’ve borrowed from my friend Cathy Browne is, of course, unable to upload the pictures of the laptop cord, so I’ve had to wait a week and a half until Roland had the brilliant idea to take the chip and upload the pix to Flickr from a computer that could do that, which is really something I should have thought of myself, except that experiencing the internet by essentially looking through a straw has a way of limiting one’s vision over time.

And now, to the sexiest centerfold you’ll ever see (assuming you’re a retro-tech perv who doesn’t get out much):

Back of the brick of the power cord

Back of the brick of the power cord

Super duper closeup action of laptop cord brick wooo, exciting!

Super duper closeup action of laptop cord brick wooo, exciting!

and this is what it looks like supine. Did you know that word, supine?

and this is what it looks like supine. Did you know that word, supine?

and another aspect:

the pointy bit Tab A which goes into Hole B in the computer

the pointy bit Tab A which goes into Hole B in the computer

Three the hard way, the bit that goes into the brick

Three the hard way, the bit that goes into the brick

And that’s all she wrote, except that there’s a reward for the first person to solve this problem for me. I dunno what, but it’ll be nice, I promise. And unusual, considering the source. I ain’t got nuthin usual. I’m all out of it.

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18 thoughts on “in the name of Cthulhu and for the love of all that is holy has anyone seen this laptop cord????

  1. You can buy universal power supplies for laptops. Big office and tech department stores usually have a bunch. Belkin and Targus make them.

    They come with a bunch of different adaptors and have an adjustable voltage.

    The important bits are: 19.5v output at 4.62 amps. You need exactly 19.5v. You need at least 4.62 amps. And the plug that goes into your computer has to be the same type and polarity. The rest doesn’t matter.

  2. I am assuming that you are looking at replacing the 110v lead rather than the entire power supply brick.
    The ADP-90AH-B power supply 110v lead is the “Dell 0K2596
    Power Cord”. A quick google on “power cord K2596” should get you a list of replacement options.

    cheers :)

  3. Without all the possible parts, I have NO WAY OF KNOWING whether I need to replace the whole thing or just the 110v lead. Woggling the lead back and forth does nothing, sadly. And the brick doesn’t light up at all anymore.

    The issue is that, having been laid off from one of my blogs recently, I’m not in a position to purchase anything other than groceries, and even then nothing from the meat department.

    I know there are adaptors out there for sale. But I’m not in a position to buy them or I would have done it weeks ago.

  4. Hmm.. see how two of the pins in this plug are joined together? – http://www.flickr.com/photos/roland/3971302680/in/set-72157622367961451/

    That looks very close to an IEC C7 or C8 plug, which is the standard cable used for all sorts of devices like radios and stuff:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEC_connector#C7_and_C8_connectors

    If it’s just that 3-pin cable that has failed, you may get it to work by using a standard 2-pin cable. Probably you have one laying around somewhere. It won’t be grounded but that’s probably ok (just don’t try it in the bath, and switch the damn thing off if you see smoke :)

    If you do try that I’d suggest doing it without plugging it into the laptop first. Just see if the LED on the adaptor lights up.

  5. Ooh, I DO have a two-pin cable around, I think. I just assumed that wouldn’t work. Will check tonight and report back. Danger? Danger is my MIDDLE NAME.

  6. Jeff says: transformers are either stepping up the voltage X%, stepping it down by x%, or acting as a noise filter, so you really only need to find a cord + transformer that do the same as what the old one did. (i.e. look for one that replicates the stuff on yr busted one where it specifies input/output voltage/amperage). looks like the part that plugs into the computer is pretty “universal” looking, so you might have better luck finding the whole ball-o-wax rather than just the cord. not sure if that helps (jeff is my resident diy audio geek btw). Do other computer stores have bins of unused transformers+cords around?

  7. I have a Dell adapter, 3-pin cable and brick which I have no use for any longer. It is of the PA-10 family, like yours, and the model number is PA-1900-02D.

    If you have not found another solution yet, you are welcome to it. I would be glad to pass it along to you, as it has become a bother to me anyhow. I don’t use it anymore, as I run a different laptop now, so it complains a lot. It sits there, beside my desk, in an old bag from RW that probably originally held a new shirt or exciting scarf of some manner. In a bag with a microphone, and a mouse, and a computer dock for a Palm Pilot (remember those?). And it complains because it is bored and under-appreciated. So perhaps you will appreciate it. And it will stop bothering me while I try to work.

    Perhaps I am rambling. It may be too late.

    Let me know.

    Mica Knibbs

    micaknibbs@shaw.ca
    or
    @micaknibbs

  8. Dude, you’re a genius! I think as long as the voltage and such match up, we may have a solution!

    Sadly, the part that goes into the computer LOOKS universal, but isn’t. I have a toshiba and a dell as well as this computer, and none of the computer-prongs are the same size.

    And Alex’s idea about the two-pin cord would have worked, except that the central pin is, of course, larger and won’t go into my two pin cord. GAH!

    Of course, I’m off to the Okanagan for two weeks as of today, so I will have to live without this possible solution until I get back, unless you’re up in the OK any time soon. Thanks so much, all of you. I really do think this’ll get solved soon. Well, obviously not for two weeks…but still!

  9. And we may have a solution, depending on whether or not it fits into the machine. Apparently, Michael Yurechko has the same model, only older. We shall see if it fits later today.

    OHPLEASEGODOHPLEASEGODOHPLEASEGODOHPLEASEGODOHPLEASEGODOHPLEASEGOD

  10. Pingback: Get Back: part, the second « raincoaster

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