On most of our expeditions, there comes a period of time — usually about half-way through the trip — when things slow down a bit. I call this period the “Expedition Doldrums”. Typically, at this stage in the project there are a number of equipment items in need of repair, some backlogged specimens to process, some email to deal with, some coral cuts to tend to, and perhaps most importantly, some time to rest.

Richard Pyle's Laptop Computer disassembled. Photo: Richard Pyle.

Richard Pyle’s Laptop Computer disassembled. Photo: Richard Pyle.

Richard Pyle attempting to repair his laptop computer. Photo: Richard Pyle.

Richard Pyle attempting to repair his laptop computer. Photo: Richard Pyle.

I took myself out of the diver line-up on Monday and spent the day trying to bring my laptop back to life.  I met with some limited success, but I’m not completely there yet.  When it initially died, it wouldn’t even boot to BIOS — just a dead screen.  I stripped it down to its core components, cleaned out a wig’s worth of hair and other debris, re-seated various ribbon cables, and re-assembled the entire laptop.  You might be surprised at how often doing just a basic breakdown and re-assembly will get it working again. After my first attempt, I was able to get it to pass BIOS, but the keyboard wasn’t working.  After some more disassembly/reassembly, I got the keyboard working, and almost had Windows fully booted, but then it locked up.  Josh’s Macbook suffered a similar fate at about the same time, and he was able to get it working again simply by leaving it in the air-conditioned (and, hence, less humid) room.  I will try the same with my laptop.