After I reconnected the webcam my old laptop started to make a lot of noise. Reading data from the takes some CPU cycles and as a natural result, the CPU gets a little bit hotter. To cool it down, both the fans in the laptop started working at maximum capacity and the noise was unbearable. I started looking at new computers, but a setup with the hardware I wanted (although not necessarily needed) set me back about $2000. I decided I wasn’t prepared to use that much money unless I really needed to.
To be very rational, I don’t strictly need a computer, but it’s sort of a hobby of mine. You get the picture. Since the only problem with my old one really was the noisy fans, I couldn’t justify buying a new one. Enter stage left; screw driver. I decided I wanted to have a look at the fans, maybe this problem was something I could fix myself, maybe replacing the fans wasn’t that hard? I guess what my subconscious really wanted was to have a minor accident with the screw driver, maybe thrust it right through the CPU or something else caused by unexplainable muscle spasms. That would give me a perfectly good excuse to buy a brand new computer.
That never happened, of course. Instead I discovered that most of the fans, air intakes and heat sinks were completely clogged with dust. Layers upon layers with that dust you only find inside computers. There was no way all the fans in the world could cool down the CPU with no access to cool air or a place to push out the hot air. I removed all the dust and put my laptop back together – and it miraculously still worked, too. Now one of the fans are running at low speed while the other one is turned off completely. It’s as quiet as it gets, I guess.
The morale of the story? A little bit of work can save you tons and tons of money.
That concludes today’s class.