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A brain is a terrible thing to waste. So’s a laptop

December 7, 2014
Notice how I've "carefully" marked the second battery. Also how dusty the flash makes everything look!

I’ “carefully” marked the second battery (the flash makes everything look so dusty).

Unfortunately, the screen on a laptop I binned last week proved to be a hopeless, bubbling, mess of white nothingness.

Otherwise it was a pristine HP Pavilion g6 thrown away with it’s power cord and…even better-looking than the Pavilion g6 I fished out of a dumpster last year — which is the laptop I’m currently using.

The power cord alone is worth keeping — I’ve already gone through one and I’m happy to have another spare; the Pavilion g6 is unusual in that Hewlett Packard opted for the very wide laptop plug-end commonly used by Dell but, in my experience, not commonly used by HP.

Of course it occurred to me to open it up the junk g6 and scavenge any useful parts; I was thinking of the hard drive and the RAM, but especially of the keyboard.

On the keyboard of my work-a-day g6 the “c”, “m” and “o” are just beginning to disappear. The “s”, “h” and “n” are well on their way and the “e”, “t”, “a” and “s” are completely gone — a handy indicator of letter-frequency in written English if nothing else.

Anyone familiar with what I laughingly call my “writing style” will be gobsmacked to learn that my hyphen key has survived over a year of blogging unscathed — amazing!

The keyboard on the screen-fried g6 is flawless. Getting it off, however, isn’t a trivial operation; HP in it’s wisdom has made it necessary to take apart the g6 from the bottom to disengage the keyboard from the top. The number of opportunities this gives me to damage my laptop has given me pause for thought.

So the good-for-nothing-but-parts g6 has sat untouched on my trailer for days.

A belated brainstorm

So far so good. The old g6 isn't rejecting the transplanted battery.

So far so good. The old g6 isn’t rejecting the new transplanted battery.

Sunday morning, just after 2 a.m., my brain woke me up (as it is wont to do) to tell me what a dunce I was (I’m used to it by now).

When was it going to occur to me, my brain wanted to know, that both g6 laptops were identical beyond the superficial colours of their respective plastic shells?

And that all this time I probably could’ve been charging the battery off the second g6 to use as a spare in the first g6 to give me eight to ten hours of battery life.


Turns out that no matter how smart your brain is. fundamentally it’s limited by the throughput of you.

After dropping this revelation on me, my brain went back to what it normally does (planning to take over the world) and I went back to sleep.

Now, even as I type, my main laptop battery is fully charged and I’m charging the second battery in my first and functional g6 (up to 36 percent now).

Back in the 1990s, having a spare laptop battery was a smart idea, given the short life of batteries back then. Some laptops even had dual battery bays and you could hot-swap batteries.

I’m big on battery life. Part of fixing up my previous dumpster-derived HP laptop (“tank-top” would be more appropriate), involved buying a new 12-cell battery to give me twice the charge of the normal 6-cell battery which, brand new, was rated for a stunningly poor 2 hours.

Anyway, if all goes as planned (47 percent!) I’ll finally have the option to stay up all night playing on the Internet with my Pavilion g6 and not get a wink of sleep before I have to get up at 6:30 a.m.

Oh now wait a minute… Click the images to enlarge them.

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