About three weeks ago I woke up in the middle of the night because all the water I drank that evening caught up to me and necessitated a bathroom trip.
It was 3am. It was dark. I was groggy. As I rolled out of bed I stumbled and, to avoid kissing the floor, grabbed onto something to balance myself.
That something turned out to be my laptop. And I turned out to not know my own strength.
I grabbed the laptop with such force that I cracked the screen.
I've been pretty fond of my laptop (aka the Vibra Dream Plus 3000, I named it after a device in a novel that a friend of mine and I once read). One time it got a virus, but this was quickly rectified by Geek Squad. Other than that, in the four years I've had it the VDP3K has run like a charm. Also, I have a lot of files saved on it that are of value to me. Not being able to see the screen would render my laptop pretty useless. Would I somehow be able to recover those files?
I went back to Best Buy, and Geek Squad confirmed the worst. It'd probably cost about as much to fix the screen as it would to buy a whole new laptop -- if they even can even get their hands on such a screen; there's a running joke amongst my friends about how unnecessarily big the VDP3K is and screens of that size are hard to find.
I can't believe I did that, I said to myself. I'm such an idiot.
I'm functional with technology but certainly wouldn't call myself a techie. But this is the part of the story where the wheels in my head started turning. I could probably just hook it up to my TV and build my own makeshift screen. There were two problems with this scenario though: 1) my TV is equally old and I wasn't sure it had the necessary HDMI port, and 2) even if it did, most of the time when I'm watching TV I'm also on my computer, live tweeting something or just surfing the 'Net, and this would inhibit multitasking.
I could, however, probably get my hands on a pretty cheap monitor.
I trudged back to Best Buy and looked for the most inexpensive monitor with an HDMI port. Of course it was out of stock. But the sales guy told me they were getting their delivery the next day.
Now to give it a shot.
I've never hooked up a monitor before. I felt like Dr. Frankenstein, wanting to shout "IT'S ALIVE!" But I successfully hooked up the monitor to the VDP3K. And I did it all by myself.
I've spent the past few days emailing important files to myself, in case something crazy like this ever happens again. This new setup (laptop with a monitor next to it) is a little white-trashy. But I'm not always big on style points. To save a big chunk of money AND the VDP3K, it was totally worth it.