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Thursday, March 10, 2005

H. Potter unit

Update on my beautiful Toshiba R-100 ultra-ultralight laptop (codename Sherlock), on which my husband inadvertently sloshed some chicken soup: it arrived at the hospital (Toshiba Notebook Depot) in Louisville, KY, a week ago (3/2/05), is still there, and is still in a coma.

I know this because I can check its status on the web (as I do several times a day), where I can read the (rather cryptic) notes that the technicians have entered. (Techno-twits like myself love this kind of thing -- kudos to Toshiba!) When the technicians got to it last Friday (3/4/05), three entries appeared in rapid succession. The first two entries were labeled "Repair in progress" with various notes about keyboard failure, will not power up, and the like. The last entry was more ominous: "On hold," a string of parts information including "sysbrd" (I recognize "system board," the heart and soul of a computer, when I see it), then "H. Potter unit." Hmmmm, I said, frowning, what could this be.

Thinking it might be code of some sort related to Harry Potter (yes, I read one), maybe to suggest that Sherlock had taken on magical properties, I googled various permutations: no results. So yesterday I called Toshiba's support number to see if I could find out more. The gentleman I spoke with, looking at the same info on the web, didn't know what "H. Potter unit" might mean, but he put me on hold, called the Depot, then returned to inform me that they expected the system board to arrive next Wednesday -- a week after it was ordered: is it coming from Japan?!

Shortly after this, a friend called to inquire about Sherlock and I mentioned this cryptic reference to Harry Potter. His daughter, now 14 years old, has been a Harry Potter nut since the first novel was published. A little later he called me back to tell me that he told her about it and she said -- I can just hear the knowing way in which she said this -- "Oh, 'Harry Potter unit': that means it takes a wizard to fix it." I'm sure she's right. What a powerful impact a little chicken soup can have.

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