Sunday, May 5, 2013

Saving the computer with rice

The spring rains have apparently started.  Today for the second time it's raining with hail.  We heard about the May rainy season, but didn't take it seriously until this weekend.

When we first came to the Dominican Republic, we made the mistake of leaving the windows open a few times while we were out of the house.  Well, there are windows everywhere to keep air flowing here, and the rain can come in at a right degree angle, so an unbelievable amount of water can get in within ten or 15 minutes.  While mopping up inches of water which had covered the floors in our absence, and anxiously testing out the electric piano to see if it was ruined, we vowed we'd remember to close the windows when we left the house every single time.  And we did stay serious about the windows near the keyboard.

But once the hurricanes were over (late fall), rain didn't come from any direction except the south.  We stopped having a strong respect for the unpredictability of the Caribbean rains.   If it rained at all, it rained in a reasonable manner, and at most we'd have a slight wet patch in front of a window if we left it open.  We were fine for about five months as long as we closed the windows on the south side of the house, and we'd close those pretty faithfully each time we left the house  We also seemed to (almost) always be home when it rained.

All this to say, we were unprepared for the torrents that hit our house on Friday afternoon while we were stuck on the Autopista (major road here).  By the time we got home we had an inch of standing water in several rooms of the house.  More problematically, the computer had been left open near the window next to the balcony, where normally it would be quite safe (it's not your average rain that blows across the balcony and into the living room).  And the computer was wet.  And it wasn't working.

Thankfully, I'd had experience getting water out of our front gate opener (after accidentally throwing it in the laundry in Owen's pants pocket).  Someone told me to put it in a plastic bag with rice for a few days.  And someone else told me to put it in the sun.  So I put it in a plastic bag with rice in the sun and had it working in a few short hours.

So when our computer wasn't working Saturday morning after the Friday afternoon rain exposure (I can't believe we didn't even deal with it until the next day), I put it in a bag with rice.  I didn't like the idea of leaving the computer outside in the sun, and plus it wasn't sunny, so I heated up the oven slightly and turned it off.  Then I put the computer (which was in the bag with the rice) in the oven.  I kept reheating the oven off and on for several hours and kept the computer in there for a while.  When I checked again I could get it to go onto Windows and connect to the internet.  Some of the keys weren't working, enough that I couldn't really type on it.  We watched too much Netflix on the computer last night, which may have heated out the last of the water.  By this morning we were back in business.  As of now, only the "end" key isn't working, and I mean, really, who needs the "end" key anyway?

I thought I'd share this, because who knows who else it dealing with a wet computer?  It worked for us!  We are so thankful to not have to buy a new computer.

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