I spent the entire weekend messing with my computer—it has been a long time since I’ve done intensive maintenance.
Fortunately, dismantling my screen (eventually) led to the recovery of my peripheral backlights, and my new OS is a lot faster and more up-to-date than my previous one (hello linux mint), meaning I can finally install the R packages I need for my statistical analyses.
Being able to dismantle and fix electronics is a useful skill—it’s how my first laptop lasted 8 years (and it still ran fine in 2012, it just couldn’t handle the revised Google images format despite maxed out RAM). Although there are a lot of technically-minded people in my department, everyone I talked to thought I was crazy (or at least reckless) to open up my laptop. It would have cost me more than the price of the computer to get it fixed professionally, so it not only saved me money but prevented perfectly good tech from going into the trash!
Consider repairing your own electronics—save money and impress your friends!