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Late Night Electronics Repair

Some night-time brain-teasers

July 6, 2023

A Man in a White Shirt Gaming on a Computer Photo by Yan Krukau from Pexels

I'm a big middle-click user. In addition to using the thumb buttons for forward and back navigation, I use the middle click for opening new tabs, closing tabs, opening links in new tabs. It's also my defacto button for lobbing grenades in video games, one of the first keys I rebind. But today... it started acting up. It would randomly not work, despite hearing the audible click.

I'm no stranger to failing mice, I already had to throw out two in the last decade because their left click buttons were way past their rated lifespan, usually a million clicks or so. And I know the feeling of a failing mouse click, it gets mushy and the activation feels off. This one isn't one of them, the click is still solid. Plus it's the middle button, it doesn't get as many clicks as either left or right buttons. It has to be something else.

Then I remembered two things. First, I left out an important detail: the mouse is one of those super light "honeycomb" models (yes, the one designed for FPS gaming - no surprise there). Second, a few days ago I choked while drinking coffee and got coffee over my desk. It never occurred to me that time that liquid went into the mouse. Whether that was the cause or not, it was worth doing a clean.

And it started working again. Who would have thought that something, whether it's the coffee, dust and debris, or something else, could bridge some contacts in the mouse enough to short it out? Anyways, I now have a clean and working mouse again.


PS: One design aspect I hate about electronics are hidden screws. It's one thing to hide the screws from view. But it's totally beyond me why manufacturers hide screws that are already out of sight, especially when they hide it behind things that need to be destructively removed like silicone padding and stickers.