A Small Change of Plans (or How I Came to Shove Pointy Metal Sticks into Expensive Electronic Equipment)
Published On: May 21, 2011

The plan had been to show you the sock from last time (now slightly taller, how shall you contain your excitement).  To this end, I whacked the sock on a blocker, clipped it in place, opened the curtains, and clicked away for a minute.  All pretty standard stuff.  Such actions are quite a normal part of my life these days.  I’ve stopped questioning them.  Then I took the card out of my camera, wandered over to my computer, and shoved it in.  Again, I’ve done this hundreds of times.

But this time something felt wrong.

The card didn’t stop moving with a meaty thud as it hit the back of the slot.  There was no satisfying bit of resistance to tell me I’d put it in the right spot.

As indeed, I had not.

See? That’s the side of my computer.  That large slot on the top is for cds.  That small slot on the bottom is for sd cards.  That thing in the top slot is my sd card.

This is not the recommended approach.

Flipping genius I tell you.  I was quite pleased with myself.  I composed an impromptu ode to my cleverness. I used exceptionally creative language.  I preformed an improvisational dance to celebrate my coordination.  I deeply alarmed the cats.

I did, in my defense, then grab my camera and document the situation.  Apparently I’ve become rather used to this notion of sharing the mundane details of my everyday catastrophes with you.  I’m not sure what this says about me, but that’s a discussion for another day. For today, my ineptitude is excellent blog fodder.

The first attempt to fix the problem involved tipping the computer on its side and gently shaking it to see if the card would fall out.  It would not.  Then came a wee bit of tapping to see if I could propel it out with a bit of momentum (think ketchup bottle).  That also failed.

At this point, I tried a bit more swearing, just on the off chance the card could be convinced to climb out on its own through a sense of shame or fear.  Alas, this also failed.

The next approach involved tweezers.  These, perhaps not surprisingly, actually served to make the situation worse as they simply nudged the card farther in.

I then began to entertain notions of disassembling the computer.  Now that’s not actually all that hard to do, and I have no issues with opening up the machine.  But in this case it seemed like a poor choice as the card was not just inside the computer but inside the cd drive (not somewhere that tends to be terribly accessible).  Also, this computer is still under warranty, and I had a sneaking suspicion taking a screwdriver to it could change that.

Finally, and after a dissapointingly long time, I seized upon a whole different approach.  I decided I would stick a tiny (size 000) needle in the cd slot, angle it down behind the card, and flick the card out.  Rather to my surprise, it totally worked.  See?

Admittedly a crappy picture, but rather a trick to document one handed while preforming a delicate maneuver.

The card, the computer, and the knitting needle all seem to be fine.

And of course I am not suggesting that this is an approved technique.  I am, in fact, recommending strongly against shoving small bits of metal into your computer or any other electronic devices.  A bit of googling seems to suggest that I am not the only one to have made this mistake.  Others seem to resolve it with either a paperclip or a bit of cardboard.  It’s much easier to find a knitting needle in this house.  And now I know what the 000 needles are good for.

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