Surviving A Technological Mayhem

On Sunday, September 13, 2014 about three o’clock in the morning, we heard a loud explosion and then all the lights in the neighborhood went out.  We learned the next day that a transformer had exploded and they were working to replace it.  Power came back about two o’clock in the afternoon the next day.  When it did, I diligently went to connect my computer system, and to my disbelief, there was no Internet connection.  I tried everything but the Internet was dead.  My next move was to contact, Cable Onda, my Internet provider.  They checked the zone and advised that from their end there was no problem with the signal, however they would send a technician over to take a look.

Two days later, a technician came and told me that their modem was working properly and connected it directly to my Sony Vaio laptop.  Indeed I could surf the web, but not on my HP desktop.  In addition, the router was not working.  He advised that I had to send both items to a computer repair shop to check them out.  I did.  The bottom line is that both electronic devices had been fried up by the transformer’s explosion.  There was nothing they could do to make them work.  They were just two pieces of dead weight.

I’m still using my cumbersome and irritating laptop’s keyboard which is a real pain in the neck to work with, but a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.  Need a new full-sized computer keyboard ASAP and a new router to get back in shape.

So far, after scanning the Web, my best option is a Logitec wireless keyboard model K270 with a price tag of $31.70 which can be purchased locally at a place called Yoytec.  Plan to buy it Monday, October 6, 2014.  The router will probably be the TP-LINK TL-WDR3600 which can be had for $61.90 at same computer store.  Don’t have the money yet, so that will have to wait a little longer.  No problem, I’m a patient man.  At 67 you learn to be patient.

So, in a nutshell, I’ve survived the crisis and slowly, but surely I’m doing my thing making the necessary corrective actions.  Below  are a couple of pictures depicting the connecting wires on my Vaio laptop, the surviving LG monitor, and the surviving HP Deskjet printer.  Longing for a better keyboard and router for the time being, until the greenbacks visit me again.

Snapshot depicting several cables connecting my Sony Vaio laptop to a cable modem (yellow wire), to a printer (white cable) and to a monitor (blue cable). It’s not a pretty sight, but it’s the best I could do considering the circumstances. Photo by Omar Upegui R.
Snapshot of my surviving equipment after the recent blackout. I’ve had this excellent monitor for over five years now. The resolution is amazing. Photo by Omar Upegui R.
Snapshot of another survivor of the blackout. This warrior has been with me since 1997. I printed my college graduation thesis using this printer. It means a lot to me and I’m glad it survived the crisis. Photo by Omar Upegui R.

And that’s what happened guys.  When a door closes, another opens up.  Good Day.


6 thoughts on “Surviving A Technological Mayhem”

  1. Far be it from me to offer the Tech Wizard a suggestion, but… You did have a surge protector between the outlet and your equipment, right? Surely you did. When I bought my first computer, that was the first bit of advice I was given. I try to remember to turn everything off in a really bad thunderstorm, but they can pop up so quickly here. More times than I can say, I’ve come home to either no power or everything needed to be reset. I turn the computer on again, and all is well.

    Anyway — just a thought. It may be that the transformer managed to send its juice right through your surge protector, too.

  2. I’m afraid that is exactly what happenen Linda. The surge was so strong after the explosion, that the intensity of the shock went straight through my Centra Plus surge protector. The shock wave completely fried up my router and desktop computer.

    But after the mayhem, I’m picking up the pieces and continue to do my stuff. Every day my blog has continued without any interruption. For me this is very important. I have a high degree of respect for my dear readers like yourself.

    Best Regards,


  3. I had a similar event a month or so ago. Big lightning bolt just outside my door and, of course, power off for hours. When everything back up I had no wifi. I have Cable Onda, like you. I figured that something went wrong on their end and waited. The next morning it still wasn’t on so I called the company. I pressed “1” for English since they offered the choice and got to speak to someone whose grasp of my language was about equal to my grasp of yours.

    We went through a few exercises and he finally announced that their system was working fine and he suggested I plug directly into the modem, by passing the wifi router. I had a connection! I figured the router was fried, but that trying to get a “techie” to fix it would be at least as expensive as the router itself I went into David and bought a new one. Came back and plugged it in. Then I was getting all kinds of bizarre messages about installation, uninstalling old software, which would require reinstalling new, etc. So, in one of those flashes of inspiration, I disconnected the new router and plugged the old one back in and everything was fine. Apparently what got fried was the little transformer that powers the router and not the router itself.

    Ain’t the modern world just great?

  4. I was not as fortunate as you. An electronic technician confirmed my router was fried up and should buy a new one. Saving my coppers to buy a replacement in the upcoming months. Meanwhile, I don’t a Wi-Fi network. But that’s okay, I can live without one for a while. The important thing is that I have an Internet connection and it’s working fine. Finally my laptop is earning its stripes.

    Yep, I agree. Sometimes technology can be a pain in the neck to put it mildly.



  5. We had a similar experience while in Venezuela in the ’80’s. My pre-Windows HP desktop screen shrank to half size while the lights in the room went to half bright. Moments later, everything got double bright. Fascinated, I just sat there watching. Finally, there was a small pop outside and the neighborhood went dark. Everyone rushed to the street to see the transformer on fire!

    Luckily, the pole was steel and in a short time, the fire died out. Our neighbor was a retired colonel and still had some “palanca” so 20 minutes later at 10PM, the repair CREW rolled up with a new transformer. Thirty minutes later, power back on! I flipped the switch on the HP and it woke up fine. No web back then but I learned then how tough HP devices are.

    Now, lightning is completely different. Zero chance of guarantee there. A couple years ago, we lost a control board for the clothes washer, the power supply in the router, and the net card in my HP desktop. The washer is at one end of the house, router in the middle, and my computer at the other end. Nena swears the lightning went through the kitchen.

  6. I know what you mean Jim. Panama is well known for having continuous lightnings throughout the country. Many people have died struck by lightnings. Even cattle have felt the scrouge of light.

    I didn’t see the transformer on fire. I only heard a loud bang and then darkeness until the next day when the power was restored.

    Another experience to add to my technological baggage. And that is we boast that we are living in a technological world. Ironic? You bet.



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