learnt a few things about computer hardware yesterday. firstly, its important to clean your computer regularly. if not, you might end up giving a roach a free bangalore-chennai trip.
just as important - if the cd drive is stuck (quite possible if its not used for a year), using a knife and a pair of scissors to jerk the tray out is a very very bad idea. it screws up the knife edge. homes hardly double up as operation theatres. not advised. but now i can gladly warn "don't try this at home" :-) oh yes, there's that tiny little hole one can poke a wire into to eject the tray. but that works only if the eject button fails. what good is it when the motor has given way? could hear the overawed expression of my roomie... with the thinner end of an incense stick into the drive's pinhole he cries out "its pushing me out man! its pushing me out!" hated breaking the news to him; thats what the switch is supposed to do to that stick.
it was a valiant fight the drive put up. refused to open up! but the scissor and knife episode (which is a bad idea by the way) did have its effect and the tray relented. managed to yank it half way out. made sound like a ratchet. (cd drives have ratchets too!?) thats where it put its foot down. a real stubborn ass! could hear the motor hum everytime we tried to eject the tray. yes, the tray moved too. about half an inch each way. sliding a cd into the drive in such a state was suggested. but having had similar experiences with floppy drives, my knowledgeable self quickly dismissed it without argument. utterly preposterous. we might as well continue yanking at the tray. i did contemplate using my foot for support. but then, it wasnt my drive. taking the drive to a repair store seemed most intelligent at this stage :-)
why all this ado? well, wanted to install the dsl modem driver and get going online. a flash of brainwave hits roomie and decides to get the cd contents onto his flash drive from a local cafe, only to realise that windows98 requires a USB driver too :-) and where does one find this driver? i ask my roomie. "why, its in the drive itself!" of course! where else :-)