Unbranded Laptop

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My brother moved out of the house back in 2002 once he got his job as a computer technician, and he recently went missing. When I went to his house, it was locked, with three sheets of printer paper taped to the front door.

While coming home from work one day, I noticed someone had left their damaged, plain grey laptop laying in the middle of my driveway. I got out of my car to examine it more carefully.

The LCD definitely showed signs of user-related damage. There was a large hole on the left side of the screen that appeared to fit a standard Phillips Head screwdriver perfectly. There was a webcam above the display, and it was also destroyed with what looked like the same screwdriver. Other than those, everything else on the computer showed minor signs of wear. Almost all of the keyboard's keys were faded, but not to the extent that the laptop could be considered unusable.

I looked at the back of the display to find out what brand it is, but I couldn't find anything. I looked at the entire laptop's shell, but there was no text or logo stating what brand it was. In fact, there was no warranty sticker, no "Proof of License" sticker on the bottom, no text whatsoever. What was even more odd was the fact that the only ports on the laptop were a VGA port for connecting an external display and a USB port. How long could this laptop have possibly run without a charging port to recharge the battery? It must have been a very low end laptop where you had to remove the battery pack and put it into its own charging dock. Why did it have a webcam, though?

Curious as to what was on the laptop, I ran inside to my basement where my old desktop was currently being stored. The reason it was down there was because I forgot to bring that behemoth to the local SarCan to recycle it. I would have been using it as my regular computer, but it takes five or six hours to fully boot because the system always goes through recovery mode every time you start it, and the processor is way too slow to "recover" everything on the five-hundred gigabyte hard drive I had installed on it (A 120mhz Pentium processor doesn't get you far). I removed the old LG CRT monitor from the desktop and plugged it into the laptop. I went to push the power button when...

...I stopped. There's no way this is going to work, the battery has to be dead by now.

I rummaged around the basement to find my battery voltage tester and immediately withdrew the battery from the laptop and checked the voltage. Lo and behold, it had no charge. Well, I thought, might as well just leave it and take everything to SarCan tomorrow morning.

With that, I unplugged the display from the laptop, put it back into the desktop and simply left everything downstairs. After leaving the basement I went to go watch TV for about three hours or so before going to bed.

I was suddenly awakened from my deep slumber by the sound of the Windows 2000 start up jingle, and fell out of my bed. It was so deafeningly loud, I swore someone was holding a pair of speakers right next to my ears. I stood up in a groggy daze, and it took a couple of minutes to figure out what the sound was. The desktop! I must have accidentally hit the power switch while trying to switch monitors.

I headed to the basement, but froze in the middle of the steps. I just remembered there was no way my computer could have started up, because I have Windows 95 installed on my desktop. I was reluctant to go down the steps after that, but my common sense started kicking in and I thought I must be getting my OS's mixed up. When I walked down, I was shocked to see that my desktop wasn't on; in fact, I remembered it wasn't even plugged in. I had to make sure of it though. I checked behind the desktop - everything else was plugged in except for the power. There was absolutely no chance of that laptop turning on, it was impossible. I removed the battery from the laptop again and re-checked the voltage.

This time, I couldn't get a direct number. The voltage tester was just going insane.

I re-inserted the battery and pressed the power button on the laptop. Some indicator lights flashed, meaning the computer definitely started, except this time the start up jingle wasn't played at all. I needed to see what was going on here. I connected the CRT monitor back into the laptop. And what I saw...

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