Ten weeks ago, I revealed the heartening news that a little PNY Optima Attache USB stick had gone through the wash-and-dry cycle in a pants pocket, and had come out working fine.
Or so I thought. Several correspondents soon pointed out that the tough-seeming device was actually on a terminal watch. The corrosion had started, and it was a matter of time -- maybe four weeks, maybe eight -- before the circuits rusted all the way through and the device simply stopped. In the words of the Book of Common Prayer, "in the midst of life we are in death."
Then another reader suggested that a bath in WD-40 could hold off the inevitable... maybe indefinitely! I got a friend to bring me some from the US, and about a week after swimming in hot, soapy washing machine water the USB stick was being gentled laved with the balm of WD-40.
That cure seemed to work for ten weeks, until today, when - for reasons still being litigated here in the Beijing HQ -- the same stick went through the washer and dryer AGAIN.
When it came out -- amazingly -- it worked AGAIN. But taking nothing for granted, I have plunged it immediately an inch-deep pool of WD-40 and will put it through a careful resurrection process. If it's still alive in two months, I will report this achievement. Or I'll report its demise.
* To spare the usual readers the effort of sending the usual email: Yes, I do realize that USBs are inanimate objects and therefore can't technically be "dead." This is similar to my being aware that, despite making a light reference to Marie Antoinette, there are significant differences between my situation and that of an 18th century queen of France destined for the guillotine. Every now and then I recklessly employ the concept of "whimsy" or "a minor joke" in online posts.