Power Rot affects the socket on the laptop where the power lead must plug in. It starts being slightly jittery, and gets to the point where you have to hold the power lead in a specific way in order to get the battery to charge. It's a symptom of a loose connection between the socket and the rest of the stuff, and the only way to use the laptop also makes it worse. The situation was exacerbated on my old laptop (the monster that lasted me from Germany to acquiring this one) because the battery was good for ten minutes at best.
Repairs to laptops are expensive, especially when there's usually a twenty-odd quid fee just for finding out what's wrong. In 2003, the fault-find-and-fix was around £70 and lasted for a year before the problem set in again. Additionally, I trust about everywhere that advertises laptop repair about as far as I can comfortably spit a live rat.
Ultimately, I have no desire to drop a chunk of change on a falling-apart laptop that was seriously under-spec when new. The power-rot has got to the point that when it says it's charging the battery, the battery depletes at half normal rate. It refuses to charge when not powered on. Getting any power into the battery is a miracle. Fortunately, I have the kit and the software necessary to get my files off it's hard disk, so this won't set me back far.
Long story short: I'm in the market for a new laptop. Media-toaster grade, something for web, mail, music, video, writing, and a little light programming. Maybe NWN if I get bored. preferably small and/or light. Oh, and for some reason I really hate widescreen laptops.
A 12" powerbook (of the kind no longer made) seems like the perfect solution. Anyone want to [tell me I'm mad and recommend something cheaper and better|sell me one], or should I just see how often I'm outbid on eBay?