In between trick-or-treaters I spent today finishing up the repairs to my new/old laptop. The first optical drive I ordered was DOA, so I had to order a new one. Did the swap today. Took a little testing and such, but I now have a fully operational system, (which is nice).
In the end, a little work and willingness to crack the sucker open got me a $1,100 laptop for about $500. Sometimes its nice to be a geek.