In a slight break from our normal family news...
Charis experimented with inserting a mini audio jack into the power connector that plugs into my (David's) work Dell laptop.
It produced no auditory success, but bent the pin inside the power connector. I managed to straighten it, but it subsequently came off inside the laptop power socket.
This pin seems to communicate that it is a valid Dell Power supply, and without it being connected properly the battery will not charge. My battery ran so low that I couldn't use suspend when moving the laptop around because I had so little battery power left... (see my plea for help if you want the gory details)
I got a new power supply, but still needed to work out how to extract the pin from the laptop (it was not sticking out at all, and there was no way to grab it with tweezers/pliers etc). I was too nervous of breaking the new power supply or something inside the laptop to try and connect the new power supply.
I tried soldering onto the pin so I could then pull out the solder but all I achieved was melting some of the plastic on the outside. I had various suggestions ranging from superglue on a needle to magnets, nitric acid, and drilling it out. I asked my friend Ian who said he'd have a look... he simply pushed the new power cable in, as he said there's usually space behind the pin. Voila. I couldn't believe it was that simple.