Thursday, May 26, 2011

Going Where No Man Has Gone Before HNT

Hmmm...that title sort of conjures up all sorts of sordid possibilities, doesn't it? Well, not to worry. This is a "safe" post!

Some of you might remember that back in 2006, I had some issues with my 17" Powerbook and its hard drive. I think my iBook was acting up at the same time, and I was trying to salvage data from one to the other or something like that. Ultimately, it all worked out, with only a handful of pictures not surviving. Except for my Powerbook's screen. The short story--an external hard drive fell, and the corner of it landed square on my screen. It caused an ugly impact shatter, and cracks snaked across the entire screen. But surprisingly, it didn't affect the screen's ability to display, so I learned to adapt. With no Apple store within two states, and the cost of replacement being a bit high, I figured I could live with it. And I did. I had to put up with this ribbon of blue across my screen, commonly called "bleeding". This is what it looked like after five weeks...


As time wore on, and it traveled with me on various OsTours, the twisting, torquing, air pressure and other factors started taking their toll. The blue lines shown here would disappear at times, but the top third of the screen eventually became useless, as the "bleed" took over in a solid blue sea of whatever it is that makes LCD screens liquid. Ultimately, my 17" pride and joy got squished to about the height of a 12", with a width of the 17". Actually, fairly frustrating.

Recently, I bought myself a 13" Macbook Pro, and am happy as a clam with it. Much faster, much more memory, and has taken over the position as my #1 computer. While surfing eBay a couple of weeks ago, I found a 17" screen for less than $100, claiming to be a 100% compatible replacement for the Powerbook screen. So I took a deep breath, and I ordered it, with plans to do the necessary surgery myself.

I believe that everyone should take a step out of their comfort zone every now and then. Like taking apart their $2200 laptop (the very reasonable price I paid for it at the time) and exposing its innards to the light of day. I found a very good resource in a Mac repair shop that had online videos and PDFs for free! After watching the guy with fat fingers doing this on the video, I was encouraged by the possibility that my fat fingers could do it too! And more importantly, I had access to the correct tools to tackle the job (an absolute must!). And so I downloaded the PDFs, and got started...

First off--oh, my God! You would not believe the amount of dust, lint, dead skin, hair and other unmentionable things you will find inside a supposedly closed system! I blew a carpet's worth of dust bunnies out of the cooling fans first. Can't help but improve performance! And I took some pics. (Next project--figure out why my phone is only taking b&w pics these days...)


To keep an already-too-long story short--everything came apart exactly as it was supposed to. Right up to the point where the PDF said "Incomplete--to be updated soon". Fortunately, I was close enough to the end to figure it out. This is where things got wonky. The "100% compatible" screen had two brackets that weren't needed, was missing 4 screw holes (out of 12) to attach the screen to the back shell, and the electronics involved before connecting to the logic board had a different connector than the one on the computer. After breaking out mini power tools, and doing some really small wire splicing, I was ready to put it all back together.

The final verdict--I did it! It's hard to describe the feeling the first time I cranked her up, heard that iconic start-up tone, and see the screen light up! There was a little bit of forcing done, and I ended up with 6 extra screws (4 from the aforementioned compatibility issue, 1 from a tab that broke while "forcing", and 1 mystery one that I'll be damned if I can figure out where it should have gone), and everything seems to be working great! Except that the picture is a bit on the bright side. I can't figure out how to dim it down any, including the regular ways that I've always used in the past. But this one is no longer my #1 computer, so I can live with it.

Besides, it still looks pretty good to me!


"There are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get un-birthday presents ... and only one for birthday presents, you know."
- Lewis Carroll

Come back Thursday afternoon to find out who our Mystery Guest is!
If you've been by her site, you'd know that our MG is the lovely Minority Report! Stop by and heap a bunch of birthday lovin' on her!
Not as many people as last week over at "...the Other HNT". Thanks to the numbers of you who joined in to celebrate the HNT 6th anniversary. Especially the "retirees"! This week's selection is great, and definitely NSFW. Be sure to leave some comments for your fellow HNTers!
I haven't posted since last week's HNT. Gonna have to work on that.
For those of you celebrating Memorial Day this weekend, be sure to pause a moment and remember the reasons we have the holiday. For as much as the Memorial Day weekend is considered the unofficial first weekend of summer, we're still waiting for a decent spring day around here. Rain, floods, winds and snow have been the standard this year. I think we've cracked 70° just once this year. On the plus side, the lawns are all green (could be mold...), and the trees are trying to sprout some leaves. I think that if we had one solid day of sun, you could literally see everything sprout with the naked eye! On the plus side--we might avoid a nasty forest fire season this summer!

38 comments:

Libidinous Man said...

We are up check us out here. This week we present a less explicit HNT. Nekkidness implied not shown

Elle said...

Looks pretty good indeed! Hey, good job. You are one brave man, I'd never dare open my laptop! I did open my vacuum cleaner though. I have to admit it never worked quite right after that. Well, it didn't to begin with, hence my opening it. But anyway... I'm up :)

Osbasso said...

Go check out how Minority Report is winding up the end of the school year (and what else she's celebrating!).

http://minorityreportunderground.blogspot.com/

Vixen said...

Congrats on such a big accomplishment! Very cool :)

I'm up!!!

xo

Cheeky Minx said...

I'm so impressed! Now I know who to call on when I'm in need of laptop assistance.

Your breathtaking MG looks very familiar... :)

I'm up.
xxx

Daisygirl said...

I seriously just had a panic attack hearing about you taking apart your computer and seeing the mess!!! Oh my gosh I could never ever do that...major anxiety!

MG is delicious!!!

Happy HNT! I am up!

Gucci Mama said...

I live for the day things break so then I can buy new things.

I'm up!

Lovely MG.

Chapter Two said...

I am up

and again apologizing for not making the rounds last week .....sigh

anyway I am having a very naked moment

Summer said...

I am impressed by your laptop repair skillz. Good job! I love the expression on your face. Beautiful MG, she deserves a wide-eyed look like that!

Midwestern City Boy said...

Laptop repair is always major surgery; and Apple products are notorious hard for DIY repairs. Your refurbished PowerBook is looking good! Although not as good as the lovely mystery guest.

We still have electricity so we are up at Married In Ohio.

KaziGrrl said...

Ah, the days when I would crawl around inside my Commodore are long gone... but I do remember the thrill of DIY computer repair :)

I'm up again, no nakie but a nice view to the back ;)
http://ellidragon.blogspot.com/2011/05/hnt-view-to-rear.html

~Kaz

SapioSlut said...

I'm up and flashing at the cafe...

Happy HNT!

Jack said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joanna Cake said...

I keep meaning to undo my tower and give the contents a bit of a spring clean - you give me the courage... if only you could provide me with some spare minutes too :P

You were fortunate that the screen survived sufficiently to be able to see at all after that impact. One of my kids had a similar problem with her three month old HP laptop, although of course no one knows how it happened. But the screen was cracked right across and you couldnt use it at all. Fortunately, I had had the foresight to pay extra for no questions asked insurance and this has now been put right.

Love that shot of you peering over the top :)

Im up with something cheesy. HHNT x

Johanna said...

I have an old laptop that's just sitting there... now I'm very tempted to have a closer look inside :)

I'm up!

Perrin said...

Happy HNT :-)

pocket rockettz said...

Laptop surgery. I am impressed. I would never have the nerve to open up mu laptop.

Oh, I am up. :)

Fat Controller said...

A man after my own heart. Nothing to lose so why not open it up nd have a go!

We're up with another minimalist offering...Heather rather likes this one.

Maggie said...

Well look at you, Mr. Fix-it!

I'm up.

eyas unbound said...

I'm pretty good at fixing things mechanical but things electrical have intimidated me. But I did some very minor work on my laptop last week, which was successful and very confidence building. Your post further inspired me to attempt more operations.

I am up, with a somewhat out of season shot...

HyperSexualGirl said...

It's amazing how dependent we are on technology, yet at the same time we can use a hobbled, patched-together product to satisfy our digital habit.

And I'm up!

theprattlingsofseverin said...

Oh wow. Impressive that it kept working for so long after the mishap.

Glad you found a solution. Great blog post BTW.

sev

Mit©h said...

At first I wasn't going to post this week due to personal circumstances. Instead I decided to try something different then usual for once...

I'm up!

http://escape-or-escapades.blogspot.com/2011/05/hnt-carving.html

Molls said...

A new theme of undies for the next few weeks!

MinorityReport said...

I have no idea how you had the patience/nerve to tear open a laptop. I'd just take it to "the guy". :)

Saw you "upped" me earlier, but wanted to stop by.

HHNT!

?uestion said...

You sir, are much braver than I. Me and DIY for computers don't mix, but awesome that you did it.

I've taken quite the absence, but I'm up!

Silly Mistress said...

I give you props!! And I'd say it looks pretty good too ; )

cavernofthebeast said...

GO OS!!! I LOVE YOUR HNT! (MG definitely did well!). I'm up @ the Cavern.

My thoughts are with all those affected by the horrific storms & tornadoes here in the US...

~viemoira

BTExpress said...

I knew you'd figure it out eventually, but didn't figure on it taking 5 years. Oh well, good job boss.

I'm up with some old pics.

Mrs. Learning said...

Congrats on the fix! Last time Mr. Learning did a laptop fix, he burned a hole in my couch :( I learned around him that having hardy leather furniture is best.

I'm up :)

padme amidala said...

Happy HNT Os! We are up with a sexy picture this week. Check it out:

http://darkside-journey.blogspot.com/

Hugs,
padme

Jack said...

Hey great work!

I have a double post this week.

I'm up!

Gigi said...

Running late..... Knew you'd understand.
Love MG ...
I'm up lovebeinggigi.blogspot.com

GoodWill said...

Nicely done on the computer take-apart!

I'm up as well. goodwillbadwill.blogspot.com

Seriously hot MG this week.

13messages said...

Congrats on the great achievement.

singedwingangel said...

You are much braver then I. I won't work on laptops but I can take apart a desktop in a split second and blindfolded.

nakedinhighheels said...

Wow, I didn't realise what a big thing this was. Today was my first time and it was so much fun. Next week I'll stick to the guidelines and just post one.

Carnalis said...

popping by to say hi and playin' catchup x