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!