May 10th, 2010

children of dune - leto 1

absinthe the mini now has a working screen

So I found a new screen for Absinthe the mini on ebay after much stress and googling--we won't speak of how I had to panic when I found out that there could be a diode/LED debate, I can't deal with it. I bid Friday morning at midnight and my screen arrived today.

Let us say, my love for that seller is pure.

Since I'd already disassembled Absinthe last week, I did it from memory this time, because when performing delicate operations like disassembling a mini, of course you want to use this as an opportunity for a pop quiz. I have learned several valuable lessons from this, not least of which is that engineers are fucking sadists, but okay.

Difficulty: medium-easy - easy if you've disassembled it precisely from instructions the first time and you have several screwdrivers to play with.

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Don't be afraid of your laptop. A lot of people come at laptops even when they're comfortable with a desktop with the idea that the laptop is a lot harder because there's so much less space. Yes, there's not as much of a margin for error, but if you're comfortable with working with your desktop, you're already working well inside that margin of error. Yes, it is easy to break it, but not easy in the sense that breathing will hurt it. A laptop is negative space--everything in your desktop compressed and made smaller. It's different in configuration, but not in essentials. All you're doing is working in a smaller area with some smaller parts. Sometimes where they go make no sense. That's what I mean about sadism.

Repeat: it's not hard. It's scary, and it's stressing, but it's not hard, and after the first time you stare down at your board with the feeling of god-like invulnerability, you will realize, yeah, not a big deal at all. The trick is the first time, do it like breathing will break it (it won't--seriously, I've done a disassembly on a computer still running to run hard drive diagnostics and confirming on the monitor; I do most of my repairs while it's sitting on a hard surface on my lap in bed and a pillow with carefully chosen indents to hold different screws), and start value the force you use at like, zero, then move up until you find teh right amount (hint: more than you think, less than you think it should be). Have several sizes phillips and flat head screwdrivers (I have three sizes of each) because sometimes, for no reason at all, the tiny one works better than the one that fits and the flathead can be used for the snapping out and to push tiny things around. Have your manual either on a second computer ready or printed and ready for reading.

A lot of laptop upgrade and disassembly is a common sense approach and not getting impatient, because they are made to be able to take apart, and they kind of want to do that for you; they aren't going to fight you. Computers have a pattern to them in building and disassembly, and once you recognize the pattern, it's fairly easy to figure out what to do next. Doing it in order, and watching where your wires go, and using the least amount of force possible at first then working your way up until you find the right amount of force to use will pretty much do the trick in getting through it with very minimal trauma. Following that method, it's actually pretty goddamn difficult to do unfixable or expensive damage, and even then, it's not easy to do unfixable damage either unless a really cataclysmic mistake (again, being slow and methodical will eliminate most of that potential) or like, a lightning storm and you're not properly grounded.

Absinthe now has a working screen and now has a USB mobile device; I now can access the internet everywhere--or okay, in Austin and Chicago and some other places that have G3 and G4 access. And apparently the 10v mini can be upgraded to 2G of RAM. Life is good.

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