2010-07-25

A bit of Computer Repair

My good buddy Constance has a rather old computer. Actually, it is an original ibook with a speedy 300Mhz processor and a whopping 192M of RAM.

OK, the RAM has obviously been updated, but other than that, the computer is still original.

One day, Constance told me a tale of tripping over her computer cord and then the adapter started sparking. Crap! The machine may be crap, but it is all she has and it has all of her writings on it.

Ah, the slow as dirt machine. See that "yo-yo" power adapter? Aside from always burning out, those things are $80 from Apple. I'll be damned if I let Apple get any of my poor writer friend's money. Let's fix that shit!

First thing first: find out where the cord is fried. Well, I'll be damned, it just happens to be fried where every other "yo-yo" adapter gets fried.
(That's me being sarcastic)

It went like this:
1. cut off part of the plastic housing
2. cut and strip wires
3. determine that the amount of exposed wire is to too short for my pathetic soldering skills
4. cut off all of the plastic housing
5. discard the metal housing under the plastic housing

Hit it with some magic!

After soldering the wires, I used hot glue to re-attach part of the plastic housing and then I wrapped the wires with electrical tape. Just to be save, I slather on a crapload of hot glue to keep everything together.

Solder, electrical tape, and hot glue. Shazaam! That's three adhesives in one project!

When the repair was completed, I put the machine in bag and pedaled over to Constance's house, where I was greeted ecstatically. It should be noted however, that there was a serious lack of cookies/coffee/beer/scotch waiting for me when I got there. cough cough, cough cough cough, hint hint.

Now quit reading, and go repair a crappy 11 year old laptop.

P.S. If anyone has an old laptop gathering dust, and the laptop isn't as crappy as Constance's current piece of shit, let me know. (Constance really needs an upgrade)

Comments
2010-07-27 constance ann:
Yes she do.

She will make some cookies when you tell her which kind.


(Are Tacos a cookie? )
2010-07-27 jezra:
Can I get jalapeno and bacon cookies?

seriously
2010-07-28 jamba:
hey pretty cool. I did something similar to my wife's laptop (which we no longer use.... your friend want to buy it on the cheap? ;-) )

The connector port cracked on the inside of the laptop case, so I took it apart and soldered in some braided wire that exits the chassis. Then I put a phoenix connector on the end. I then snipped off the end of the power adapter cord, and wired it into a phoenix connector also.

Works perfectly now. Common problem due to the stress on that connector or something.
2010-07-29 Windigo:
What a coincidence - my cousin recently dropped his laptop, and the connector for the power adapter broke off... internally.

I had to solder it back on, and then tape it in place because the solder points would be the only thing holding it in place otherwise. It sorta works now, but you have to be ginger with it.

As for newer laptops: I don't have anything past the Pentium I era that functions (and most of those don't function, either), but I'll make sure to keep my eyes open.
2010-07-29 jezra:
@jamba, it's a possibility; define cheap.

@windigo, perhaps you should invest in a hot glue gun to help keep things in place.

One can never have too many adhesives
2010-07-29 jamba:
I dunno... $150? It's a sony vaio, pretty big screen. I'd have to look up the specs on it. Seems like it is 1.6GHz Pentium M, or maybe Centurion or whatever their mobile thing was.

My kids removed the down arrow key and the 'n' key, I think, but it all works fine.
2010-07-30 jezra:
ha ha. Oh man, I fear mentioning a machine that is missing keys to a writer. Especially when the machine is missing the most common consonant in her name.
2010-07-30 NYbill:
ha ha, a proper kludge! i commend you at your adhesive skills, jez.

(jamba, put linux on it and give it to him for free. picture it as a donation to the cause. ;) )
2010-08-01 jamba:
hahaha good point, didn't think about that for a writer. that might not work very well. although you DO have a hot glue gun which could remedy it pretty quickly if you could find an "n" key. The "t" key sticks too though haha.

@nybill, I think I'm about to install freeBSD on it, but I'll think about it :-)

ah, and now I think my desktop is busted.... I think the north bridge melted or something. dangit.
2010-08-01 jezra:
Step 1: cut out small square of cardboard
Step 2: write "n" on the square
Step 3: glue the square to the keyboard

done!
2010-08-02 jamba:
you are a master reparer-er/gluer! haha!

turns out...my north bridge is definitely burned/burning up. when it rains, it pours
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