Archive for September 20th, 2010

It lives Igor!

September 20, 2010

There has been a new twist in this saga of the dead laptop. Marky came over to have a look at the dismembered corpse on the autopsy table.. er workbench. Aside from pointing out that I need a bigger and better magnifying glass on a long flexible mount.. and yes I do, he said some actually useful stuff. Mark knows a bit more about the electronics than I and since all my attempts to actually find an engineer just lead to many suggestions to just replace the mother board. Nearly all of them from people totally technically not up to replacing this particular mother board. Anyway it led to a result.

Mark said.. “Hmm, I wonder if this track is supposed to be there” I peered through the magnifying glass at a solder track between a power transformer and a transistor on the power bus that was the size of a flake of dandruff. “Looks factory” I commented. Mark expressed some doubt. “Lets scrape it off and see” I suggested.. “Re soldering that is no problem. He did. We tested. Power lights and a BIOS screen. OK thats a way from actually having this machine running but hey…

So now I have a theory. This box had been dropped on the back right corner. That side of the frame had twisted out of alignment and broken the dvd player.. by moving it so it had no connection. I fixed all that then discovered a damaged cable.. and lifted the thing to get its model number. I think that in fixing all that I released a single dandruff speck sized flake of solder that managed to find exactly the one worst place to lodge itself. Wow. Its only a theory.. but it holds up and fits all the facts. Now to try reassembly of a really complex machine for which the company releases no manuals.. but yeah I can do that. Still don,t know if anything electronic is damaged but I have hopes.

So I didn’t kill it. I feel much much happier about myself as a tech now. Depressed for a week over that. Wow. And now we go back to the client. But first lets see if I can get this machine running an OS.

EDIT… machine now boots.

I went looking for DDR1 ram yesterday for a client laptop. and found 2 sticks of1 Gb Kingston (manufacturer of quality RAM) RAM, at almost the last place I tried. That machine goes from a dog with 256 Mb ram to a decent useful machine for the cost of about $150.. Its a huge difference and probably the last upgrade that machine will ever have. As also detailed in this post the answer is indeed more RAM

FInally went and saw “Tomorrow when the war began” last night with Kathy and a couple of close friends. I was looking forward to this movie as detailed in this blog post And it lived very much up to the hype. I thought it was well done.. smart and rang true. It seemed to me to be very very faithful to the book. The hardware was right. The one criticism I have heard that was worrying was the absurdity of one bunch of kids fighting back against an invasion.. in the context of the book they were one bunch in one area amongst many instances of insurrection… but luckier, faster learning and more successful than most. And this turned out in the end to be the case in the movie as well.. they heard about other unluckier rebels and the RAAF put in a brief appearance. So the movie was very very good. I loved it. There were 7 books in the series and 3 books in another continuing series about the central character after the war.. where she had a few issues. This might turn into a fun movie franchise.