Dec 29
Accident Prone
posted by: Player0 in computering on 12 29th, 2008 | | No Comments »

My mother should not own laptops.  She likes them I guess because she doesn’t need a separate desk for them and she doesn’t need to figure out the extra wires on the back of a desktop.  Whatever the reason though, she is incredibly hard on them.  Broken displays, broken powerconnectors, liquid damage, crush damage, drop damage, power adapter shorts, and lots of dust, pet hair, and cigarrette smoke.  I get a laptop from her to repair every year it seems.  She recently broke the power connector on the HP Pavilion ZE4xxx laptop she had repaired a half dozen times and got a Lenovo something or other to replace it.  She promptly ruined it with a cup full of some sort of driink.

She gave me the poor Pavilion though.  She had taken it to some other local guy who tried to repair it by DESTROYING the motherboard in various places.  Ugh.  For whatever reason she just hates sending these things to me to repair first, even though I’m ultimately the one who ends up with them.  Repairing the power connector would have taken $4 but since some other idiot wrecked it before I could fix it the right way it’d cost $210-$250 to replace the mainboard.  To make matters worse, the damn asshole didn’t give her back the power adapter.  So I’d have to spend on another one of those.

It might be worth fixing if I needed an old laptop.  It’s not siginificantly better than the Dell I have and I’m going to be getting a new one for myself anyway so I assume it’s just going to sit in a box.  This happens a lot to me.  I end up with things that could easily be made to work with a small investment of cash but it’s really not worth fixing these things to sell and I personally don’t need it myself.

I wish there was an easy way to interface a laptop LCD to some sort of video input standard.  It’d be nice to use a laptop screen for other things.  What they really need to do though is build laptops a bit more modularly.

Aug 18
I also do toilets.
posted by: Player0 in gaming, projects on 08 18th, 2008 | | No Comments »

A certain someone who shall remain nameless dropped one of my Xbox360 controllers on the ground the other day. This caused the Y and B buttons to sink in to the controller so that they were really problematic to use. What a shitty controller design.

Anyway. I went to take the thing apart tonight and noticed that the Torx TH8 bits are the security version! Torx bits (the star shaped ones) aren’t all that uncommon and I happen to have a couple sets of tools for them. Only one set has the smaller TH8 size. Unfortunately the darn Xbox360 versions have a small stud in the center of the screw head which prevents a normal Torx bit from working.

Checking prices online reveals that one can get a special ‘Xbox360 screwdriver bit’ for something like $15. I’m poor and impatient. So I whipped out the cordless drill and a 5/64 titanium drill bit. Turns out that little tiny stud is very fragile and just by drilling it a little it will usually snap off. Yes you do damage the threads a little this way BUT you don’t need a lot of the drill. I got 5 of the 7 screws out of the controller this way.

Unfortunately the two screws on the very bottom are in recesses deeper than my Torx bit will go. I could have done the Bic pen lighter melted plastic trick to form my own longer bit. But the drill was handy so I just drilled the darn screws right out. Popped the casing off, pushed the circuit board holding the buttons back in to position, and screwed it back together minus two.

I think it’s fine missing the two bottom screws. It’s plenty solid. I could always glue it in a pinch, or better yet, go to the store and get 7 Phillips head screws to replace the Torx. I’m kind of lazy though. I wish I had a better selection of machine screws available at home though.