Thursday, May 26, 2011

LCDs and DC Jacks, Two Lucrative Laptop Repairs

Two of the most common problems that customers bring to repair other that viruses are damaged LCDs and broken DC Jacks. Here in Southern California I can charge upwards of $145 for a installed replacement LCD and $95 for an installed DC Jack. I usually jump on Google Shopping,  eBay, or locally on Craigslist for the best part prices.  Both issues are easy to diagnose.
A cracked LCD will show the tell tale black 'ink blot' when held at an angle to the light. The lights and sounds on the laptop will work and the screen may even be very dimly lit but will display nothing. Replacement is as easy, but varies by model. Remove the bezel (the plastic frame around the LCD) and the 2 or 3 cables connecting it to the board. If your unsure of how to disassemble the laptop there are a plethora of videos across Youtube with specific instructions. Only tools needed are a small philips and flathead  screwdrivers.
If the laptop is not charging (look for the indicating led) or will not turn on, the problem could be the jack. The problem is obvious when the jack is jammed inside or moves freely when plugged into the AC adapter. DC Jack repair involves removing the motherboard. There's about 25-40 screws to take out holding the laptop together and the board inside. Be alert and remember where the 10 or so wire cables connections were pulled from. Grab the jack with a pair of pliers and gently pull side to side as you heat the solder on each pin connecting it to the board. Use a desoldering tool the suck out the excess solder left over. Seat the new jack flat against the board and solder it secure.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Set the Throttle to Light Speed with a 1000 Core Processor

Just when you thought the computer you built last week with a six core i7 was beast, Scientists at the University of Glasgow have to one up you. They've used a new technique called Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) to make programable CPU cores. The cores can be assigned to individual tasks with their own allotted memory bank. Using this technology these Scottish scientists have reached speeds 20x that of todays fastest processor. Dr Vanderbauwhede hopes to present his research at the International Symposium on Applied Reconfigurable Computing in March next year.