"It's alive...IT'S ALIVE!"


Sunday, January 9, 2005


My G3 iBook, purchased a little over 3 years ago, recently started experiencing problems where the backlight would only work if the screen was tilted to a particular angle - and of course, this started a month after my extended warranty expired.

According to the local Apple dealer it would cost $600 for a new screen assembly plus $75/hour for labour; while I could buy an inexpensive monitor and use the iBook as a desktop computer, it tends to negate the concept of portability that comes with using a laptop.

I spent some time on Apple's discussion boards reading up on iBook issues and it became apparent that my problem was shared by many people - namely, that the wires for the circuitry that activated the backlight had likely broken through the multiple openings and closings of the iBook's lid. In addition to finding links to sites detailing how to work on the iBook there were lists of places to buy the cable I'd need to fix the problem.

The part arrived this past week, and I planned to spend most of today doing the work as people who'd posted about doing the task said it had taken them up to 6 hours to complete it.

I decided to document the process for your reading and viewing pleasure, so without further ado I present you with the process of dismembering an iBook. The unit I'm working on is the one on the left - the iBook on the right is the one I bought to replace it before I knew about the cable replacement process; I used it to reference the process documentation.

First off, you turn the iBook upside down to remove the battery and the screws holding the bottom case on:

The next step is to remove the bottom shield:

You then have to remove the top case:

The top shield comes off now:

Once that's done, you remove the CD-ROM drive:

Next is the removal of the hard drive:

Finally, you remove the display from the bottom frame:

Just think, all of this is just to get access to the display...oh well, now we have to take the display apart to get at the wiring:

The wires running along the left side of the display are the ones that need to be replaced; they're attached to a small reed switch that activates the backlight when needed - of course, that's assuming the wires are intact!

It took 90 minutes to get to this point; for background music I went with the soundtracks to RESERVOIR DOGS and PULP FICTION. Once I had everything taken apart I decided I wanted a break before I replaced the cable and started reassembly, so I ran some errands and had a nap.

It took less than 5 minutes to replace the cable assembly and 2 hours to put everything back together; my playlist for the reassembly was Symphonies #2 and 3 by Howard Hanson (I wanted something a bit more laid back as I correctly assumed that trying to put so many tiny screws back in their respective holes wouldn't be very easy or relaxing).

I didn't take pictures while putting the iBook back together, but if you look at these pictures in reverse order you can guess how it went.

Finally the iBook was put back together, but had I done it right? Had I reconnected all the cables in proper order? Had I forgotten an important step? Was I going to have to take it apart a second time? Slightly nervous, I pressed the power button and...


The iBook booted and the backlight worked perfectly; now I have a backup laptop should I need it. For the time being, though, I think I'll set it up in the kitchen and get rid of the iMac that's currently taking up counter space.

Now, however, I have another problem - what do I do with the one screw that was left over?



"It's just another New Year's Eve, another night like all the rest..."


Saturday, January 1, 2005


As I have done for the past 3 New Year's Eves, I spent it at the Deep Cove Yacht Club's Iron Bay outstation doing their annual fireworks display. Since last year's NYE entry has plenty of pictures of the actual location, this year I thought I'd share some of the scenery to be had on the trip out.


In the next picture, look for the tiny green spot in the clearing in the middle of the picture; I was told that that's the remains of a house that was washed away when a creek overflowed...the really tragic thing is that the owner had bought the house a week or so earlier:

This year's show was fairly small, about 34 pieces ranging from 75mm to 150 mm and some candles:

This year I was put up on the CASTLE ROCK, a very nice boat; my accommodations, while relatively small, were comfortable - having a oil heater in the cabin kept me nice and warm even though it was quite cold and windy outside:

You can see the heater behind the salmon carving which, by the way, was done by the owner as part of his restoration of the boat. The hairy legs seen here - well, let's not talk about them for now.