Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ocular Surgery

I had to conduct surgery on my poor iBook G4 to correct an acute ocular degeneration. A couple of weeks ago, I started to notice that from time to time the screen would go completely blank (white), usually as I was moving the computer. Sometimes it would just flash white, others the white screen would stick for a moment until I jostled the computer a little. It sounded to me like a connector was loose. After doing some searching and reading, I found an Apple forum discussion thread that seemed to match my symptoms. The thread suggested that the data cable in the display had come loose, and gave a description of how to open the display and reseat the cable. I figured it was only a matter of time for the connector to come completely loose, losing the display altogether, and this is precisely what happened this evening.

When I decided that the white screen wasn't about to go away this time around, I took my computer to a lab at school and connected it to an external monitor so that I could close all my programs and make sure my backup was up to date, in case I zapped the logic board or something equally as horrible. Then, borrowing a set of tiny screwdrivers from an Engineering student down the hall, and with a certain amount of trepidation, I attempted to carry out the directions without damaging the very fragile LCD screen. After struggling with the whole affair for quite some time, I managed to locate and reseat the connection. Putting the whole thing back together and booting up, I was relieved to see that the screen was once again functioning, and that I didn't seem to have broken a fluorescent backlight tube or punctured any liquid crystal chambers.

But, even as I write this, I just saw another white flicker, so apparently my problem hasn't been entirely resolved. Perhaps I should have tried putting some fresh electrical tape over the connector instead of just reapplying the existing adhesive. Alas.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Sluggish Composition

I frequently have tangential thoughts when I'm reading. This afternoon, I started thinking about teaching problem solving while I was reading the documents from World Education Forum in Dakar in 2000. Wanting to flesh the ideas out a little, I decided to write an entry for my Cogitorium on Education. But alas, I compose so carefully that it takes forever, and now 2 hours (and 1200 words) later, I can get back to my "real" work, with the afternoon nearly all gone.

No wonder I don't write more often: I have difficulty justifying the time expense to myself.