Palm Surgery

I've spent the past two hours patiently dremmelling off the absurdely tough screws of my Palm m505 (which were impossible to remove by any other means), since the thing had been lying about practically dead ever since I came back from a trip and found the screen completely garbled. I hate seeing things broken (or wasted in any way), so I took the time to fix it:

As I figured (since it made all the right noises), there was something wrong with the LCD ribbon connector (don't know exactly what, but a few vigorous rubs settled the matter). However, I was struck by how far bulk SMDs have been developed - this PDA, despite being a couple of years old, was assembled with several off-the-shelf parts that I could recognize (albeit only vaguely at some point). Palm could have gone full ASIC on the thing, yet it still was cheaper to mix and match recognizable parts to build it.

Given that the connectors I cleaned were about twice the width of a human hair, I wonder how much further it'll be before consumer electronics devices become totally unserviceable by human hands.

Update: The thing reverted to a garbled screen (sigh). Oh well. Now the looks more and more attractive (or else I'm just looking for an excuse).

Update 2: A thorough scrubbing of the PCB with WD40 seems to have done the trick. Now for the 1-week burn-in test on the cradle (I always wanted a desktop clock...)

This page is referenced in: