Reader [steve diraddo]‘s Zire 71 had given up the ghost long ago, but with a strong desire to annoy his friend, he decided to resurrect it. Unfortunately, like most things that rise from the earth to feast on the brains of the living, Steve’s Zire has limited capacities. When he had originally disassembled the device it was because the camera had stopped functioning, it couldn’t sync, and failed to charge. If he was going to do anything with the device, he would need to get it charging again. The dock connector no longer worked, so he grabbed the pinout for the internal connector from pinouts.ru. By following the traces, he was able to solder a USB cable directly to the board and start the device charging. There are also narrow USB data lines on the board, but Stave didn’t trust his hands to solder them. Programs can still be loaded via IrDA or the SD card. Plugging the screen back in and loading up NoviiRemote he had an ugly, but still very functional toy-to-annoy.
On a related note, [Radu Privantu] sent along his write up: How to use a Pocket PC with a broken screen. Even though it doesn’t have a screen you could still use it as a thin client for streaming music, as a skype phone, a WiFi camera, or a dedicated development platform.