Behead Your Laptop

[Mark] sent in this nice trick for breathing new life into an old laptop. [Sarc] had a tibook with a broken LCD. It was still usable with an external monitor, so he simply removed the broken LCD. The tibook (and MacBook) uses a magnetic sensor to monitor the LCD position. To put the machine in the right mode, he taped a magnet in place to make the machine think that the display was in the closed position. To really clean things up, he mounted all the hardware under the desk and used a wireless keyboard and mouse with the machine.

19 thoughts on “Behead Your Laptop

  1. Not too shabby at all!
    I like the tricking the machine with a magnet part too. (old tricks are the best tricks)

    I’ve removed the broken LCD panels from three otherwise fine laptops in the past for makeshift desktop machines.
    It’s a great idea, and in my case helped out some folks who were stuck without computers.

    Good stuff!

  2. Having repaired iBooks for two years, i can tell you that the magnet switch is just a reed switch. you could just as easily open the computer up and put in a jumper to keep the lid in the closed position. the ibooks have the magnet in the base and the reed switch in the lid. i took my magnet out so the computer won’t sleep unless prompted.

  3. or if you have enough $$$… replace the screen. I suggest a place that’s local to me since they usually have lower prices than stuff on ebay – not a plug… I work for a semiconductor manufacturer, not this reseller –
    I replaced the busted parts – LCD (from 1200×800 to 1920×1200… it’s nice), touchpad (required the whole case top around the keyboard), the keyboard, and the hard drive. (kids broke into the church and took the pastor’s display sword off his wall and trashed the laptop on his desk. He got the insurance money for the laptop and then gave the leftovers to me) All told I think I spent about $400 about 2 years ago. $288 was the hi-def screen.
    here’s a before and after shot.

  4. I have a g4 powerbook I was given sans LCD but otherwise functional that gets used much like this when I need a spare desktop. The rest of the time it runs as my BT client, far less wattage than leaving my tower on all the time.
    Collect enough old slow laptops and you’ve got a cheap cluster.

  5. Why not cut the trace to the reed switch instead of taping that stupid magnet there? That’s super ghetto and all of you mac-tards tend to find sexual gratification from the appearance of your machines, so having the unsightly magnet taped there seems somewhat blasphemous. It would take all of 5 minutes.

  6. Hmmm, that’s kind of interesting. Might have to finally create that linux server out of one of my old Lifebooks. I could mount it underneath my computer desk and attach it to my existing monitor via a KVM.

    I like the MAME idea pocketbrain has also.

    Could also make a mythTV box with a TV out and a PCMCIA video capture card. Might run into resolution issues though.

  7. I once had an idea to embed a notebook (without screen) into a kitchen counter. Keyboard and touchpad would be visible from the surface, with a USB/Firewire discdrive mounted in a drawer or something. Then a display could be mounted like an under-cabinet radio.

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