A week or two ago, the finicky backlight in my IBM Thinkpad 600E finally failed, leaving me with an impossible-to-read screen. I searched around, and ordered a replacement from Hong Kong.
It finally arrived today. I opened the envelope, and TADAH — it was too long. Apparently the directions I read at the time were wrong on which way to measure the screen. (For the record, for this machine you measure the *height* of the screen, not the *width*.)
I decided to try hacking together a way to use the backlight anyway, since I didn’t want to wait another several weeks for another backlight to arrive (and I couldn’t send it back for my ordering the wrong part). It went well — the plastic that spreads the light didn’t crack much after I scored through it partway from both sides with a razorblade, and after soldering the CCFL backlight it worked perfectly.
Then I tried to carefully wrap some electrical tape around where the wires were soldered to the CCFL. Not carefully enough, it seems — when I was just finishing the second end’s tape, the light snapped.
I don’t want to rip the backlight out of my Dell’s old 1024×768 screen, even if it would fit, and I still don’t want to reorder, so this laptop is more-or-less out of commission for general usage as a laptop.
It uses an identical kernel configuration to the Dell Latitude C600 though, aside from the tricky sound. So, I suppose if I got another hard drive for it, and set the system up in the Latitude and transplant it into the Thinkpad, I could turn it into a practical torrent slave similar to what K. Mandla did with an even older machine.
The LCD itself still works, though, so if I were to acquire one of those old-school “overhead projectors”, like this one on Wikipedia’s Overhead Projection article:
I could make a cheapish video projector capable of 720p display. It would be noisy though, but perhaps it would be worth it. I should do some testing, though, as the LCD’s data ribbon plug only works with the Neomagic card in this laptop, and the card has only 2.5MB memory on it. Perhaps this info would help?
A tutorial from years ago on Tom’s Hardware can still be found on their site, here.
Here’s a video of one of these projectors in action. It was originally produced by Tom’s Hardware, and was available for download at the end of their article, but the download link is no longer functional. So, this is it from Youtube.
Sorry about the Flash, but I couldn’t find a way to embed it as HTML5 that WordPress.com would allow.