The nightmare before Christmas

Three months before Christmas, that is.

Backache and a cold meant I didn't travel today, which I was supposed to. Still, never one to wholly waste a day I did manage to do one interview and, in the evening, fix my MacBook Pro.

About three months ago I was messing around with a WiMax modem, desperately trying to get a connection faster than dial-up and... whoosh, down comes the modem and it crashed into the screen. Of. My. Brand. New. Macbook. Pro.

Smashing it.

First there was swearing, then there was hysterical laughing. Then came the depression.

Anyway, a couple of phonecalls revealed that it was going to cost almost £800 to repair. No dice: on a good day I can usually scrape together about £8.

One company, Analogic, did offer to repair it for not much more than the cost of the screen. I decided to go with them. I never got around to it though. I was too busy and needed the machine every day. Yes, I do have other computers - several old Macs, an Open Desktop Workstation and a borrowed Windows PC, but I travel a lot for work and need the laptop. Unfortunately, my other Mac laptops all have dead batteries (or worse - I accidentally slung a cup of coffee into a new PowerBook G4 17" last year).

In the end I bought a new screen from Bliss Computers in the US via Ebay. FedEx failed to deliver it three days running but it finally arrived today. This evening I cracked the machine open. The results are below.

All that was required was a Phillips 0 screwdriver, a Torx 6 screwdriver, some bowls or other receptacles to place all six million screws in and a lot of desperation patience.

(All pics were taken on a one day old camera-phone which I'm really rubbish at using, so apologies for the quality, especially the first one which is appalling. Sorry.)

The nightmare before Christmas

Spill your guts

Screen test

The back of beyond

Back to work


A few things I would say: firstly, don't do this yourself - get it done professionally because it is really, really difficult. I haven't done it perfectly but will fix it tomorrow - for now I have bled enough. Quite literally.

Secondly, Apple use too much glue on the inside of the screen bezel. I had to bend the shit out of the old screen to get the damn thing out.

Thirdly, I think I have now discovered the smallest screws known to man.

In a while I might have a go at sticking in one of those super high-def screens...

As a bonus, here's how Apple make that logo glow on the back of their machines: the LCD's backlight shines through a white filter which is glued behind the cut-out.

Anyway, enough solipsism for one day.

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