I’ve spent a little too much time hacking on my laptop lately. And by hacking, I mean hardware, and by hardware hacking, I mean an iron file, wire cutters, trimming off chunks of plastic, and of course carpet tape, electrical tape and duct tape, all in an effort to install an internal keyboard.
You see a good while back, the keyboad controller in my laptop started flaking out. So, I removed the internal keyboard and have been using external devices. One external device is a compact keyboard that fits very well in the space the old internal keyboard used to occupy, so I’d pack that along with the laptop whenever I wanted to go portable. But now I’d like to roam about the house with wireless, without having to drag a seperate keyboard around.
So, I liberated the mini keyboard from its plastic case and plopped it in the hole in my laptop, which it fits pretty well except it has a little printed circuit board connected to it by a couple of ribbon cables … and I really couldn’t fit that IN the laptop anywhere. Well, it sort of crammed underneath the keyboard fairly well. Also, the plastic from the laptop case chewed into the function keys, so, I trimmed back the laptop case somewhat and filed the plastic edges of the keyboard down a bit, but I still couldn’t get the thing in there with the circuit board tucked underneath. Too springy. Hrmmm.
So I puzzled and pondered and hit on snaking the ribbon cables underneath the LCD hinge and mounting the circuit board on top of the computer. Ugly, sure, but it worked! I wrapped the circuit board in a trimmed plastic baggie, and used electrical tape to mount it on top. Mmmm, not quite — the electrical tape, while black, like the laptop, is just a little too weak to keep the thing on. So, today I upgraded to good old-fashioned silver duct tape, reinforced with carpet tape to fasten the back of the circuit board to the surface. And after much dicking around, I was able to trim the three foot cord down to about four inches, that comes out of the back of the LCD and snakes around the corner and plugs in to the PS/2 port.
Much more portable, so now I can wander off to the living room and sit back in the recliner and type, as I’m doing now.
If only I were doing something useful with my little Frankenstein’s monster CPU buddy.