Unexpected Revival

Due to various other things, (some within my control, others not), I haven’t worked much on PhotoFile since I last posted. Some of these things continue to require some of my attention. I had planned to have a minimally usable version out by the end of September, but now I’m not sure that will happen.

One of these things has been my laptop. What’s that, you say? I thought you said your laptop was dead….? I did. Or, at least, I thought I knew what the problem was but I wasn’t able to open the laptop to take a peek. A couple days ago, my dad showed up and convinced me to call around about getting someone to fix it. After hearing that there was an $85 assessment fee, as well as $85/hr rate, I decided it was time to attempt to open it up again. We got to the same stage, which was removing all visible screws and it was still refusing to reveal it’s secrets. Lots of poking around resulting in lots of failure continued. Note: It’s fun prying off laptop keyboard keys! 😀 The first one was a little unnerving, because I wasn’t sure if it would break. And they’re like little puzzles to put back together!

Feeling discouraged, I decided to take a break. Now here’s where something truly magical happened. Seriously, I hope you’re sitting down for this: I focused my mind and used the vast powers of the Internet. I think it was maybe the first Google result for “taking apart Toshiba laptops” that led to me finding a picture and a short description for disassembling a different Toshiba laptop. Luckily, this was pretty much the same as mine. Soon, I was excitedly prying off a plastic strip above the keyboard, which revealed more screws! Jackpot!


So I’m happy to say, the problem was something that was loose and connected to the hard drive. After snapping it back in proper-like, everything seems to be working! The combo drive was also loose (caused by my last attempt). I’ve since done a fresh install/upgrade to Ubuntu Gutsy. Unfortunately, I’m missing my customized Xorg configuration file, so I can’t use the nVidia binary drivers quite yet. I forget what options I had to enable…. But the fact that I have a laptop again is pretty sweet! I was kind of lazy about re-assembling it, though. I wonder where these 7 screws are supposed to be….

nvidia and Compiz on Gutsy

With this recent revival of one in the family, I had to try out the latest 3D whiz-bang (compiz-fusion) on my laptop. I have an nVidia 16MB GeForce4 420 Go on my laptop. After lots of troubleshooting, it looks like the new drivers resolve all the issues I was having (no window borders, black windows, etc). Only one problem, those new universal drivers do not support my chipset. I’m guessing that means I will no longer get any proprietary driver updates… great. I might have to look at the nouveau project for any kind of 3d performance/stability in the future. Would be nice if nVidia decided to follow in AMD’s footsteps and open up their specs.

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2 Comments on “Unexpected Revival”

  1. Alex Says:

    Wow, for some reason I missed out on reading about the resurrection of your laptop!

    I often get asked, “Did you check Google?” whenever I am stuck on something. Like, anything. It always lights a bulb above my head, and make me wonder why it never occurred to me. Perhaps we grew up just prior to the Internet age, so it doesn’t occur to us as naturally as eating.

  2. Alex Says:

    I wonder if kids nowadays will automatically think of the Internet when they’re stuck on something, without hesitation.

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