Acer 6311 Clicky kebard teardown and cleaning up

Cleaning a dirty clicky keyboard is a lot of work.  It pays to take lots of photos of the keyboard before tearing it down, so you can remember where the keys go.

The best way to remove the keys is to lever them from opposite sides at the same time.  Start with the letters and numbers, leave the bigger keys till last.
Notice that the bigger keys have metal retainers that have to be carefully removed from the plastic.  The space bar also has a weak spring.

Also, be careful with scrubbing the keys in solvents or harsh detergents, the keyboard labels may wash off.

Putting it back together is twice as fun, hook the keyboard up and run a program like notepad to see if the right key is in the right spot.

WindyCityTech Blogger

Acer AL922 19 inch LCD Monitor Repair [BadCap]

Another case of the bad caps.  Would not switch on or just for a second.  The monitor is powered by a 12V 5A switchmode mains adapter.

Opening it was easy, remove the two screws under the rubber feet and pry the case open from the other side, where the adapter cord comes out.

The bad cap was the big mains one, puffy and leaking.

WindyCityTech Blogger
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Installing Ubuntu 11.04 on a Acer 5742 Laptop

Just downloaded Ubuntu 11.04 onto my Acer 5742 laptop. 

I decided to copy the image to a portable HDD using UNetbootin instead of wasting a CD.

Booting from the portable HDD was ultra fast, ~10sec.

Upon booting it live, the mouse touchpad was not working, a external mouse was required to navigate.  This was not a issue after the install.

Installing was not a chore either, I chose to apply the updates as it installed.  This requires a internet connection.

 
Ubuntu downloaded the necessary binary blob for the f’ked Broadcom wireless module, i’m going to get rid of this soon, replacing it with a Atheros.

Ubuntu supports a new look called unity, getting used to the new look was too hard for me so I decided to change back to the Gnome classic look.  This can be accomplished if you log out and check the setting ‘Gnome Classic’ when you enter you password.

One of the best things about 11.04 is it finally has a file search that actually works good.  Yay!

Also it comes with Firefox4, its layout has changed slightly too.

All round the new Ubuntu is give the user more screen area which makes it overall appearance cleaner and much more trendy.

One thing that caught my eye was some program called Zeiteist Datahub which loaded on startup.  There is not much info about this on the net but what it does is it gathers info from the user and passes it to other programs to make usage more integrated.  If you are paranoid you may want to apt-get remove it.

Natty Narwhal, Price free and heaps better than Windows!

Installing Ubuntu 11.04 on a Acer 5742 Laptop

Just downloaded Ubuntu 11.04 onto my Acer 5742 laptop. 

I decided to copy the image to a portable HDD using UNetbootin instead of wasting a CD.

Booting from the portable HDD was ultra fast, ~10sec.

Upon booting it live, the mouse touchpad was not working, a external mouse was required to navigate.  This was not a issue after the install.

Installing was not a chore either, I chose to apply the updates as it installed.  This requires a internet connection.

 
Ubuntu downloaded the necessary binary blob for the f’ked Broadcom wireless module, i’m going to get rid of this soon, replacing it with a Atheros.

Ubuntu supports a new look called unity, getting used to the new look was too hard for me so I decided to change back to the Gnome classic look.  This can be accomplished if you log out and check the setting ‘Gnome Classic’ when you enter you password.

One of the best things about 11.04 is it finally has a file search that actually works good.  Yay!

Also it comes with Firefox4, its layout has changed slightly too.

All round the new Ubuntu is give the user more screen area which makes it overall appearance cleaner and much more trendy.

One thing that caught my eye was some program called Zeiteist Datahub which loaded on startup.  There is not much info about this on the net but what it does is it gathers info from the user and passes it to other programs to make usage more integrated.  If you are paranoid you may want to apt-get remove it.

Natty Narwhal, Price free and heaps better than Windows!

Protect your identy from hackers on your webcam laptop

My laptop (Acer 5742) has a built-in webcam, however unlike my last laptop there is no operation LED and way of knowing if it is on or not.  Just in case someone did get into my system from outside and manage to switch on the webcam, I have constructed a tertiary level of protection just by using a piece of black tape.

Get a length of tape 2 inches long, fold one third over itself, stick side to sticky side.  Then mount it on the laptops webcam.

If you ever need to use the webcam, just fold the cover back.