Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Saved from the dump - Dell Inspiron e1505

My sister gave me a Dell Inspiron e1505 that she found laying on the curb after the BGSU students moved out. Physically, it appeared to be in decent shape. I plugged it in and powered it on. I would get a one second visual of the Dell boot screen, then nothing. I plugged in an external monitor, and it appears to be working normally (other than the display). A little research indicates that screen failures were common on these laptops.

Otherwise, a decent laptop : Vista compatible, Express Card slot, SD card slot, 4 USB ports, external S-video/composite out.

As I recall, the LCD did not look so great, so "Off With Its' Head!" I removed the screen completely and powered it up again. System booted normally. Everything looks good. If I decide to add a touch screen to use with the virtual pipe organ project, I don't need to worry about integrating a touch panel onto the existing laptop LCD.

Just for grins, I started poking around on the laptop to see if it had any problems. It had 3 different anti-virus programs running simultaneously : Symantec, McAfee and AVG. Once I uninstalled those, performance improved dramatically.

Postscript : Finally figured out the part number of the inverter (note to manufacturers : don't use the letter I in part numbers). Ordered a unit from eBay for $9.

PostPostscript : Replacement inverter did not fix the problem. Found a $25 LCD display at the flea market. Using it headless. To get better wireless range, I pulled the antennas out of the lid and attached them to a wooden stand

I think I'll call him Mike :

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