Fixed the Dell Mini 9 Keyboard Itch


Finally had to fix the Dell Mini 9 keyboard. If you’ve played with one of these netbooks or have one, you’ll know that the quote/apostrophe key is located in the wrong spot when compared to normal US keyboards. The key is located to the bottom row of keys and takes some getting use to.   

Well I thought I could get use to it. It started to become one of those minor irritants that you can’t seem to correct. Sort of like an itch you can’t scratch. The other night I had enough of that itch.

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Trusty WRT54G – Transformed

wrt54g.pngRecently I changed from FIOS back to Cablevision and I found myself in a position of not having a modern wireless router. Yeah, I realized that as soon as I had order the re-installation of cable only 5 days before the install. FIOS had come with it’s own cable modem with built-in wireless router. Cablevision on the other hand, requires that you get your own. When I switched from Cablevision to FIOS I had given my Apple Extreme Base Station to my Dad as I thought that I didn’t need it any more. Now with the change back, I thought I had to go out and buy a new modem. Not that I mind – I’m jonesing for the NETGEAR WNDR3700-100NAS that just came out. However, at $180+ I think I’ll wait awhile for the price to come down.

In the meantime, I dug into the Pile of Tech (other wise known to my wife as the garbage pile in the basement) and found my old Linksys WRT54G. It’s actually a v1.1 model, so it’s going back some time – it’s ancient as far as tech goes. At the time that it came out, I believe that 802.11g was just ratified. So the router was top of the line, cutting edge at 54mbps. Compared to 802.11n, I thought using it would feel like going in reverse. Since I owned it already and I really needed to get online with a router after the cable guy had left, I thought I’d give it a chance.

I was fortunate enough that the router had retained it’s configuration from the last time it was used. Thus nothing really had to be change in the way of security. I was up and running in a matter of 10-15 minutes once I got the right cables pulled through the network cable nest I have in the basement. (Another project I haven’t had time to get to yet.)

But I couldn’t let it rest there… I had to improve it!

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Dell Mini 9 – Upgraded to 10.5.8


Wow.. I just upgraded my Dell Mini 9 to OS X 10.5.8 and I’m just completely overjoyed on how uneventful the upgrade went. Almost not worth writing a blog entry about it. I made a backup of my DellEFI v1.2 alpha 5 application, upgraded to 10.5.8 via Software update, re-installed the DellEFI, reboot. Done.  

Although it seems like a lot of people have starting doubting the usefulness of these netbooks, I can tell you I get a lot of mileage out of mine yet. It now has a permanent home in my Go-Bag.

MacBook 13.3″ LCD Replacement


Ahhh… kids…. such bliss. What could be better? Kids and laptops… or rather broken laptops.  

One of the kids’ 13.3″ MacBook LCD screen was damage – magically, of course. The screen had two very serious cracks which rendered the device pretty much useless. However, that didn’t stop them from using it anyway.. In any event, this is a quick article to point out a couple of really great resources to perform your own upgrade.

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