I want a tablet. No cash to spare for an Ipad or a Galaxy Tab. So how about I make one? This is what this post is about. Interested??? Read more!
I bought this second-hand Thinkpad X60 some time back to complement my rather heavy T410. Using it mainly as a giant ebook reader and video player. Then I wondered, is there some way to hide the keyboard since I seldom use it. Hence, I made the leap with this machine and this blog post chronicled the progress Ive made.
This conversion made up of four parts. Stage 1: Getting ready and introduction (21 Dec 2011) Stage 2: Flipping the LCD (21 Dec 2011) Stage 3: Installing the touchscreen overlay add-on panel (Future) Stage 4: Create a proper LCD bezel (Future)
Ive turned the left to the right. (You can click images to view the full versions)
Before I begin, here are the specs for this early 2007 machine.
Intel Core 2 Duo T5500 1.66Ghz Intel 945GM chipset Intel 950 GMA graphics 2x2GB DDR2-667 RAM (only 3GB usable due to chipset limitation) 80GB Intel X.25M G2 SSD 12.1" 1024x768 LCD Windows 7 Professional SP1 64bit and Lubuntu 11.10 32 bit
Not impressive by modern standards, but precisely expendable enough for such a project. So lets get the required stuff ready.
1. Functioning expendable laptop. 2. Manufacturer's hardware maintenance manual (HWM) if possible 3. Soldering iron 4. Some wires for cable extension 5. Multimeter to test for continuity 6. Touchscreen addon (for stage 3) 7. Proper bezel (for stage 4) 8. Saw if necessary (for stage 4)
For the X60 and many other Thinkpad laptops, IBM/Lenovo makes very good HWMs with step by step instructions. The X60's HWM is available here. Not sure for other manufacturers though.
So lets begin!
The main aim for this stage is to remove the LCD panel. As per the HWM, one has to remove all these parts in the correct order.
“1010 Battery pack” on page 60 “1050 Keyboard” on page 65 “1060 Upper case” on page 69 “1100 Wireless WAN PCI Express Mini card” on page 75 “1120 Wireless LAN PCI Express Mini card” on page 78 “1170 DC-in and RJ-11 connectors” on page 85 “1180 LCD assembly” on page 86 “2010 LCD bezel” on page 97 “2020 Inverter card” on page 100 “2030 Bluetooth daughter card” on page 101 “2040 LCD” on page 102 “2050 Wireless WAN retractable antenna” on page 105 “2060 Wireless WAN antenna cable (SPWG)” on page 106 “2070 Wireless LAN antenna cables (SPWG)” on page 107 “2080 Hinges” on page 109
Those stroked off parts are because either my X60 doesn't have them or are deemed unnecessary by me. Still alot of stuff though haha.
The battery, keyboard and upper case has been removed.
I've detached the LCD bezel from the lower case by unscrewing the hinges. Notice the Wireless LAN antenna cables snaking out from inside the hinges. I have to disconnect them from the WLAN card later. Also pay special attention to the off-centre disconnected video data cable. That is the most problematic part faced in the next stage.
Off goes the LCD bezel and inverter (Not shown in pic) leaving the bare LCD panel. The X60's inverter is a long strip of circuit board the contains that LED indicators located just below the LCD panel. The video data cable connects to it too.
Hinges are the next to go. Notice how they extend all the way to the top where they meet the WLAN antennas. Also another key concern later.
Theoretically speaking, this stage and the next could be as simple detaching the LCD from the lower case, rotate it like a tablet and attach the hinges back. However as you can see, the video data cable is off centre and is too short to be extended making the above option impossible.
Another issue is that the hinges in this X60 are not symmetrical. If you look closely at the second last picture, one of the hinges has a larger hook at the case connection point than the other. This difference forced me to remove the hinges for the LCD so they can remain at the current positions.
This ends Stage 1. Will start flipping the LCD in stage 2.
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From this point on, there is no more HWM to guide me and no turning back. From the previous stage, flipping the LCD horizontally like a typical tablet is infeasible. The only other solution is to flip it vertically. This means the inverter has to be shifted. Read on to see how I do it.
Since the inverter has to be shifted from bottom to top relative to the LCD panel, the LCD power cables (purple and black) has to be extended.
I snipped off the power wires at the halfway mark and soldered in my own extension wires.
Attaching everything back in preparation for the test.
The LCD panel is now upside down to maintain the off-centre position of the video data cable. Form a nice loop and tape it down.
Front view of the data cable and inverter.
The moment of truth! Upside-down image as expected.
Boots to the Windows 7 desktop just fine.
Remember the WLAN antenna cables? Now I have to reattach them. I just routed them back through the hinges and follow their original paths.
Full 180 degree closure. No issues detected.
Doing some housekeeping of the cables. Notice the WLAN antenna on the right. No place to screw on as the LCD power cables were in the way. I had to improvise by shifting it nearer to the centre.
Not as thin as the Ipad. But still good enough for me.
All works well!
All the tools I used up to this point.
My project shall pause at this point. The touchscreen add-on panel I ordered from Ebay will probably take another 3 weeks to arrive. Now that the keyboard is difficult to access, I'm using a Logitech K400 which is a combo wireless keyboard/touchpad to utilise this machine From Logitech's website. A very useful space-saving tool.
The biggest sticking irritant right now that I don't have a solution for is the power button. I have to flip the LCD panel open every time I want to turn on the PC. The BIOS only has Wake-on-Lan but that works only when the AC adapter is connected.
Unlike other brands, the power button of Thinkpads is located on the keyboard itself and not a separate switch. This means I cannot easily make an extension of it without ripping open the entire keyboard. The only idea I have now is a physical lever that goes under the LCD bezel but still not sure how to design it.
This ends stage 2. Will commence Stage 3 when I receive my touchscreen overlay some time in 3 weeks.
Its been a long time since I last blogged. And for a good reason. Time has not been on my side since I started my first semester in NUS. My Computer Science major I feel is heavier than the average in NUS baring the extremes like medicine and law. Spent many sleepless nights throughout this semester, no thanks to my 2 Maths modules.
Speaking of which here are my grades.
CS1010 A+ (Programming Methodology: C Language) CS1231 B (Discrete Maths) MA1521 B (Calculus for Computing) LSM1302 B (Genes and Society) PS1101E A- (Intro to Politics)
CAP for this Sem is an exact 4 out of a possible 5. Including my Special Term IS1103's A- brings the figure up to 4.08. I would say these results are within but on a low end of my expectations. Was hoping for at least a B+ for CS1231 and LSM1302. But I guess the rest of the NUS ppl in those modules did not leave much of the bell curve for me.
The A+ for CS1010 was a pleasant surprise for me. At the risk of bragging, I was confident I would get at least an A considering I scored at the top 25% for 60% of the assessment prior to the finals. But an A+??? Anyway, scoring was made easier since many of the top CS freshmen opted to take a tougher introductory course in Scheme (CS1101S). However, I'm willing to make a silent bet that this will be my first and probably last A+ I will get in my NUS education. This A+ furthers my regret that I chose not to take H2 Computing in JC. CS1010 is almost similar to it, I should have gotten an A in BOTH.
B for CS1231 was a letdown. Considering the time put into studying and the project video, it was not worth it at all if it wasn't my core module. The start of this module was hell. So many unknown weird symbols, and hell I was thought to prove why 1 + 1 =2. Its 2 dammit! The numerous foreign freshmen who seemed to have studied these in detail beforehand turned up the pressure cooker. And saying the "Proof is omitted" in every other proof just turns up the heat even more. The only respite was the fact that things got slightly easier as the semester neared its end.
MA1521's content in general is like an extension to H2 Maths. In terms of the concepts to study, they number close to the entire A Level Maths. So the difficulty of H2 Maths crammed into one semester. Welcome to University life! Its the opposite of CS1231. Start easy with a revision of H2 Maths then progressively getting harder and harder until my jaw nearly drops just before the finals. Made worse by the rusting of my brain during NS.
LSM1302 aka GEK1527 is considered my core module since I have to clear 3 science modules as part of my degree requirement. This module is taught by one very energetic lecturer. I assure you, you will not fall asleep during his lecture unless you purposely want to. Having zero academic background in Biology, this module is a real eye opener to stuff like DNA, cloning and their impacts on society. In one of the assignments, I had to make a brochure educating the public on Huntington's disease. Brought out a little part of my creative side. But the finals despite being MCQ-based was very tough and competitive. Would be happy to take this module as part of my GEK requirement. The Core sticker made me slightly dislike it.
PS1101E aka GEK1003 is taught by a very comedic Japanese Prof. Never fails to make the entire LT laugh at some point during his lecture. He spins jokes out of political leaders/academics yet drives the point clearly through. This module is competitive as many FASS students take it to satisfy their exposure requirement. Unless your English is superb, I say stay away from this module and any other English-based FASS modules for that matter if you want an A. Even though I got A for my GP in the A Levels and being a former debater, I was no match to the rest of the FASS majors. I guess my A- was just on a "scrap through" basis. I'm minoring in Political Science btw hence this module.
Having gotten the A+ in CS1010, I more than qualify for the accelerated CS2020 next Sem. A 2-in-1 6MC module that is even tougher than CS1101s. Hellish module? Oh yeah! Why I intend to take it? Just to challenge myself and to gauge myself with the rest of the "elite" freshmen in the CS department. Oh, I guess that means more sleepless nights coding away... Looking forward to more panda eyes next Sem...
The title is somewhat a misnomer as I've technically matriculated earlier than normal due to special term (ST). Nevertheless in official terms, I'm in the 2011/2012 batch of freshmen.
My Special Term ended two days ago in my first examination in NUS. Thankfully, the paper was not tough although the wrist aches reminded that such a long time has passed since my previous exams in the A Levels that my wrists were unaccustomed to this.
From the 1 month that I've spent in university, the one thing that strikes me the most is the level of interaction between the student and lecturer/tutor. Students are expected to contribute and provide answers to questions with the tutor being a mere facilitator of discussion. I have to admit that this is partly due to class participation being a gradable component.
Notwithstanding this, I had a minor culture shock in my first tutorial where students spoke up at the intensity greater then what I've seen in JC and all my previous schools combined. In lectures, students were not afraid to debate openly with the lecturer should they have any contention/clarification with the points being taught. In JC, teachers used to tell us to clarify only during tutorials as the lecture schedules were always too tight.
Project Work was cursed by many of my JC friends. In Uni, one has to see alot more of that. PW in JC spanned almost a whole year. Numerous opportunities abound for the Written Report (WR) to go through many guided drafts and time slots for Oral Presentation (OP) rehearsals.
My module being compressed in a ST had to contend with shorter timeframes. The project question was released on a Thursday evening. The groups had to cobble together an OP and WR and be ready to present by Monday. No help and no time for rehearsal, just do it, as Nike says. Had to do two of this in ST. Doubt deadlines would be this short in the normal term but one has to deal with more projects simultaneously which amounts to the same thing.
And a laptop is a necessity rather than luxury. One is expected to consult the web on the fly to gather/verify information. Asking is reserved only if you need opinions or if the information is exotic enough not to be easily searchable/available online. And battery life and weight is of the utmost importance. My T410 at 2.3kg weighs like a ton of bricks when I move from place to place. Lacking the Nvidia Optimus graphics, I had to buy a 9-cell battery to hit a reasonable 6 hours bringing it up to 2.5kg. Before your fire me with questions, please know that I did not regret my choice and bought this first-gen Intel i5 T410 model with full awareness of its limitations.
Back on topic, the prospect of being forced to take modules outside my faculty is daunting for some but attractive to me. I intend to take a minor in Political Science and am making full use of my university electives for this purpose. My degree requires me to take 3 Science modules. Of the approved list, I'm precluded for most of the Physics and Chem modules since I've taken those A Level subjects. End up I have to take Biology modules which I have no background in. Something I dislike but appreciate at the same time that this is meant for me to be an all-rounder person.
School for me officially starts with Orientation Week tomorrow. I look forward to this new phase of my academic life. After all, this is my course of choice since primary school.
I stayed up all the way till 3 am this morning to watch the news until the last result was announced. The latest time I have stayed up late at home to date. It was worth it in the end. I wanted to hear the results live, not on the newspapers or recorded speeches.
At 81:6, its the opposition's (or should I say Workers Party) best showing since independence and the days of Barisan Socialis. No doubt, this is a watershed election where a non-PAP party managed to win a GRC. The average vote for PAP at 60.14% is lower then the 2/3 garnered in 2006 and is its lower vote share since independence. The swing has been expected and reasons commented on by others so I won't touch on it.
Congrats to the Workers Party team for getting elected there! Its sad that George Yeo has to leave.
I believe George Yeo is a capable minister. In fact, he is the one of the last few ministers on my list of who to vote out first. It is the PAP's fault that they want to put anchor ministers in each GRC. This may work in the past to deter opposition candidates. But when the opposition becomes powerful enough to challenge GRCs, you cannot say you have to vote the PAP team just because of one minister. When you lose, you lose 5 candidates including several office holders at a go. This problem is PAP's own creation.
If George Yeo is in an SMC, this problem would not arise. Its sad that George Yeo and his team is the first PAP casualty of the GRC system. But this is normal part of democracy and George Yeo is not indispensable. He can still serve as part of the Singapore delegation in foreign affairs to retain his expertise.
I silently hope that the WP team would do their best to make Aljunied a model GRC to prove that opposition candidates can run such large town councils as well. May Aljunied residents not have to repent! If WP fails in its work, I have no disagreement in it being voted out in the next election.
Expected result. WP is too entrenched in Hougang to vote it out already. I was surprised Yaw could garner a greater percentage of vote than his predecessor. Probably helped by the nationwide 6% swing.
If you see the electoral map, Aljunied GRC nearly surrounds the whole of Hougang. I'm not surprised if the WP team treats Hougang as the 6th constituency of Aljunied. If WP can run this 6 constituencies well, it proves that the WP team can do the same for any other GRC.
A 50:50 chance ends with an almost 50:50 result. The smallest constituency by electorate yet took the longest to count. Alas, there can only be one winner and that is PAP's Sitoh Yih Pin. He and Potong Pasir residents deserves this victory. He has worked the ground for so long, its time for his reward. Now he has to perform. It will be easier to provide results. All he has to do at the minimum is to revive upgrading plans mothballed since 1984. The opposition representation baton of Potong Pasir has been handed over to Aljunied, its finally time for their much needed upgrading.
In my view, its unlikely Potong Pasir will exist in its current form in the next election. Its electorate at 17000+ is too small to justify its existence. It will be probably be merged into another district relegating the name of Potong Pasir into the memories of Singaporeans as the longest opposition stronghold of 27 years in history. Hougang, I'm looking at you to supercede this.
As to candidate quality, I have to admit Sitoh Yih Pin is the better candidate. Lina Chiam is an election newcomer and from her speeches in the rallies, she does not come across to me as someone with policy debating calibre. I have not heard the live speeches of Mr Sitoh but I salute his perseverance!
Despite Mr Chiam's reputation, age and ill health has caught up with him. People still do give him the utmost respect. But respect is not enough to win votes. Voters are still concerned about what can be done for them. I believe they see his poor health as a disadvantageous factor.
Its true a GRC team is bigger than one man. But he is like the "anchor minister" in a GRC. Its performance can fluctuate with the anchorman's capabilities.
If you were looking at the results live on TV, you would notice that a vote swing chart was provided for all other previously-existent wards except Marine Parade.
My guess is that it is too embarrassing to show. The last election was a by-election held in 1992 where the PAP team won by 72.9%. The swing of 16% is probably the largest in this election.
Its easy to pinpoint the likely causes. The displeasure with Tin Pei Ling's performance, Nicole Seah's popularity and the lesser known fact that Marine Parade GRC sent some of their voters to Aljunied due to cough! cough!. This a real embarrassment to Goh Chok Tong and the PAP as a whole. It may be forced to reconsider before putting candidates like Tin Pei Ling up the election slate again.
Its a pleasant surprise to see that the B team of NSP did better than their A team counterparts. NSP's B team Marine parade got 43.35% while their A team (including party chairman Goh Meng Seng) at Tampines GRC got 42.78%. The Nicole Seah effect is really strong.
It has been suggested in the temasekreview that if Tin Pei Ling contravenes the Elections Act, she will be stripped of the MP position and a by-election will be called. I normally don't read the temasekreview but this idea is not bad though a little extreme. I thing a better, more detailed solution would be:
Get half, more or all of the Marine Parade MPs to resign. This will trigger a by-election. Get a prior agreement with the opposition to not contest which I believe they will oblige. They wont win anyway. Replace Tin Pei Ling with George Yeo and resubmit nomination forms. The resulting walkover will send George Yeo back into parliament as per normal without having to go through campaigning again.
There is even a facebook page on this. This solution is normally unethical but if the PAP does it, it has my full support.
What a close battle especially for Joo Chiat SMC which WP's candidate (48.99%) was a relative newcomer. One can already visualise the "tentacles" of WP extending outwards from its home ground in Hougang. Aljunied already conquered. More to come.
I dunno if the elections department will redraw Joo Chiat and East Coast as it usually does for wards like these. I better hope not. If it does, it will yet be another glaring example of gerrymandering like Cheng San and Eunos GRCs.
Its easy to focus on one PAP loss of the GRC and forget that it has won in all other districts except Hougang. It still has a super-super majority to pass constitutional amendments with ease. The opposition parties have to continue working the ground in order to get more seats. In the next election when I can vote for the first time, any decent opposition party/candidate that contests in my district will get my vote until the 2/3 PAP dominance in Parliament is breached.
The Worker Party performed the best among all the opposition parties. Its percentage of votes garnered was not lower than 41% for every ward it contested. This is a party to watch. It could be the eventual centrepoint for the opposition should they decide to merge to form a 2-party system.
My last reply of this very fruitful exchange between my pro-opposition stance and my army pal's pro-PAP stance. I have learned alot from this exchange of viewpoints and I'm sure he did too. Too bad, I don't have the time and energy to keep writing such long articles for the minute few to read them.
Today being Polling Day, shall cap this discussion (I hope) which started from before Nomination Day. Its not like I'm helping the Workers Party (which I closely support) write and defend their manifesto.
I have a life to go back to. And so do you. Good Day and vote carefully!
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