Computer Cannibal

Over the years I have managed to accumulate a good bit of technology paraphernalia. It has gotten to the point that I rarely have to buy any kind of cable, because I have a box full of cables from old gadgets that have made their way to that great technology roundup in the sky.

A year ago, I bought my wife an Acer Aspire One netbook. It’s hard to believe how far netbooks have come in a year. Last fall, netbooks were relatively rare (i.e. hard to find in a big box retailer), most had meager storage thanks to their small SSD drives, and most ran some type of Linux OS. The Acer I bought my wife was no exception to those rules. In the last year it has performed well in the tasks that it has been given. Alas, the Linpus Linux build did not last, and it has run (albeit very slowly) a stripped down version of XP.

This weekend, I decided to take the plunge and upgrade the RAM on the Acer. Type “Aspire One RAM upgrade” into a search engine and see what comes up. You’ll find that there are a ton of guides out there because to upgrade the RAM you literally have to disassemble the computer. Well, I decided to take the plunge and upgrade the RAM anyway. It’s a cheap little computer so if I mess up it’s not a huge deal. Besides, if I mess up that just means I have more spare parts I can use for future cannibalizing. Since I was going to have the whole thing torn apart, I also decided to see if one of the 1.8′ HDD’s from one of my mp3 players would fit in there so that I could be done with the measly 8 GB SSD.

The two mp3 players I disassembled were an old (i.e. 2003-4 era) Dell DJ and Toshiba Gigabeat (2006). They were actually fairly easy to take apart. Unlike Apple, which makes its products virtually inaccessible  to the prodding screw drivers of aspiring technology cannibals, the Dell and Toshiba were just a matter of removing the right screws and carefully detaching some cables.

Unfortunately, neither HDD worked. The Dell was too old and the Toshiba needed a different ribbon cable (otherwise it would have worked). Fortunately, I was able to put both players back together and they still work perfectly (try doing that with your Ipod).

Oh, and my whole reason for risking life and silicon (i.e. the RAM upgrade) was a success. I tore the netbook down, put in my stick of RAM, and successfully put it back together. I actually enjoyed the whole process. I have never gutted a notebook or an mp3 player and successfully doing all of them in the same evening was a lot of work and quite enjoyable.

Anyway, I took some pictures of the ordeal and I will post them below.

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