Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Like Grains Of Sand.....

    So a couple of days pass, a new post goes up. What to talk about today?  Well nothing overly interesting really happened of any noteworthy merit.  I did, however, discover that although tedious, a trained monkey on narcotics could easily swap out the digitizer (glass screen) and backplate on an iPhone 4/4S... its literally 3 screwdrivers and a spludger/case opener. I did this tonight for my cousin who had broken the glass on her iPhone 4, front and back.  While she was driving here (about 15 minutes), I watched a video that showed me the entire process, screw by frigging screw... and with Youtube videos showing in 720p being the norm now, there is not that much room for error in these videos. She gave me the phone and replacement kit, I sat to my table in my room, which has a perfect space to view either by a tablet on a stand, or my desktop (Xubuntu running on an HP Pavillion dv6700 series, but I will be getting to that one later...). I have a simple but efficient rule for disassembly of anything: proper layout with simple but suitable tools are a must. no more than a coffee cups worth of space should be from non-necessary things! My table i have in my room is a double folding wooden breakfast-style table with a brass legged center column stand - very space efficient without much sacrifice. In doing this task all i had were the following:

  • The kit - two guitar picks (they literally are guitar picks, i sh!t you not!), a suction cup with a keyring for a pull (not needed), two case opener/spludgers (very needed), the 3 screwdrivers necessary (a flathead for a pry tool, a Philips for most of the screws, and a Pentalobe - Apple's attempt at a tamper-resistant proprietary screw, needed for 3 screws).
  • A round magnet, and a magnet tray - I put the screw removed from the phone in order on the round magnet so i can then reassemble the phone with ease, reversing the screw order. The Tray is more or less handier for any shield pieces, water sensor, vibration motor, and other components.
  • The replacement screens
  • The iPhone itself
    I did all of this while rewatching the video, pausing when needed.  Please understand that this was pretty much me completely disassembling the iPhone to it's metal frame. When all was said and done, it took me around an hour, and minimal issues, except dealing with screws so small they are like grains of sand... very frustrating at times but no large issues. But previously that day, I had successfully replaced the cooling fan in my HP laptop in around the same time with the same set up, but instead simply using the tray for screws and piling the parts on the table, as this time the laptop was stripped down to its bottom bezel, another complete disassembly to replace one part - the brand new cooling fan that arrived this morning in the post. I was able to do this again with a screwdriver set, with hex bolt bits for a couple of mounts holding in the motherboard. When all was said and done, I had spent an hour completely breaking down and reassembling my laptop to replace the cooling fan. 
    In doing these two tasks today, I had came to two realizations: one - you swear less at a complicated and tedious job with the proper tools and preparation, and two - companies make it really hard for you to do repairs like this blind, but thankfully, Youtube comes to the rescue.  I, myself, have a Youtube video where I show how to convert a controller from the first generation Xbox  controller to be used via USB with a PC. When all was said and done, I had a much quieter computer, by not using a 110 volt desk fan to keep it cool, and I had help from Youtube!

 Disassembly of the iPhone!
The iPhone with it's new purple glass, front and back!

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