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Today my everyday use machine, a 12in screen Powerbook G4 1.5GHz, died horribly. Apps slowed to a crawl, noisey fan, palm rest on the case by HD side heats up, crunching noises (it was from the fan), and system freezes for the past 2 weeks. Today after a reboot from a system freeze it gave Chimes of Death. Though this is a Powerbook I literally found in the trash 5 years ago with several others, it had its time. But I'm not finished with it yet! Opened it up. The fan at the rear was caked with dust and dirt. Though I have opened this machine up in the past, I have not in about 2 years. The heat tape on the processor heat sink literally fell off and what was left was not worth saving. Remove fan, clean out the dirt with WD40, then acetone, alcohol and then respray with WD 40. Took some acetone to remove what was left of the heat transfer tape. Then used some thermo compound and used a small dab of it. Since the heatsink will press against the CPU and other chips, the thermo compound will spread. Best to have it spread enough out to cover the CPU and not overflow as I seen on some PCs. Tighten up a few screws and reassemble it. At first it would not turn on. This has happened before, so remove the battery and then turn it on. Chimes of Death. Check the memory SIMM (always had a problem with that), turn on again. It booted. Tests - 6 hours (still on it now, typing this). Unit does not heat up, the fan turns on so quiet I can not hear it, but there is air flowing in the back of the case. The area of the palm rest (left side) where the hard drive is at is no longer hot. It's warmer than the rest of the machine but not by much. So far, no OS freezes or app slow downs. Took me 4 hours to do. It was a close call. Anything to improve on this? Thermo compound is the regular white stuff and not the silver stuff on PCs so that needs to be upgraded in the near future. Anything else?
Doing some work, I got a Raspberry Pi to run on solar batteries and partially charge up an external battery for night time use; adding a few more solar cells would fully charge the battery and run the Raspberry Pi 24/7. Currently the solar panel is foldable into a neat package the size of a small paperback novel. But this got me thinking. A few years ago at a Google/Linux conference which I spoke for the Brooklyn Linux User's Group, there was talk and demonstration of the "1 child/1 laptop" machine (aka the $100 laptop) for third world countries. It ran off a tiny battery, cranked generator and solar batteries in something the size of a netbook. It used a CF as a hard drive and ran a branched off version of Red Hat Linux. As far as a program went, it was semi successful as third world schools and their students got the laptops but in some cases the local war lords stole them. Man, I f-ing swear.... Grrrr.... What would it take to solar power a laptop like a Powerbook or a PC Laptop? I would like it that at least the solar panel is either as big as the LCD Display or folds up to that size for easy storage. The laptop itself would be as small a possible, like a iBook, PowerBook Duo or ThinkPad 560; of course the laptop needs to be modified with an SSD because the hard drive alone takes up a lot of power. Would a Netbook be worth solarizing? What other options would you think needs to be done to solarize a laptop? Solar panels are cheap on Ebay if you know what to look for. The rest is on you constructing it.