Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.
This place is starting to look like a computer repair shop again. Now I’m the recipient (notice that I didn’t say owner — just recipient) of a VAIO PCG-GRT100, US-keyboard, 2.6Ghz Pentium 4 with 1Gb, 32Mb GeForce4 420 at 1024×768, 40Gb and XP. It’s not a bad looking machine — mostly clean, free of damage, starts and runs smoothly.
The only problem is that you can’t see anything (take a look at the photo to get an idea). The screen is dimmed to ghostlike quality, and it’s not BIOS controls or Windows settings that are doing it. This is definitely hardware-based.
If you tilt the screen at an angle you can see a faint relief of the desktop, and it seems to be functioning normally. Aside from the fact that there’s almost no image, it’s fine. It’s just not usable.
I don’t usually tinker with machines that show defects of this nature — repairing is sometimes too finicky and expensive, and the value in a laptop like this is in its parts. Check ebay and you’ll see what I mean.
Apparently Sony wants a few hundred dollars to replace the guts and make it work again, and the owner, naturally, is a little squeamish. The price Sony demands could be recouped by selling the thing off, whole, on the Internet … and probably a profit could be made by splitting it up and selling it piece by piece.
But like I said, I’m only the recipient, not the owner, so I don’t get to call the shots. I did make the offer to help fix whatever thingamajig is blown in the display, and I feel confident I could get it working in a few hours, with proper replacement parts. And really, with this much of it working and functional, it’s worth investing in. Probably.
It doesn’t make my house look any less cluttered though. Oh well. Such is the price of being a geek.