Let me first give you the backstory on this Pismo, which will all lead up to the problem at hand.
This Pismo, as listed on the bottom of the machine, is a Pismo Powerbook 400mhz/1MB Cache/64 MB/ 6GB HD/8 MB Video/DVD machine. Back in 2002, the user of the machine at the time cracked the LCD screen on the machine (I believe he dropped it on a tile floor), so he passed it over to me. Using an external monitor, I had the ability to get back into the computer, and I used it for an extended period with its Mac OS 9. It was fun and all, but eventually I got my hands on a copy of OS X and decided I wanted to perform the upgrade. This was around the year 2003, by the way. Anyways, from my memory, I remember that I had installed the OS X on the machine, and then it went to the please reboot screen and then.... no video on the external monitor. The same went for the S-Video. With not being able to see what is on the internal screen, I knew I was in trouble. Now for whatever reason at the time, I just put the machine aside and never touched it. Now, I just came across the machine 4 years later and I would love to get this old wonder operational again, at least to run OS X via an external monitor, if not to get the LCD repaired as well (something we should have probably done years ago).
So where do I begin? The machine sitll powers up (have the old clam shell charger) and I was able ot fully charge the battery today, but I still have the issue of not being able to see whats on the screen. What about repair shops, is there anywhere that still likes to work on these suckers (perferibly up in Toronto or Buffalo) and not want to charge an arm and a leg (I had one store in Markham want $300 to put a new LCD screen in, and on top of which, who knows if my OS X install even was successful)? I am not shy to take the machine apart and do it myself, but would need some pretty solid instructions and being a student, I really want to try to limit my costs on this machine (if I can get Word operational for the upcoming semester, I would be in heaven as I wouldnt need to spend at least $400 on a machine).
Thanks a lot!!! Any help getting this old sucker working, via external monitor or getitng the entire LCD unit replaced would be appreciated...
P.S. I also have an old hand-me-down IBM Thinpad T-20 machine, and it has a CRC error (basically a unrepairable motherboard error). The LCD on the machine works fine. Would it be possible to take the LCD off of the Thinkpad and just connect the cable straight int o the Pismo, or is it a different type of connector?
P.P.S. If this is in the wrong forum (perhaps I should have posted in Mac & iPod Help & Troubleshooting, please just let me know and move it over there)
Last edited by alebowgm; May 8th, 2007 at 03:43 PM.
Here's a site I've purchased parts from before. They used to be called PBfixit.com (powerbookfixit.com) but with Apple adding a lot of "i" to their products they changed their name. I like this store because they send along instructions with the products. I will warn you... it is a very difficult installation to change the screen n if you dont have a steady hand n gentle hands I wouldn't try it by yourself!
To be completely honest I've heard a lot of horror stories about installing the LCD in the display casing. I'd recommend going with the LCD Display unit. It may already be a bit of a stress just to install that unit properly. But dont be discouraged... iFixit.com has step by step instructions on how to do it. I'm glad to see someone still uses the Pismo ... I've upgraded mine to G4 so that opened up world's more applications that I can use. Good for another 10yrs :P
Oh also if your curious go to iFixit.com and read the instructions for installing LCD alone... better yet here! I must mention they do NOT give instructions on how to install the LCD into the Casing unit if you buy the LCD display alone.
If you can't "see" what's on the external monitor, there is also the possibility that the daughterboard/processorcard is toast. You also may have to consider a new(er) battery since this one may charge up but you have no way to know how long it will run the computer once it's running. That said, I'm all about fixing up old computers. Best of luck.
Some good news/bad news on this. Using hte apple/command - v on boot, I was able to get the computer to boot into some 'special mode', not sure what it is called off hand. Anyways, I was able to see about 1/8th of the top left corner of the machine, and could see it spinning off worths (Darwin was one of the words). Not sure if that means anything for the daughterboard/processorcard.
Yea... certain days, I will wish that I had kept my Pismo. Was sooo classic. My 1st lap. LOL. But try not to get caught in a repair loop. It can get quite pricey. Considering the rarety of some of the parts, and the worth of the unit as well. With that said, good look dude.
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17" iMac G5 2Ghz | 160G | BT | AE | SD Mac: I'm Loving it
In all honesty, the best would be to put no money in it and at least get it working via the external port, but I have NO IDEA how I would get it going. I would love to find someone who has an old Pismo (especially in the GTA) or just a spare LCD that they would part with either for free or a little bit of $... being a student, it would be a nice machine to have going, especially if I can do it for cheap...