My iBook (affectionately named brubeck) had some major surgery today. The inverter switch and cable assembly, the part that helps the machine know when it’s asleep by the lid position, had gone bad over the years. It’s a typical problem for these machines but the not an easy fix.
After reviewing plenty of official and not so official advice, I bought the part from [iFixIt](http://ifixit.com) for about $50. It seemed simple enough to since I was comfortable with the inside of a laptop and the website’s repair guides are quite detailed. I put off the repair for a solid week, knowing it would be difficult to pull off. I’m glad that I did.
I started at about 11AM and took an hour for lunch, finishing up at 4PM today. I saved the $250 to $400 in labor doing it myself but at one point, I truly wondered if I had lost the whole thing. I had reached the end of disassembling most of the machine when I realized that the instructions didn’t tell me *exactly* how to replace the part.
Google searching made things easier. A competing website had the pictures and instructions to fill in the gaps. Everything went back together inside of 30 minutes since I’d taken some steps to make it easier. Before I went started, I laid out a smooth blanket to do the work, making sure I could catch loose screws as needed. I got a variety of small containers and kept screws sorted by procedure, so one container had everything I needed. I kept the tools separate from everything else and even had a second computer next to me to keep handy access to live instructions. Twice I had to zoom in on photos to make sure I had the right screw in the right place.
I’m typing this post on brubeck so you know how the story ends. Since I’ve had this laptop, I’ve replaced:
* battery – $125
* power adapter – $65
* inverter switch cable assembly – $50
In all, it’s totally worth it. This is easily the most used computer in the house and we don’t want to be without it.