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Scaling down a laptop? #193259 03/24/10 04:26 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,379
Trumpy Offline OP
Member
You guys are probably getiing sick of me asking questions about Dell laptops, but I have an application for one here, that might seem strange, but I'm not sure it can be done.
What I want to do is strip my Dell D610 down to pretty much nothing.
By that I mean, removing the LCD screen and the keyboard.
It will have a seperate 20" LCD screen and a USB keyboard connected to it.
It will be installed out of the way, I thought that if the keyboard was removed, the cooling would be better, through better air-movement over the CPU,etc.
Besides, I hate the keys that laptops use, they never feel as "positive" as the keys you get on a full-sized keyboard.

The screen, I want to remove because of space limitations in this radio room here, I can't have another open laptop screen visually cluttering things up.

Does this sound reasonable at all?
Or am I finally nearing the end of total technological saturation?
The laptop itself is only going to be running my weather station software.
However, things like mapping and logging software may get added later on, you just never know.

Your thoughts?

Tools for Electricians:
Re: Scaling down a laptop? [Re: Trumpy] #193270 03/24/10 12:20 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,571
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gfretwell Online Content
Member
You could probably open the keyboard up a bit to let it breathe better but I bet if you remove it you will get a 301 on POST. I doubt a laptop BIOS will let you ignore that error. You can usually turn off the screen but again, if it is disconnected I bet POST will fail.
I have an LS400 Dell working as a FAX and scanner engine in my shop but I do have it on an external monitor/keyboard via a KVM switch shared with another machine, for much the same reasons. I have it propped up so air circulates under it for better cooling.
In the next round of computer reorganization I am going to get my weather station over on it too. The problem for me is this does not have a serial port and I have had shaky results with the USB/serial adapter and my weather station.


Greg Fretwell
Re: Scaling down a laptop? [Re: Trumpy] #193272 03/24/10 03:39 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 783
L
LarryC Offline
Member
Do you have the docking station for this unit? If so, just add the external KVM connections. You might think about removing the battery to reduce the heat load.

Larry C

Re: Scaling down a laptop? [Re: LarryC] #193277 03/24/10 05:38 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 613
M
mikesh Offline
Member
I have a 600m with a failed display. The graphics card is good and drives an external monitor. 2GB of internal ram.
I'd sell it cheap and could even remove the display if you are interested. $50 and shipping?

Re: Scaling down a laptop? [Re: mikesh] #193285 03/25/10 12:25 AM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 251
W
WESTUPLACE Offline
Member
I am typing this on a DellD610. You can remove the display but leave the keyboard. Many computers use the keyboard as part of the heatsink for the CPU. Also it shields the computer from external RFI and prevents it from radiating RFI. You can also just turn the internal display off using the keyboard command. There is a co in Texas that sells displays. A new display for most computers is $130-$160. My computer has two vertical bars going thru the screen. This is caused by failed connection at the matrix at the panel edge. Many dells have this problem. They changed screen types later to stop this problem. They replace many under warranty. Mine is on the far right side an does not warrant a new $145.00 screen. (Yet!)

Re: Scaling down a laptop? [Re: WESTUPLACE] #194136 05/12/10 06:21 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,379
Trumpy Offline OP
Member
Westuplace,
Actually, I managed to get this all sorted out.
I cut the little pin off that shuts the screen off when the laptop lid/screen is closed, I also turned off the screen with the Fn + F5 command.
I also bought one of them lap-top cooling pads and it is sitting on that, it's running a LOT cooler than it was when I was using it as an actual laptop.

Has anyone used an older Dell laptop lately sitting on thier laps and realised how hot they do get?

Good point about the keyboard forming part of the heatsink,
I left the keyboard in mine for that very reason.

The only thing I have left to do with this computer is work out how to make that annoying "Your computer may be at risk" nag bubble from appearing, now that I've turned Automatic updates off.
This computer is not connected to the internet or to my network, so I don't see why I need security updates. mad

Re: Scaling down a laptop? [Re: Trumpy] #194150 05/13/10 03:45 AM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 404
noderaser Offline
Member
I had an Averatec laptop with a Pentium 4HT... Those processors should have never been put in laptops, it acted like an oven for the family jewels if you actually put it on your lap.

I'm assuming you are running Windows XP; you can disable Security Center by running services.msc and looking for the service named "Security Center". Right-click, hit properties and change "Startup type" to "disabled." Hit the "Stop" button, hit "Ok" and you should be good.

Re: Scaling down a laptop? [Re: noderaser] #194376 05/26/10 06:06 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 613
M
mikesh Offline
Member
Mr Fretwell got my old dell laptop and I replaced it with a Macbook pro. Hours of battery and never gets hot even on the power supply and running graphics for hours. the whole chassis is aluminum. Fabulous design and runs Windows better than most PC based computers once you get past the Apple specific drivers for their hardware. I have met a couple of guys that bought macbooks and pretty much did a minimum mac install and dedicated most resourses to windows. One fellow said his MB pro with a 2.0(?)mhz dual core is faster than his toshiba with a faster processor and more memory Ie 2gb on the macbook and 4 on the toshiba.
I don't really notice the speed since I still have internet traffic to contend with but I am impressed with the macbook pro.

Re: Scaling down a laptop? [Re: mikesh] #194378 05/27/10 01:22 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,571
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gfretwell Online Content
Member
Speaking of that laptop. I may be taking it to the mountains with me next week. The display still seems to be working but the "cabin" we are renting has a couple of plasma TVs so I will be taking a cable. We will mostly be using it for looking at google earth pictures to plan our hikes.


Greg Fretwell
Re: Scaling down a laptop? [Re: gfretwell] #194428 06/01/10 06:45 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 613
M
mikesh Offline
Member
Hey Greg
glad you got lucky with that Dell. It was pretty expensive at the time I bought it because it was supposed to have like 4 hours of battery life. That translated to an hour and a little bit. BTW I did replace the battery 2 summers ago.

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