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DIY Pixel Qi Kits

by mary_lou_jepsen on March 7th, 2010

Just a quick note to say the DIY kits from our distributor will be available towards the end of Q2. We will be announcing with them prior to distrbution. Thanks for your patience.

One of the reasons I’m personally committed to doing this goes back to my One Laptop per Child experience and girls in a poor rural part of Nigeria who helped us test the early beta-laptop builds. In their school they had slanted desks bolted to benches with 4-5 kids per desk/bench combo. When any kid fidgeted or bumped all the laptops would fall on the concrete floors. The laptops were designed to be rugged and didn’t break usually, but in this early build one of the cables to the touchpad/keyboard was 1mm too short and could become “unseated”. This meant the keyboard and the touchpad would no longer work unless something was done.

Luckily: An 11 year old girl decided to open a laptop hospital. Unfortunately the boys really missed out here, because in this part of Nigeria “everyone knows” only girls work at hospitals, she eventually recruited girls as young as 5 to help out in the hospital. This group of girls armed with screwdrivers starting taking apart the laptops and reseating the cables. Sometimes they’d change out a screen, or a speaker. They learned about the hardware of their laptops. They got to see what was inside. They got better and better at fixing things by learning as they went.

Ministers of Education had a tough time believing that these girls could fix the hardware, so they would visit – to see it with their own eyes – and start thinking differently about maintenance of hardware. We kept preaching that ownership was the best way to assure maintenance.

Yet, most people are scared to change their laptop screen. It’s only slightly more difficult than changing a lightbuld: it’s basically 6 screws, pulling off a bezel, unconnecting the old screen and plugging this one in. That’s it. It’s a 5 minute operation.

  1. That scaredness, I can personally confirm it pretty well. Losing the warranty to several 100 € isn’t exactly encouraging modding for private customers like me.

  2. Great news, great story.

    Any details on the models compatibility? Also, how will mode switching work? Will we have an extra hardware button, will we need some extra software, or what?

    My current netbook is beyond warranty. Were it not, well, yes, I’d be somewhat scared to lose it. Or maybe I’d risk paying for repair in case anything goes wrong (and hoped nothing does).

  3. dlang permalink

    at this point 52 of the 54 comments are links to stories referring to this. that seems a bit much, is there any way to have the comments be actual comments from people and have a separate section for links?

  4. Jose permalink

    Agree with dlang: Is there any way of separating the press links from actual comments?

    They seem repeated too.

    Is there any possibility of making a capacitive input-pixel qi combo, so it becomes easy to not use keyboard?

  5. By the way, there still is quite a lack of information about upcoming devices with PixelQi-Screens. The only one I know is the Notion Ink Adam and that’s not quite the type of productive device I hoped for.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. DIY Pixel Qi screen kits due in June 2010 | Toplaptops
  2. DIY Pixel Qi Screen Kits Expected To Hit By June 2010 | Cool Magazine

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