The Deliverator – Wannabee

So open minded, my thoughts fell out…

First Jornada hardware issue – I hope to have many more

Posted by Deliverator on October 31st, 2005

I have always been hard on my mobile computing gadgets. I, as some of you may have noticed, am not a delicate person. I have destroyed a number of laptops (including my beloved Libretto) and have done so with enough frequency that I no longer want to even own one. Survivor’s guilt is the worst sort. It looks like my Jornada 720 may be my latest victim. Thankfully, it looks like I will be able to fix it. For the past few weeks, while typing, spaces having been inserting themselves with increasing frequency. It looks like the Microswitch under the left side of the spacebar is broken and is being activated if I so much as brush the spacebar. I can still use the keyboard just fine, but it has lead to an inordinate number of backspacing while typing. It looks like I can replace the keyboard with only minimal disassembly, although it will result in a hard reset of the machine. Restoring the ram contents from a backup is trivial, though, so I won’t be out of commision for more than a few minutes. Being able to reset back to a know good snapshot nearly instantaneously is one of the Jornada’s high points, imo. While a virus or general winrot can leave a laptop user helpless, I can tinker with the Jornada’s OS internals to my heart’s content and if I break something – so what. It looks like I should be able to use a keyboard from a Jornda 680 to replace the one on my 720. The internet explorer and email hotkeys are reversed on the 680, but I can live with that. 680’s can be had very cheap on eBay these days. The 680 is near physically identical to the Jornada and most peripheral (batteries, stylus, etc.) are compatible. The 680 has a slower SH3 processor, less ram, and runs an earlier version of Win CE. For those reasons, the 680 is a much less desireable machine to most and can be had cheaply on ebay. Unless I indulge myself and buy a Netbook Pro, I intend to be using my Jornada 720 for a long time to come. I have never found another machine that so closely fits the way I want to compute while mobile. I may have to pick up a few dead Jornada units on eBay for parts.