Category Archives: Miscellaneous

How to Replace the Keyboard on a Dell XPS 1530

One of the things I love most about summer, and working from home, is the option of working outside on warm sunny summer days. However, recently working at home got the best of me, in a different way.

I’d left a glass of water near my laptop, and my cat decided that was a nice place to walk past. Unfortunately, clutz that she sometimes is, she managed to knock the glass of water onto my laptop.

Panic stricken, I unplugged everything from the computer as fast as I could, turned it upside down, and started powering down. The blue screen of death beat me to the punch, and on seeing that I knew I had problems. I pulled the battery immediately.

The next half hour was spent digging my way into the bowels of my XPS 1530. I took all the screws out of the bottom, and partially separated the top plate from the innards. I was able to spy several water droplets, most of which I was able to get with a Q-Tip. After I was satisfied that I’d mopped up everything that was readily accessible, I got my wife’s hairdryer, propped it up and let it blow free through the case for about half an hour.

I tried giving it some power, but the light around the power button came on for half a second and then died. That was about all it could muster. I decided to let the thing rest overnight and prayed for the best.

The next morning I was able to get a little further. The computer powered up, but the BIOS registry took forever. Then it started beeping rather angrily at me. Finally though, it worked its way huffing and puffing into safe mode.

Did I mention this happened two days after I had freshly formatted my computer? Argh.

Anyways, satisfied that I was seeing progress, I turned it off and let it rest for most of the day (a Saturday).

Later on, I tried again. Now it went into Windows ok, and everything seemed fine…. EXCEPT my keyboard.

About a dozen keys weren’t working. Several days later nothing had changed. I normally use a wireless keyboard anyways, so it wasn’t the end of the world, but next week I’m traveling for a week and a dud keyboard just won’t do.

So I started looking online, and found a replacement keyboard on Ebay for $17.25 (buy it now – including shipping!).

Anyways, today I finally got the time to dive into my little replacement project. I tried looking online but wasn’t able to find any other tutorials for how to replace the keyboard on an XPS 1530 or 1330, so I’ve decided to share my newfound knowledge with you, dear reader. Here goes.

How to Replace the Keyboard on an XPS 1530/1330

The first step is to remove the battery. Never open your computer without doing that.

Sorry, backup. The first step I took was to make a nice rum and coke and take the operation outside. You’ll need a small Phillips screwdriver, and a small flat screwdriver would be good too.

xps-keyboard

Now, I’m going to show you the short way to do this, but I’ll just let you know that I did indeed tear this sucker apart – and you don’t have to. No, replacing your laptop’s keyboard should only take 10 or 15 minutes if you follow these instructions.

Second – and this is the secret that I found out quite a ways into the process – pop off the two side bits, as you can see from the picture. You can do this with a flat screwdriver. They’re just held in by plastic tabs.

xps-keyboard-9

After you’ve got these bits off, on each side, then you need to pop off the dark plastic bit that runs the width of the laptop, with the holes for the speakers. Again, use the flat screwdriver.

xps-keyboard-10

Don’t bother trying to unplug this, you can just put it aside out of the way. Now you should be looking at the two screws that hold the keyboard in place. Take those out, slide the keyboard out, and you’re halfway done.

The last thing to do is actually unplug the keyboard.

xps-keyboard-12

There’s a plastic bit holding the wire on. The plastic pops upwards, as you can see in the picture.

Now, swap the keyboards, plug it in, put the whole thing back together and you’re done!

The Internet Is Really Pretty Simple…

I was speaking to a client on the phone today, and all of a sudden he said something that just made me burst out laughing. Maybe it was something in my coffee that morning, and then again maybe it has merit.

We were talking about the internet, and marketing, and he said this:

The internet is a big place.

It’s full of people,

And they all have credit cards!

For some reason those three statements just summarized the viewpoint of an optimistic internet marketer. Too often we get sidetracked and think that the market isn’t big enough, or we’re not big enough for the market, or some other such foolishness.

The fact is, there’s a lot, no, make that a TON of buyer’s out there with credit cards.

All you need to do is give them a reason.

Google Adwords vs Overture Customer Service

I recently had cause to deal with the customer service departments at both Google Adwords and Overture. I’ve dealt with each in the past before as well, but never at the same time before. 

Anyways, I got such a different experience from each of them that I thought it worth mentioning. 

First off, the issue at hand was the fact that part way through the year, I changed the name of my company. Right now I’m in the process of collecting all my receipts for the accountant, and I wanted some invoices and the like from each of these companies. Part of the issue was the fact that I had changed names though – I wanted invoices for each of the names for their respective part of the year. 

Anyways, I contacted both of them via email, through my admin panel on January 13th. Yesterday, the 19th, I received this from Google:

Hello Jonathan, Thank you for your email. I understand you want to change the company name on your invoices back to August 2008. I am sorry but we will not be able to do this. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

Then there was the standard please visit our help desk etc. etc. 

So it took them nearly a week to tell me to stuff it. Okay, well I guess that’s pretty well expected from Big G. 

How did Yahoo/Overture handle this? Remarkably different. 

January 14th I got a call from a fellow named Justin. He was following up, letting me know he’d emailed me the things I needed. I thanked him, and as I got off the phone I went over to my computer to find this waiting:

Hello Jonathan,

It was a pleasure speaking on the phone with you today. As you requested, here is a receipt of all your 2008 Yahoo! Search Marketing charges.

Then there was the standard etc etc. Attached were two spreadsheets with pretty much what I was looking for. I actually needed a small change, which I could make myself, but I wanted to check with them if that was ok, so I emailed back and asked. Within a few hours I was told to go ahead and make the changes I deemed fit. 

The customer service was so far superior at Yahoo it was incredible. In the past I’ve had exactly similar results. Google takes a week and provides almost no help at all. From what I’ve been told, people that have huge accounts (ie hundreds of thousands a month) don’t get all that much more service. Yahoo, on the other hand, has always phoned me back after every customer service question I’ve asked. They’ve always been helpful, prompt, and forthcoming with information and solutions. 

I know Google’s got most of the market share, but it’s at times like this that I find myself wishing I could do a bit more business with Yahoo instead of Google. 

Yahoo/Overture, if you’re reading this, keep up the good work… and thanks. 

Keep It Simple Stupid! (Corporate Marketing Depts)

I’ve been reading a terrific thread over at the Warrior Forum, and this video was posted there. I thought it was a hilarious way to poke fun at big business marketing, so I’ve posted it here for your enjoyment.

CJ Class Action Settlement

Well I’ve been on holiday for the last week or so, and today as I was trudging through my neglected emails I came across a class action lawsuit that involves people who have been involved with CJ either as an advertiser or a publisher, since 2003. That’s me. So I read it. (If that’s you, click here to find out more). Seems like twice a year lately I get one of these class action emails about some network or other I’ve been part of.

So anyways, I guess it involves CJ’s use or non-use of some sort of software that should have been industry compliant, but wasn’t. So what’s in it for us, the publishers? Not a lot, as it turns out. One million dollars has been allocated (if approved) for the settlement. First you take off the lawyers fees and everyone’s expenses related to anything remotely close to the case, and whatever is left over, you split between the advertisers and the publishers (us) 70 / 30.

Ok, so what is the best case scenario here? Well, first off, as a publisher, it looks like I get my share of the 30 percent left over. Ok, so what is that share? Well, first, that depends on how much CJ actually paid out in commissions between 2003 and July 2008. My guess is it is quite a big number. I have no actual facts about this (I did do about 2 minutes worth of Google research but couldn’t find much other than 2001 figures of 997 Million in sales for the first three quarters) so I’m purely speaking off the top of my head, making this up as I go. But let’s just say, for argument’s sake, that they pay out $10 million per month in commissions. Ok, make it only $1 million, just for fun. Where does that leave me? Well, we’re talking about roughly 5 years here. So that would be roughly 60 million in commissions. Do the math and I figure I get about $112, assuming that the full 300,000 remains for paying the publishers. My guess is that becomes more like 200,000. My guess is, they’ve paid out a LOT more than a million a month as well.

So I guess I’m in line for a free dinner, courtesy of CJ. It might be McDonald’s, or it might be a bit nicer, but I’ll probably still get something out of it. I’m not holding my breath though. My last payout from Google came to $8.37.