Seasonal Outdoors Laptop

Summer is upon us and the weather is for once absolutely wonderful, with sunshine and temperatures occasionally reaching 30°C. While I'm not fully on top of the latest developments on screen technology, I do know that it is a challenge to read anything on any of my laptops if attempting to use them outdoors during this time of the year.

Quite a few years ago the now defunct company Pixel Qi developed and manufactured LCD technology designed to work well in direct sunlight. I happened to have one of those PQ 3Qi-01 panels laying around. Also in the pile of outdated hardware was a Dell Inspiron Mini 10 (PP19S) netbook with a replacable part identifiable as 6091L-0949A. That is a computer which definitely does not have contemporary specifications, but surprisingly mine still has a somewhat usable battery life and it is powerful enough for some tasks. A comment on the decade old blog post Pixel Qi eink display on a Netbook running OS X led me to the even older post How to upgrade and dismantle the Dell Mini 1018. My netbook differed slightly in its model number, but it was close enough. After following the instructions I now have an summer netbook, and two unattached plastic hinge covers that were just too tricky to get back in place.

For those curious of how internal laptop screens are connected, I found to be a clear source briefly illustrating the common connector alternatives used.

A camera is not always sensing things the same way as a human eye, but below is a picture to illustrate the result. The screen is photographed in direct sunlight and is definitely readable.


The USB dongle is for wifi, and used because the internal b43 based card would have taken more time to get working than I was prepared to spend. Unfortunately my heap of junk contained no other fitting card to replace it with.

As expected the colors are much less bright than ideal, but if treating the device like one having a monochrome display this setup will allow me to enjoy the outside for hours while spending time on tasks which otherwise would had forced me to stay indoors.

2022-06-26 17:53:54 +0000
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