Fixing a Dell XPS M140 Palm Rest Mouse Button

Ok, so our laptop of just over one year ran into some mouse button problems. This problem has gradually been getting worse until yesterday; when the left mouse button on the laptop completely was depressed and would not raise again. The button still worked, but the nice squishy feel of the button was no longer there. So I could not stand it! I followed the instructions for removing the Palm Rest from the laptop, and dug into figuring out the problem. It turned out that there is a little rubber nipple like piece that detached from a volcano like base. When resetting the piece, I made a mistake and pointed the nipple up, when in fact it points down. I was happy with my progress. I had never disassembled my laptop this much, and thought it was kinda fun. Here are some pictures of what I did.

p5280078small.jpg p5280083small.jpg
1,2

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3,4

  1. Picture of all the main computer components taken off
  2. Parts to get to the Palm Rest
  3. The problem with the left mouse button
  4. What is underneath the left mouse button

Conclusion: You can fix this problem, but it does not have the same feel as the right button. The button still works, but experience changed. Thank goodness I still have the option to order the entire “Palm Rest” from Dell for $34.95 with $8.00 for shipping (3-5 days). For me, I will completely replace the “Palm Rest” part of the XPS laptop and call it good.

UPDATE:

One person who found this blog said that this information was invaluable. I am glad that I could help you all out. Here are some pictures from the person who purchased just the touch pad and installed that. Maybe these picture taken by him will help someone else out.

Please read the comments below if you are looking for a solution to just purchase the pouch pad. BEWARE of this though, these touch pads may not work. The safest things to do is purchase the entire Palm Rest from Dell.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

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Did You Read This?

Most people believe that my posting here will never be found, or that only people I share my blog with know what I write. I know that people that have this outlook are way off. First off, I search for people online whenever I can benefit from extra information. I have done this for information on old friends, job openings (finding company information), and information on the individuals I am going to interview with. It is amazing the information that is on the world wide web. So it is more important to moderate what you post. What I post needs to be thought out very carefully.

Information online is to be seen by everyone. So I will not discuss information about my employer, or things that can be damaging to others. I will blog as ethically as I know how. Here is an interesting article on “Loose lips cause pink slips: 40% of bloggers post damaging info about jobs“. One key thing I liked was …

Be careful what you post online if you value not only the stability of your job, but your personal life, too.

Loose lips sink ships! So I will only discuss things that will not hurt me, my family or my career. Think twice before writing information or posting a picture online, it can affect your life and the lives of others.

Joost Update

Ok, so I downloaded the latest version of Joost (0.10.3) and tried it out. To my surprise, it was a whole lot better. The installation was easier, and even informed the user that as long as Joost is up it will be using your computer as a p2p file sharing application. The main Joost menu is not bogging my system down like it did before. Also my volume control buttons on the laptop now work. That was a nice fix for me. The program line up is a whole lot better also.

While looking at some of the programs, I came across “Aqua Teen Hunger Force”. This is a program that some guys at work have been all about. This show does not portray my type of humor but I know it does for others. Here is what it looks like on Joost.

Awua Teen Hunger Force

It seems as though Joost is playing video’s On Demand (previously recorded) and not live streaming. If I am wrong, then it is not very intuitive to me. Getting to know the menu for Joost takes getting used to. I think they are headed in the right direction though. Anything that is FREE is almost always worth taking a look at, at least I feel Joost is worth it.

Joost Expands It’s Invites

Joost

Joost is expanding it’s invites by allowing 10,000 of the first ArsTechnica.com readers to receive a free invite. I am unsure of how many invites are out there, but I know that I have some that I can give out. I enjoy streaming video over the internet. I like to watch my Fox & Friends in the morning. I currently use TVU Networks and am fairly happy with the quality it provides. I heard of Joost and said “I’ve got to get it”. So I received an invite from the Joost team a few months back and tried out the p2p program.

To be honest, I was very dissatisfied with version 0.9.1. I thought that the program was really slow on my computer. I am using a DELL XPS M140, 1.73GHz with a GIG of DDR RAM on a Windows XP Media Center OS. I have a 1.5MB cable connection through Charter Communications, and have had no bandwidth issues.

I think I need to give Joost a fair try again. I understand that they have contracted with new companies to bring even more content to the users. I really wish they could get Fox News. Take a look at what channels they currently offer. Let me know if you would like to try out the service, and I will send as many invites out as I can. First come first serve

Want to learn more about Joost? Read about Joost on Wikipedia.
Cheers.

Text a Cell Phone for Free

Sending text messages can be a pain. Try entering a couple sentences via your phones keypad, and you might just get frustrated, or learn some good patience. I started by learning patience. Now I don’t need much patience, I can type on a keyboard much quicker than punching the number ‘2’ three times to get a ‘c’ to appear. So hears a trick that can help anybody who wants to send a text message over their computer. Go to the following website: http://toolbar.google.com/send/sms/index.php and follow the instructions to send a message. It’s that easy.

You would think that it could not get any easier, and then your wrong! Try using the extension “Google Send to Phone for Firefox”. You can install the extension from Google at the following location: http://www.google.com/tools/firefox/sendtophone/index.html

This extension is not yet available on Mozilla’s website. I imagine it will be in the future, but for now you can install it at the above location. Happy texting!

NOTE: Check with your cell provider to find out what it costs to receive a text message. Those charges still apply.

Honda Odyssey EX-L GPS Navigation Review

So yesterday we took a trip to Atlanta and we got to try out our new vans Navigation capabilities. So here is the low down from our trip. First off, the mapping ability is impressive. I do dislike one feature, and that is the annoyance of the GPS not mapping out unverified roads easily. There are ways of attempting to trick the system, and that is by causing a detour.

If I were to enhance the NAV system, I would provide a feature for the unit to accept a “Learning Mode”, so that when you travel on a road that is unverified, you can allow the unit to change it to verified. In the south, we run into numerous unverified roads in the county, and it is annoying to have the GPS unit tell you to make a U-Turn every 100 feet.

A nice feature the NAV has is the ability to search for restaurants in select large cities via Zagat 2006. There is not much of a problem when you are in a city that is listed in the Zagat system, but when you are in a smaller city you can run into quite a dilemma.

When my wife took a trip to Panama City, Florida she was very aggravated when trying to find a McDonald’s. When she did a search on the NAV system for the restaurant two results popped up in different states across the country. So I received a call from work so that I could give an address of the closest McDonald’s, then she could put the address in the NAV and have the route mapped.

If you have a cell phone with text messaging capabilities, here is a tip for all those wanting to find any local place in an unfamiliar city. Ok, grab your phone and start a text message. Send the message to 466453 (Google) and enter your search criteria. For McDonald’s in Panama City I would type: “mcdonalds, panama city, fl” and then send the message. You will receive results that have phone numbers and addresses, so now you can call and make reservations for a restaurant or use the address to enter into the NAV system. This system works great for finding anything you need. To get a list of other search results like finding movie times or local listings, then take a look here: this is Google’s list of text messaging (SMS) searches that are available.

All in all I love the navigation system, it changes the time automatically when changing time zones, and mapped out our route perfectly. Minor quirks were found, and we loved the directions when changing roads. Changing freeways is easy, and saves me time and money (paper ind ink) from having to print directions from the computer.

Also I am glad my wife encouraged us to get the NAV system … she was right “I would have regretted it!”

Am I really doing this?

Is blogging really for me? Now I’ll find out. I have so many thoughts that I want to share with others, but don’t know how to do it. I could send an email to everyone in my contact list, but then I think I would be added to everyones blocked list quick like. I started a gadget on iGoogle to share with my wife, but I know she doesn’t want to read everything I write down. I have thoughts about life, work, family, hobbies, computer programming, tips and tricks, and other thoughts racing around in my head. I try to keep things organized, but I seem to be scatterbrained.

This blog is an attempt for me to organize my thoughts and share them with whom ever is interested.

Feel free to comment, but please do not use profanity in your comments. I will remove those comments as quick as I see them.

Hope you Enjoy!

– scott