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How bad is the "hinge defect" on the Psion Teklogix Pro Netbook?

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Jake Page Icon Posted 2023-10-01 3:22 PM
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Sometimes, the more poorly made the hinge, the easier the repair. The GPD MPC set their metal hinges in plastic (!) and mine eventually broke free. But because the break was so complete and the hinges are nowhere near cables, etc, I simply drilled holes through the lid and repaired with nuts and bolts. It's been 18 months and things are still holding fast.



Jake



(MPC_Hinge_Repair.jpg)



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AximUser Page Icon Posted 2023-10-01 4:31 PM
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Nice fix!

You might consider LocTite on the nuts, but use caution. On our Dell laptops, the factory threadlocker seems to react negatively with some plastics and resins; the threads seem chewed out.
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Jake Page Icon Posted 2023-10-01 10:51 PM
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I considered that but ultimately decided that washers on both ends would hold, and they seemed to be doing their job. Other MPC owners use Epoxy or some sort to reseat the hinges, but that felt like a losing bet.

Jake
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AximUser Page Icon Posted 2023-10-02 3:34 PM
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Jake - 2023-10-01 10:51 PM
Other MPC owners use Epoxy or some sort to reseat the hinges, but that felt like a losing bet.

Adhesives are always a crapshoot, particularly on older plastics, where unknown materials, coatings, and deterioration are in play.

Plastics used in consumer goods in the 80s and 90s seemed to be evolving rapidly and there were plenty of recalls in sporting goods industries; some were limited to bad batches but others seemed to be related to entire runs. I suppose those might be related to production issues and chemical engineering, respectively.

We assumed some of the plastics failures were from exposure to air, chemicals,extreme temperatures, and light. We don't store important items in the garage alongside all the chemicals.
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hassilon Page Icon Posted 2023-10-04 2:00 PM
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Well, the Psion finally came. Both hinges feel sturdy. Overall, I'm really impressed with the tank-like build quality and screen. This thing looks comparable to OLPC in toughness. Completely blows away eeepc, which I found to be rather fragile and failure-prone.

The nice big keyboard, Win CE 4.2, and huge 800x600 screen make this machine an awesome interactive fiction and rogue-likes machine: Nethack, FAngband, Oangband all work perfectly. Even Powder can be coaxed into running with GAPI. I haven't gotten around to testing SCUMM yet, because I am a little bit sick of fighting with that program, which was clearly intended for and tested on PPC much more than HPC.

The stylus is rather weird. It has a triangular cross section like a Toblerone candy bar and a strangely fat, blunt tip.

Unfortunately, the Psion Tek's keyboard has a super-annoying problem: unless you press the spacebar EXACTLY in the middle, it doesn't work. One old blog from the noughties confirms this is a, err, feature of the device and not a broken keyboard. Apparently you can cut up a credit card or something and stick it inside the spacebar to make it responsive to off-center presses.

Extremely irritating is the lack of true MS Office apps. Apparently you just get crippled Word, Excel, etc. viewers....At least there's WordPad.exe.

Media playback with WMP--not a priority for me but I tested just out of curiosity--is pretty poor. The jack is 2.5mm so you need an adapter for standard 3.5mm headphones, and the quality of MP3 playback is terrible due to funny clicking and popping noises.

Battery life is kind of meh, but I guess this is due to the age of the battery. Maybe 5 hours runtime, a few days suspended. The Power control panel always says "calibrating..."

While Linux is a possibility on this system, it appears to have never reached a practical level of usability: there's no power management/brightness control at all and you can't even switch the device off.

https://linux-7110.sourceforge.net/howtos/netbook_new/index.htm

Edited by hassilon 2023-10-04 2:01 PM
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Jake Page Icon Posted 2023-10-04 3:34 PM
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Nice write-up. I guess you could find/use TextMaker in lieu of deprecated PW. Re: finicky space bar--I find the same in some of my other devices as well, especially when the bar is halved to make room for the pointer.

Jake
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