Laptop lid mod

project: , published: by Maarten Tromp.

My laptop wasn't all that recognizable. It was a run of the mill Dell and easy to lose it between other laptops. I would like something that stands out a bit more.

Then I realized that the backlight on the screen probably leaks out the back as well, so if you were to drill a hole in the lid, light would shine out. This was easy to test and indeed if you take the cover off, light is visible around the back of the screen. Apple later used this same trick for their logo to light up.

I decided to drill a '#' as it's a relatively simple shape, symmetric and symbolizes a root shell. Drilling and sanding 136 holes later, the pattern was there to stay. Unfortunately there were some plastic supports for the backlight that would block some of the holes, so I cut through those.

The trick worked perfectly. Whenever the screen of the laptop was on, a beautiful lighted hash-sigh would be visible on the lid. I was planning to add a greenish colour filter, for the genuine terminal feeling, and to keep the dust out, but I never got around to actually do that.

Unfortunately I didn't take any photo's of the laptop at the time and the laptop itself has long been retired and lost.