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Pete vs. the iPad


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
About a year ago, I was given an iPad 4. It had been dropped a couple times. Screen was badly shattered and the four corners were all bent in. And the kicker: iCloud locked, which means "useless iPad." However, it was a lot faster than my iPad 3, so I decided to see what I could do with it.

iCloud password. The password was "123456." It took me two tries to guess it. Um. PSA: Folks, please be a little more creative with your passwords.

Now, the fun thing about the various cracks is that they were pretty hard to see if you turned on full brightness. So, pretty nice. Then my wife started having problems with her iPad 1. She said she didn't mind the cracks, so she wanted it. Fine and dandy.

A year later, she's having problems with the iPad 4. I take it back. Couldn't duplicate any problems. "Can I have your iPad 3?" Sure. I only use my iPad for three things: reading magazines, playing Plants vs. Zombies 2, and a keyboard shortcut thingy called Quadro that I've mentioned before.

So, I decided to buy a screen replacement kit. I bought a relatively cheap one -- $28 -- that had good reviews on Amazon. I could have had a repair place do it for about $150 (Apple Certified Repair place is $200), which is how much a working iPad 4 is worth, so I didn't want to go too expensive. Took me about two hours to remove all the glass shards (warning: you need eye protection) and bend the corners back into something resembling corners. Then I replace the big piece of glass, the digitizer. In the process, I rip the Home button cable. I'm not too disappointed: it's a $4 part and I can use a software-based Home button until I get the part. Hey, it also looks pretty good! I did have to struggle with the very small cables, but I eventually got them in. I show it to my wife: "Pretty!" I tell her that I still need to buy that one cable and the glass isn't snapped into place. It's just set there. I take the iPad back into my "office" and see if I can snap the glass into place. Mmmmm. *Snap!* *Pop!* Glass broke in lower left corner. Thankfully not in field of view. Looks like I didn't bend that corner far out enough. Also looks like that glass was really cheap.

Oh, well. I just taped up the corner. It works fine and it'll have a good life on my desk as my Quadro control machine.
Man triumphs over machine!

Sadly I do not have an ipad, though my mother does. She really likes it and does pretty much everything she used to do on her aging PC...


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Several years ago, I got something for the iPad called iBallz. I had to search for where I put it, but it covers the crack almost completely, so that all works out. No tape needed.

There are now a number of "tempered glass" screen protectors on the market. When daughter 2.0 got her iPhone 5c about a year ago, Verizon just went ahead and installed it. It looks great. I don't know how easy it is to remove when it cracks, though. As far as a case, I've used the Otterbox ones, in the past. Again, the iBallz thing works fairly well, too. The main problem is that the cases generally add a lot of bulk and that generally means extra weight. That's a reason to use the iBallz thing: it adds practically no weight. It's bulky, though.

The Kindle Fire HD 8"/16gb is all of $60, now. I'd buy nothing at all for it. It's really an, "Oh. It broke. I'll order another. It'll be here tomorrow." When you get over that $150 point, you want to be able to get some repairs done!

The Kindle Fire HD 10"/16gb is $229. You can get a used iPad Air 9.7"/16gb for $220. The Air is marginally heavier (432g vs. 469g -- slightly above a pound), but is slightly thinner (7.7mm vs. 7.5mm). The Kindle is slightly bigger, but the Air is much higher resolution (1280x800; 149ppi vs. 2048x1536; 264ppi -- "ppi" is pixels per inch. The more, the crisper the text and graphics). Finally, the Kindle has commercials as the "screen saver." The iPad doesn't.

If you wanted some gift ideas for Christmas, I wouldn't mind someone sending me an iPad Air ...