Which meant that it was now the turn of Aether to have a display failure, leaving me... well, far from computer-less but definitely irked. I'm typing this post on Aether, using one of the monitors that's normally hooked up to Nyx - and the hardware for Aether v1 still works so I could switch back to that (that's the R50e I had back at university) though that'd be a bit of a downgrade. Hmm, I might even be able to transplant the LCD panel as the chassis is the same, though I'd have to do something about the wifi antennas - but I digress. Anyway in this case it's either the inverter board or the CCFL tubes that have died - I suspect the inverter board, as the buzz at low backlight levels has been getting noticeably louder over the past week.
Aether being a ThinkPad, replacing the inverter tubes is actually a practical option as it's designed to be field-replaceable and Lenovo still have the complete hardware maintenance manual on their website (the tubes, less so, as they're integrated into the panel - but the Internets think the inverter is more likely). It's just tedious as strictly speaking to get at the inverter you have to remove the screen, and to do that requires dismantling most of the rest of the laptop. Plus to actually get at the thing you have to take the LCD bezel off which is held on by... apparently nothing more than three easy-to-find screws. Huh. I was expecting eleventy billion small screws and self-destructing plastic clips as being par for the course. This may be less tedious than I thought.
That said with this latest issue it's now fast approaching the point where I should just give in and either replace or retire Aether. The irony is that only the other day I'd commented on a post of talismancer's how I thought that with care I could get another year or two of use out of Aether. Sigh.