Linked by Howard Fosdick on Mon 31st Dec 2012 20:26 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Last month, I explained why I use generic desktops and laptops running open source software. They're reliable and inexpensive. But this presumes you can fix them. I believe that even those with no hardware training (like me), can identify and fix most hardware problems. To prove it, here's a quick guide. Feel free to add whatever I've missed.
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I agree, tapping USB power is not a great idea. An alternative to disabling the optical drive (especially if you need it) would be to tap the extra mini PCI-E slot that most laptops have. Pins 2, 24 and 52 are 3.3 volts. Keep in mind, the second PCI-E slot may not be populated with a plastic connector, but the pads are there and should still have voltage supplied to them.

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