A recommendation

Now, I wouldn’t normally do this in a blog post. I’ve recently moved from Sydney, Australia to Vancouver, Canada in search of some gainful employment at a games studio, but having been here barely more than a week I’ve been enjoying the touristy side of being in a brand new city and haven’t done as much programming as I would normally do. So instead of an in-depth discussion about a new programming technique, or a musing on how things are vaguely related, I’d like to take a moment just to make mention of some of the people that have been most helpful to me in all the craziness of relocation.


My friends, family and my girl backed me up the entire way, and I want to thank all of them for being so supportive. It’s not every day that someone you’re very close to decides they want to move very far away, and yet not one of them tried to get me to seriously rethink it. Having that kind of support really means a lot.


But there was another group of people who supported me. Not because they needed to, or because they were close to me, or even because they were required to by law! They seemed to help me just because they were nice people, and trustworthy professionals. Which I don’t think is something I ever would have said about a Real Estate agency before!!


Bentons has been a real estate in Annandale, Sydney since 1907, when it was first opened by J.F. Benton. It’s a business with a true legacy, being handed from Benton to W.J. Johnston down to A.F. Brown through the years, and finally to Terry and Shane Torpy – who have taken the dedicated work and outstanding reputation of the Bentons name into the 21st century.


My history with real estate agents previous to Bentons had been sketchy, but surprisingly typical for an Aussie tenant. One agent had tried to illegally hold bond and locked us out of the house because the windows were streaky after cleaning. Another wouldn’t send a plumber to unclog my drain until I arranged a complaint hearing with the Tenancy tribunal. Many renters are unaware of their rights and Real Estate agents take advantage of that to squeeze a little extra money for themselves, or to avoid having to do work they’d rather avoid. And it reflects poorly on the estate agents, on the profession as a whole, and on anyone that chooses to use such an agent to handle their properties.


The exception I’ve come across is Bentons. Not only do they know and protect the rights of both tenants and landlords, they bring the profession back to what it truly is: finding the right place for someone to live. It’s rare to find a salesman, or a manager, that truly wants the best for their customers. Shane Torpy and the team at Bentons are that rare breed. Despite some crazy issues with my housemate (I ended up having to chase her removalist down in Brazil to get her keys back. Long story), they were very understanding and released my bond to me the day I got the keys back. I’ve never known any other real estate to be that professional.  Ever. For a guy dealing with a lot of moving out issues and worrying about overseas money on top of that, getting my bond back on time was a godsend that took a whole lot of pressure off me for the last week or so in Australia.


So thank you Bentons. Even though you didn’t have to, you helped me more than you know. So I’m writing this blog to help you back :)

Renewed Desire

As I walked out of my last job and headed for the bus stop – my last day ended and a whole new life in another country ready to begin1 – I pulled my HTC Desire out of my pocket to check the time and it leapt out of my hands into a painful-sounding faceplant on the concrete, cracking the glass in front of the touchscreen. Devastated – and with glass splinters in my thumb from trying to check when the next bus was – I headed home.The broken phone.  And my broken dreams


A search on the Googles revealed that others in my situation had been quoted between $200 and $300 AUD to repair the touchscreen. Still others had chosen to ship parts from overseas repairers ($100 – $200 AUD) and replace the screen themselves. By the time I did my damage the phone was popular enough, and had been on the market long enough for me to be able to ship replacement parts from Hong-Kong for little more than $40 AUD. It turned out that the LCD was still working fine, but the broken glass cover at the front of the screen is actually the digitizer: The part of the screen that detects and sends the touches to the phone. 3 weeks later my replacement digitizer arrived and I set to work repairing my HTC Desire, following the instructions I found on this helpful website.


The screen came with several free tools for opening the phone (that didn't fit) A roll of double-sided tape and a $1 knife to attach the new screen

Tools needed:

  • – New digitizer
  • – Star screwdriver
  • – Cross screwdriver
  • – Separator
  • – Knife
  • – Double-sided tape

Step 1Step 1 is pretty easy – remove the cover, battery, SIM card and SDCard








Step 2 Step 2 is where I discovered that the cross-head screwdriver included with the replacement digitizer kit didn’t actually fit my phone, and had to go out and buy a new one. Note the VOID stickers that need to be removed to get at the screws: this procedure will end your warranty
Note the VOID stickers that need to be removed to get at the screws: this procedure will end your warranty



Step 3

Step 3 is where it starts to get hairy – try not to lose the Power button or Volume rocker as the circuit board comes out, and remember to unplug the antenna connection and to plug it back in when closing the phone up again.






Step 4

Step 4 gets a little scary- the screen is held into the frame pretty firmly, and it requires peeling and slight bending to get it out (not too much bending, mind you). There’s some metal tape stuff that has to be peeled off as well, but it’s pretty easy to stick it back on once you put the screen back in.





Step 5

Step 5 is similar to the last step, but worse. The digitizer is held in by a sticky black glue, and it’s necessary to pull it away far enough that you can cut it with the separator all around. I managed to do this without bending the frame, everyone else may not be so lucky.





There's a whole lot of gunk on the inside of the frame once the digitizer has been removed Easily cleaned off using the knife and some cheap alcohol (yes, Vodka works)

Step 6 just involves cleaning the frame so that the new screen can go in.






Step ??

Step 7: Put it all back together and…it doesn’t work. Crap.

Whenever I touch the screen it brings now the notification panel. I was lucky to get the phone unlocked for the picture.


Strangely, it seems to work fine when the screen is left just slightly out of the frame, so I went ahead with the next step. This eventually ended okay, as the tape made the screen work for some reason.

 Double-sided tape Cutting the roll into 2mm pieces

Step 8 is to glue the digitizer back into the frame using small (2mm) strips of double-sided tape placed along the edges.





Step 9 is to gloat!  I replaced my screen for less than $50!









Overall it was a surprisingly easy procedure, despite the worry about the screen not working about halfway through. If you can’t afford to get the screen replaced by an official repair centre, or don’t have warranty anymore, and you’re comfortable pulling the pieces out of a Tandy Robby Robot toy then by all means go ahead and replace the digitizer yourself!

Just don’t sue me if you stuff it up.

  1. I’ve since moved to Vancouver, Canada for a 2 year working holiday []