I think it's weird, what little memories end up really making an impact on you, and sticking around with you for years. I recall plenty of things from my childhood, but one thing that stands out most is the moment I got my GBA SP. When I was little, my parents were living tenuously, beyond just paycheck-to-paycheck; getting a new video game took weeks if not months of pleading and asking and begging. $30 was enough to make or break a whole week's worth of dinner. So it was a huge deal when my mom listened to my 7-year-old self's pleas to go to Game Crazy. It was even more shocking that as we passed by one of the aisles, I saw the brand new GBA...SP. Backlight and everything...what kinda magic was it that it could have a whole light in its screen, is what I thought back then. So, I stared at it longingly, and my dad, fresh off a nice lotto win, said we could afford it, just this once. I carried that SP around with me for years, I took it everywhere, like you would with a smartphone, these days. Softball practice? It was in my sliding short's pocket. School? I kept it in my sweatshirt pocket, even if it was against the rules.
So, obviously it would make perfect sense that I'd want to potentially risk ruining it forever, just for the sake of an hour of fun 15 years later, right?
But really, that GBA had been through the ringer, closed roughly a few times when rage quitting Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, chomped on by my dog Nopey who was a mere puppy at the time, somehow survived the hurricane by a stroke of luck, etc. The shell was beaten to heck and back--in fact, here's a picture of the little beloved and haggard thing.
...I like stickers, okay? I'm pretty sure the butterfly one is from a doctor, when they used to give out stickers and lolipops for getting your shots. And the super star one is definitely from like, getting all my English questions right in the 2nd grade or something.
But that corner that Nopey ate, along with all the wear and tear...I wanted to see...could I tear down my GBA and put it in a new shell? Maybe I could make it look how it did when I first got it, so long ago. I mean, it couldn't be that hard--though I've never been good at dealing with this kind of thing. But I had such a want to test myself, prove that if I followed directions, I could actually do it. Part of the idea came from seeing Jayro's blogs with his insanely cool GBAs and neat cases and everything. So I decided, I was going to buy the tools, let's freaking do it!
And I managed to, despite all odds, actually pull it off!
It was pretty nerve wracking--at least, when I was trying to get the ribbon cable out. That was my only fear, actually, because that's a pretty major part of it. The rest of the process was incredibly easy, though. Even getting the hinges out, which is apparently a major task, wasn't that big of a deal--it just took patience. I was really impressed with myself, honestly, even though it was so easy.
So, that's it really. I just wanted to make this blog to prove that even if you think you're bad at stuff like this, or you've always wanted to try something, go do it! You'll never learn if you don't try, and when you do, you get to have a lot of fun just seeing how these things go together, and the intricate process that makes you appreciate these little GBAs all the more!
My only regret is getting a cheap China shell...it does feel a little flimsier than the original, and I'm not a huge fan of the way the plastic creaks--you get what you pay for, I suppose! But heck, now that I know how to do this, later down the line I can buy a higher quality shell and do the process all over again!
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