Arbitrary and abrupt shutdown, "Bad RTC Battery" message, orneryness.  Investigation of the Interweb revealed a proclivity for this type of machine to malfunction due to an inferior design of a cable connector.  Much discussion of whether or not the manufacturer designed this flaw into the machine to facilitate the increased sale of red herring batteries.  Ultimately the remedy seems to be to resolder the connection after dismantling the computer.

soldering station
miniature screwdrivers
cotton Swab
home made blueberry pie wedge
digital camera

lr_mc_repair_004.jpgAfter opening the case and removing several components, the power supply board was separated from the system board.  The offending connector mentioned in the research documents seems to have been 'repaired' already.  The 80 pin connector is surrounded by some kind of epoxy, so soldering any broken connections seems to be unlikely.  Various ways of distorting and flexing the computer case and the boards were experimented with to try to get the connector to stay mated.  All worked equally unsatisfactorily.  The pie was consumed during deep cogitation over the problem.  In typical BPL fashion, the machine was reassembled, thinking that having the thing put all together and having all the screws nice and tight would solve the problem, as it has on so many other occasions.  Repair 002This solution was no different from those other occasions, inasmuch as it was equally unsatisfactory.  The machine sometimes still shits the bed. The next day the machine was dismantled again and a wedge of cedar was inserted under the system board to mitigate the flexing of the case.  Upon reassembly, not much had changed but technicians felt relieved that at least moths would not be invading the computer and causing mayhem.
The repair team is assessing options.  One option is to obtain a ribbon cable and try to 'remote' the connection, i.e., making a hole in the case and moving the power supply board outside the machine (this bulky repair has its aesthetic appeal, and is the most marketable of the solutions tabled).  Another idea is to find a use for the computer which would not necessitate its being on all the time or reliably, such as in prop situations, interior decoration, or various scam scenarios involving the original source for the machine (an interweb marketplace for used or Chinese commodities).  All agree that the pain in the ass about the situation is that the machine 'almost' works fine and there is a reluctance to retire it.  Expensive options involve acquiring a duplicate machine, with supposedly better parts,  to double the price and volume of and for an ever - growing mound at BPL of nearly - useful, once - excellent, in need of some adjustment or cleaning, technological appurtenances.