Since its founding in 1991, StarTechPC has maintained a cadre of tech savants who ply their knowledge of all things electronic. PCs, Macs, and cell phones receive hardware and software repairs at StarTechPC’s two locations, and employees also carry out performance-enhancing services such as optimizing Internet browsers and dusting machines' central abacuses. Technicians also dispense customizable computer systems, refurbished LCD screens, and various new and used accessories.
A smartphone's tiny screen relies on the strange properties of liquid crystals. Check out Groupon's study of LCDs to learn how they create the vivid pictures in your pocket.
The term liquid crystal seems a contradiction, but a liquid crystal is actually neither a liquid nor a solid?it's both, stuck in a sort of chemical limbo with its molecules somewhere between the liquid and solid phases. When an electrical current passes through a liquid crystal, its molecular orientation changes, and so does the direction of light that passes through it. By sandwiching these crystals between polarized glass and manipulating the current passing through them, your phone is able to control the light they channel, resulting in the high-contrast images that appear on screen. Although our brains only see each pixel as a single dot, each consists of red, blue, and green subpixels that, when lit at various intensities, can emit more than 16 million colors.
Despite their advanced applications, liquid crystals are not a recent discovery. They were first identified in the late 19th century by a scientist studying cholesterol extracted from carrots?a natural source of liquid crystals, as are human beings and most other living things, which tend to have them in their cell membranes. Liquid crystals and LCDs were the subject of research and patent applications throughout the early 20th century?including one filed by Marconi?s Wireless Telegraph Company in 1936?and finally hit consumer electronics in the early 1970s, when they were introduced in wristwatches.
Mobile Phone Geeks's technology whisperers repair phone screens crippled by accidents and environmental damage and turn them into like-new picture purveyors. After patrons drop off gadgets or mail them to the rehabilitation shop, phone patchers seal screen cracks, massage ink blots from their LCD surfaces, and fix water damage on phones left to boil too long. Each repair comes with a 30-day warranty. For Apple’s latest tablets, gizmo healers shun rehabilitation in favor of replacement and re-outfit book-sized supercomputers with brand-new screens. Patrons can also fix phones plagued by hardware problems freezing, keypad failure, and autotext set to Wingdings.