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Monday, February 11, 2013

Java tool for Arduino interface from a PC

After a long hiatus where I've been getting a lot better at Java, I thought I'd come back to the Arduino board and IDE and clean up the primitive XYZ CNC control program and HPGL interpreter I wrote last year when I didn't know what I was doing.   The first step was to write a clean Java GUI for serial communication from the PC.

I had used myrxtx before, which I downloaded from some mysterious site.  But the Arduino has real USB serial libraries in it's download package and open source Java, so I'm going to see if I can write an interface and leverage the stuff that comes with Arduino so that everyone can use it easily without chasing down libraries and drivers.

This is the Arduino software, and the serial tool that comes embedded.   The goal is to make a tool that is just the serial monitor so I can use it as the basis for custom applications.  I'd also like to add a selection box to scan for Arduinos and pick the one you want to talk to all in one place.

Redownloaded the latest IDE from  This is now called 1.0.3.  Last time I downloaded it was version 23.

I looked through the Arduino download, and RXTXcomm.jar and rxtxSerial.dll are
included in the software download, so a user would already have everything they need
to run a Java interface.

Browsed the Arduino IDE source code on github, and it appears all the .java source files are there,  so maybe I can bootleg their source to write my own stand alone PC side serial tool first.  I'm envisioning a tool that would get all the Arduinos COMM addresses, and let you pick which one you wanted to send a command to.   Some fields for setting the rate, encoding, etc.

I found the Arduino software source code for the serial tool java here:

Copied down the Arduino source files and loaded it into netbeans.  I can see there would be a lot of work to do to get all the pieces for the whole interface.   Dorked around, but all the imports aren't available.  This is going to take some effort to get going to use as is.  But I found all the real commands are in the class "Serial".   Copied just these files to a netbean project.

Their open source code is a bit of a nightmare.  There are no real comments and there are blocks of code commented out all over the place with no notes.   Free speaks for itself I guess.

Using a computer that already has the Arduino software installed and working so the drivers are already installed.

You also need to have Java installed.  Download and install the 32 bit version because the Arduino executables are all 32 bit.  That will save the headache described later in the post.

From the Arduino user software download directories I copied the RXTXcomm.jar from ...\arduino-1.0.1-windows\arduino-1.0.1\lib\ to
C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jdk1.7.0_05\jre\lib\ext\    (where the netbeans programming jre wants it)
and also to
C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre7\lib\ext
This is where the standalone java is going to look for it once the program is running outside netbeans.

Copied rxtxSerial.dll from
C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre7\bin
and also to
C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jdk1.7.0_05\jre\bin   (netbeans)

Right click both and select Properties->Unblock to allow windows to execute them.

Stripped the program down to the bare essentials and made a small GUI to reference the serial class and send and receive serial data. 

I downloaded the Arduino serialcallresponse example program to the Arduino and fired up my Java progam.
Bingo, it worked!  OK it really took a couple hours to get it to work.   I had to figure out the pieces to find what port the Arduino was plugged into.   Writing serial data was easy, reading was a bit harder.  I had to write an event listener to push the data back up to the GUI whenever something showed up as available.  

time passes...

I'm finally ready to upload the software for all to see and use.  I had a mistake in the serial rate setting that confused me for a really long time (like a month of on and off pecking).  The wrong variable was in the command and the rate was always 2000 baud.  I kept reading back garbage bits intermixed with the real data and I thought I wasn't formatting the bytes correctly.  Drove me batty.  Once I finally figured it out  I added some formating and rate selections.  Here is the final version communicating with two Arduinos, running the serialCallResponse example.

This tool can form the basis of any PC side software that you might want to write to communicate with Arduinos.   My CNC machine uses three Arduinos all connected to one PC and communicating with the GUI.     Using the tool as it is you can open as many as you like on your desktop and pick a different Arduino each time.  It will complain of course if you try to use a port that is busy with another GUI.   Note that scanning ports and selecting a port takes a few seconds to respond.

The software has four .java files:
  •  - this is just the top level main program that pops the GUI.
  • - this is graphical interface that does all the work.  It was built in netbeans and the graphics were autogenerated.  That makes the code a bit dense.
  • - this contains the serial comms code.  Most of this is lifted straight from the Arduino source code.
  • - this is a custom event listener used to wait for the rx serial data and pass it up to the GUI
Download the executable java program here:

Download a zip file with the whole netbeans setup, java source files and the executable distribution here:

You must have Java installed on your machine.  You can get that here:

Once Java is installed, and the Arduino software is all installed and working (this installs the arduino drivers) you just need to copy two files from the Arduino software into the java installation.  You may find they are already there.    I mentioned this above.

The java serial comm library that arduino uses:
From the Arduino user software download directories copy RXTXcomm.jar from
C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre7\lib\ext\RXTXcomm.jar
This is where the standalone java is going to look for it once the program is running outside netbeans.

The serial comm executable for windows:
Copy rxtxSerial.dll
C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre7\bin\rxtxSerial.dll

Right click both and select Properties->Unblock to allow windows to execute them.

The software won't work unless these files are in the right places and the Arduino drivers are installed.

To run the jar file in windows just double click on it.   It should show up with a Java icon if you computer has Java installed.   If it doesn't pop up, try opening a cmd window and typing java -jar SifishSerialArduino.jar.

Feel free to use and modify the program to make your own Arduino control programs to do other stuff.  That is the real purpose of the tool, to demonstrate communication in the simplest GUI so that I can build other programs from it.     Copy the files above into the netbeans java installation too if you want to be able to develop your own.

I tried downloading the .jar file to another computer to test it and had some troubles.  Double clicking on the SifishSerialArduino.jar got me a message that main couldn't be found.   I opened a cmd window and typed "java -jar SifishSerialArduino.jar" and the program started.   It did throw an exception that my rxtxSerial.dll was 32 bits on a 64 bit platform.  I've seen this type of error before, usually because of the specific java setup trying to use 64 bit JDK and the library is 32bit. 

These posts describe the problem

You can install 32 bit java or you can get the 64 bit dlls for rxtx here:
or here

Now I'm back to using a dll from another website and not the one that comes with the Arduino software.  However just to see if this solves the problem.
Downloaded the Windows-x64 version.  Opened the zip and Copied rxtxSerial.dll to
C:\Program Files\Java\jre7\lib\bin\rxtxSerial.dll
Note this is NOT the Program Files (x86) install of Java, which indicates 32 bit.
That solved the problem, now it works and my GUI runs on my 64 bit machine.
So a word of warning.  Either download the 32 bit version of java, or you will have to use this 64 bit dll.

I tried downloading the SifishArduinoSerial.jar to two other computers.  Both I could immediately run the GUI by just double clicking on the .jar file in windows.    They both had java installed, so copying the RXTXSerial dll and jar files from the arduino software to where I said above made them work without a hitch.  Note that without copying the libraries, the software starts but gets stuck scanning for ports.  Maybe I'll add an error trap to tell the user that is the problem.

Here is another version of the serial tool that includes an autodetection for an Arduino that is sending a character repeatedly in order to be identified.  It auto detects the arduino and selects it.
This includes the source java and rxtx files.  The executable is in /dist.
Double click on dist/SifishSerial ArdunioTool.jar

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Windows 8 - Office 2013 stopped working error

 I installed Microsoft Office 2013 on my Windows 8 Machine.  This is a homebrew machine that I upgraded from Windows 7 with an upgrade license I got by buying a new laptop (which I left at Windows 7).   I got Office 2013 from the Microsoft Home Use Program (HUP) because I work for a company that participates. It was $10 and downloaded it.   It appeared to wipe out my old Office 2010, although I didn't thoroughly check that out.   All together a fantastic bargain getting the new windows for $15 and the new office for $10.  Except it didn't work.  Not at all.

Open any of the office applications, such as Word.  Start a new file or open an existing one and Immediately I get the message that "Microsoft Word has stopped working" or "Microsoft Excel has stopped working".   Repair or re-downloading didn't help.

If found this solution that at first seemed useless but eventually was the answer...

In it she suggests running in safe mode.


Try to repair Office 2013 installation and check if it helps:
Click on Start > Control Panel, click Programs, and then click Programs and Features.
Note: In Classic view, double-click Programs and Features.
Click Microsoft Office 2013, and then click Change.


If the issue persists even after repairing the Office installation you may try to open Outlook, Excel and Word in safe mode to check if the issue persists:
Click Start.
Type Outlook /safe, and then click OK.

Note: There is space between Outlook and /.
Replace Outlook with Excel and WinWord to start Excel, Word in safe mode. 

Safe mode worked, but now what?  I'm supposed to always run office in safe mode?
  In the comments below the support answer was the solution for me.

Try opening word or excel in safe mode. Go to file/options/add-ins and select COM add-ins. Uncheck the add-ins. Might work.

It did work. I started the Microsoft apps one by one by opening the search box, typing their name followed by /safe. Once they started, I went to File/Options/add-ins and selected COM. 

I found I had an "Add In" on every office application for "ABBYY FineReader 9.0 Sprint Excel COM Add-In".  I then unchecked the APPYY app. Now office works normally without safe mode.
I googled to find out what ABBYY-FineReader was and why I had it.

 It apparently got installed with my Epson 845 workforce all in one printer/scanner.  OCR software is nice, but I never use it.  For now I'm going to just leave it turned off. 
It looks like I need v11 to run windows 8, and they want $200. Not. Gonna. Happen.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Repaired Kindle 3 Keyboard 3G that was freezing

At the end of this post is a summary of what I learned repairing a Kindle.  Here is the whole story...

My Kindle Keyboard 3G has been working fine for more than a year. Yesterday while reading it froze. None of the buttons worked, power switch didn't work. I was able to do a soft reset, it worked for a few keypresses and froze again. Subsequent soft resets make it work for a minute then freezes. Battery is good, charges, shows green lite. I just did a factory reset during a period where it was working for 30 seconds. It rebooted and then froze again. Plugging in USB my computer can see the drive just fine and read and write files. Hmmm.

I called customer service, and they followed up with an email. Out of warranty. I'm screwed. The kindle was bought in April 2011, so it is less than 2 years old. They very nicely tell me I'm out of luck.
Your Kindle comes with a One-Year Limited Warranty against defects.
As your Kindle is outside of the One-Year Limited Warranty, I can offer you a replacement device at a reduced cost plus shipping and any applicable sales tax. Keep in mind the pricing and options available are subject to change based on availability.
The following Kindle devices are available for replacement:
Certified Refurbished Kindle Touch, Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display - includes Special Offers & Sponsored Screensavers $74.00
Certified Refurbished Kindle Touch 3G (ATT), Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display - includes Special Offers & Sponsored Screensavers $104.00
I understand the inconvenience caused by this situation. However, our goal is to help you get the most out of your Kindle experience.
You can read the full text of the One-Year Limited Warranty for each Kindle device here:

In the meantime, If you'd like to access your Kindle library, our free Kindle reading applications let you read Kindle books anywhere:
I hope this helps.

I'm about to buy a new one and reward them for a product that doesn't last. First I'm going to crack it open and see if there is a loose connection to the display or battery. I don't think the battery needs replacement and that would cost me $30 to find out.

Watched an annoying video of how to open it. They basically are trying to sell you their tools.

I have a watch repair toolkit with a case knife.

Prying the case open starting from the two long edge, wedge in the case knife and pry and it pops away. Work around the edge and ignore the bad sounding pops and cracks. The back comes away without any damage, maybe a few small scratches where I started prying.

Back is off. I can see the wireless card, the sim, the battery and connectors

I can see the battery. I removed the screws, lifted it and reseated it. Put the screws back in.   watch out for these little metal buttons that sit under the battery over the screw holes.  They are really easy to lose because the stick to the battery and fall on the floor when you take it out.

I can see the video connector. Pried it up and reseated it.

Found the reset switch. Small black button marked RESET on the board. Pushed it.

Nothing much happens. Pushed the power switch for another 20 seconds, and it rebooted again. Light glows green

Again and still, it works again for about 30 seconds. Changes pages a couple times and then freezes up again.

I thought I'd reseat the ribbon cable which I believe goes to the keyboard. I tried to lift the clamp to release the ribbon and it broke off. I've removed many of these sort of connectors before but I this one I messed up. I tried rebooting a few more times and no improvement. I can still get the keyboard to work for a few seconds so the ribbon connector is not totally hosed.  I later learned on another kindle that the top gray part of the connector flips up to release the cable.  However there is absolutely no need to mess with this fragile connector, it doesn't need to be removed to get the motherboard out of the unit.

Strangely I can still plug it into the USB on my computer and see the Kindle storage drive.  At first this triggered a reset, but now it seems to be happy as a USB drive.  The screen shows the standard USB connection page. but then gets stuck there.

My guess is that the chipset has failed and I'm out of luck.  I might be able to buy another broken one and cannibalize it, since the screen is still good.

A couple broken screen ones are on Ebay.  I might pay $20 but not much more.

Or I could sell mine for the screen to somebody else  :)

I did think about the fact that this device has a 3G SIM card installed, and wondered if people had taken advantage of the free 3G.   You can look it up yourself, turns out people have cracked it.  Sadly though it lead Amazon to nerf the 3G on new version of this device.  I bought a Kindle paperwhite to replace it, and while it is a good reading device it lacks a couple features that this device had that made it special.  I should have bought another Kindle keyboard.

The new paperwhite has a built in light.  Meh, I can read on plenty of devices that glow, the trick is being able to read in daylight.   What the paperwhite lacks is the ability to surf any 3G website, for free, anywhere in the world.  While it was slow as death, if you wanted to read your email on the beach in Bermuda, for free, it could do that.  I know because I did it.  Nothing else could do that.  It also had audio so you could play songs.  It was the perfect travelling beach companion, the only device you needed on vacation.   The new paperwhite can only surf Wikipedia and Amazon for free.  Nice, but a considerable downgrade.

I'm going to make a go at fixing it.   I think I just need a new motherboard.  However that is clearly a guess.  The display still works so I could buy one with a broken screen and swap parts.

I found this motherboard for sale:

However I'm supposed to enter the serial number to check compatibility.  The serial number is accessed through the settings menu.  Which I can reboot and almost get to before it freezes.  Arrgh. 

Thought I'd buy a broken screen Kindle from ebay.  Bid on one, which I lost by $0.50, that sold for $10.55 + $6 shipping.   It is a tough call to either buy the motherboard for $30, or a broken kindle for hopefully less.  The broken kindle will give me a greater variety of used parts, but who knows if they work.   So I'm going to keep bidding on broken ones and hopefully get one for less than $20.   Ideally one that says it works except the screen is cracked.
says I can enter diagnostics mode by creating a empty text file "ENABLE_DIAGS" on the Kindle USB root.  Since I can access the USB mode, I'll try it.  I put a file ENABLE_DIAGS.txt and one that was just ENABLE_DIAGS with no extension.
I unplugged the USB, turned it off and on and nothing happens.  I tried the 20 second power switch hold and made it reboot.   SUCCESS!   This is the menu that came up.

Unfortunately I can't get any of the keys to respond.  That could be due to the hardware failure/freeze problem, or because I messed with the keyboard connector.  In any case I can't get anything to happen.  This would have told me if the battery was bad.

I also seem to have gotten myself painted in a corner.  Now the DIAG comes up and the USB mode doesn't seem to work anymore.  I see the drive from the computer but it says to insert the media when I click on it.  I can't exit the DIAG mode because the keyboard isn't responding.  And I can't delete the DIAG_MODE file because USB is blocked by the DIAG_MODE.  Doh!  Things are worse now than when I started.

I did find some information on telnetting into the Kindle, which appears to require jailbreaking .   I don't think it will help fix the issue.  To make this work, it requires the ability to put the unzipped files onto the USB connection.  Which I now have lost.

Back to surfing for a broken Kindle on ebay...
When I get one I will cannibalize it to repair mine. 

Bought two broken ones on Ebay for $30 total including shipping.   A bit more than I wanted to pay (they came as a bundle) but I thought the odds were good I'd get the parts I need to fix mine.  A new motherboard by itself costs $30 and I'm not sure that is the problem.  

I probably pulled the trigger too fast.  There are plenty for sale with cracked screens that they say otherwise work.   After more time looking at the completed listings, looks like others have managed to buy a broken screen Kindle for $0.99!   If you could pull that off you could probably make money fixing them and selling them.  I feel kinda stupid, I spent way too much on the broken ones.   A savvy shopper could even buy a working one for $40, so the margins are thin in this business :).

The broken kindles from ebay came.  I'm disappointed.  One is totally non responsive.  The charging light doesn't come on, and the computer USB doesn't see it.   The back looks like it has been pried off previously.   The other one does show a light when charged, I can get the green light to come on briefly and a section of the screen changes.  The USB connector doesn't show up on the computer though, which is discouraging.   I'm trying a reset, and I do see a section of the screen respond.   The green light comes on and flickers off.  The computer sees something, but it won't open a file system.  Not good.

I opened the non responsive one first and swapped the battery with mine.  No improvement on the non responsive one, and mine is no better. 

Moved my battery into the semi responsive one.  Now it shows up on the computer as a Kindle and I can open the drive.    A few public domain books are on it.  Some progress.  It still doesn't want to turn on and stay green for more than a second.  My battery may be poor as well.   After charging for a while it is now solid green.  Some hope. 

I tried moving the display connector from my working display and patching it over to one of the others.   I wasn't sure I had the right connector at first. but this picture confirmed I was right.  It simply pries up and then snaps back in.   In this photo the display connector is the connector marked "broken".

Here are the two kindles connected.  They grey one has a working screen, the white one upside down has the working motherboard.

Bingo! Life.  The display changes! 

Now I know what is going on.  The semi responsive unit is password protected.  Crap.

Found this:
If you cannot remember the password for your Kindle, you can reset your password to regain access. Resetting your password will delete all content on your Kindle and you'll need to register your Kindle again from the Settings screen before downloading items from your Kindle Library on  To reset your Kindle if you don't have the password:
  1. Slide and release the power switch on the top of Kindle to turn on the device or exit sleep mode.
  2. Enter "resetmykindle" in the password field and press the enter key on the key pad.
  3. Wait several minutes while your Kindle restarts.

This is going to be challenging because the working keyboard is on the bottom in this situation.  Since I could see the drive previously I'm not losing anything by wiping the kindle.   Had to be really careful not to stress the flex cable between the two devices as I typed on the upside down kindle.

However the password hint was "reading is ....".  I typed "fundamental" and ba da bing!  Happy dance.  It works!    Not much interesting on this device.

I'll try registering the device on my account.  It works!  3G connects and I'm in business.  Now it is going to be all a matter of either swapping the screen and motherboard into one case.   That does look like a bit of a puzzle.  I may take apart the dead one first to get some practice.

 Just to be sure I patched the screen onto the unresponsive Kindle and tried to turn it on, reset, etc.  Nothing, it is still dead.  So I guess one out of two is par for the course when buying broken kindles on ebay.   I started taking screws out from around the perimeter and around the motherboard.  I had to take out about every screw I could see.   I found that the bottom edge is attached and has a lot of springs for the power switch etc and I couldn't get that end loose.  But with the screws from the upper half out, the case and board separated and I could just lift the e-ink screen right out.  So it looks like the way to go is to put my screen into the working mother board unit rather than vice versa. Now I don't even have to fully remove the board!

I took out all the screws on both Kindles.  The screws in the motherboard are black and very small and scattered all over the place.  They are all in plain sight and accessible, but there are a lot and you have to get every one.  You also have to take out the silver screws at the top edge and on the connectors on the right.  The screws for the battery and around the 3G modem can be left in.  I'd recommend taking out the ones you find first, seeing if the board lifts up, and if not keep removing.  Be careful of the little metal caps under the battery screws and the one on the right edge.  They fall off.  However you don't need to remove any of the screws that have these caps under them.

After I had gotten all the screws out, I found that the motherboard just lifts out.  The switches come out with the board from the bottom and are not a problem at all, they don't fall apart.  

I tried removing the good e ink screen from my Kindle, and found that on a non broken screen there is still a bit of glue around the edges that holds it down.  I was very concerned about stressing the screen, and while I could have popped it out, I decided not to.   I left the screen in the bezel.  I changed the plan and decided to remove the motherboard from the other kindle, now that all the screws were out, and put it in the Kindle case with the working screen.   That went without a hitch.  You just have to take out ALL the screws on both Kindles.

Just for fun I left the white power switch on my gray Kindle.  I could have messed around and swapped them but it was easier not to risk losing a spring.  Plus I did it to show off to myself that I had fixed it.  A little Kindle custom bling.

I dropped in the working board, put back in all the screws, snapped the display connector down.  Voila!  It works.   I pressed the back cover on and declared victory.

Here is the repaired Kindle, back in it's leather case, doing gmail on the 3G network for free.

Finally the summary of how to fix your Kindle:
1) First try to reset it by holding the power switch on for 20 seconds and releasing.  Wait 30 seconds and it should reboot.  Try again if it doesn't work the first time.    Call customer support, they are better than most call centers.  If that fails...

2) Buy a broken Kindle from ebay.  If yours has a cracked screen, buy a frozen one.  If you have a frozen one, buy one with a cracked screen.   Carefully read and make sure the unit otherwise works.   Some frozen ones might have a cracked screen and the user doesn't know it.   The cracks are not always visible from the front.  They sell for <$15, as low as $1 if you are patient.

3) Test your new broken Kindle.  Does the charging light come on?  Does it turn green?  Can you connect the USB to your computer?  If so great, although I found out that depending on how the user left it, the USB might not connect.

4) Use a knife to pry around the edges of the crack to open the back.  Do the four corners and then the bottom and ignore all the bad breaking sounds you hear as you pry it open.

5) Pop up the display connector in the lower left.  It looks like a ribbon ending with a bit of foam on the top.  It has a press in header connector that just lifts up.

4) Connect the two kindles together to test.  You can unfold the ribbon on one and snap it into the connector on the other.  Make sure to get the orientation right.  One kindle will be face down and the other will be face up.  Don't stress the cables.   You should be able to operate the kindle with the working motherboard and see the screen change on the other.

6) Remove ALL the mother board screws.  There are a lot.  Most are black, they all have to come out.  Some of the silver ones at the top and right also have to be removed.  Leave the battery and 3G module alone.  Do that on both units.  Carefully lift up the board from the top edge of the kindle and it comes out with no effort.  If it doesn't you missed a screw.

7) Lift up the motherboard that works and drop it into the bezel with the working e ink screen.  Put all the screws back in.  Press the cover back on, work around the edge snapping it back into place with lots of scary cracking sounds.

8) Do a happy dance then read a book!

Asus X401A Laptop, replaced broken screen

Broken screen on a one week old laptop!  Does everyone's stuff break this often?  Geez.   I wasn't planning to write a blog about fixing broken screens but it seems I'm doing it all the time now.

My daughter doesn't know how it happened but the screen is clearly cracked.   She took it to classes the first week only.  Rainbow vertical and horizontal streaks and black marks.   Still under warranty, but I'm sure anyone at the factory who sees this will know it got broken and won't accept a return.  I'm going to have to replace the screen myself.   

The cover of the laptop is fairly flexible.  Very likely she put something heavy on top of it and bowed it from the outside or closed something inside it.  Disappointing this laptop is so fragile.

The screen shows obvious symptoms of being physically damaged:

Close-up of the broken screen.  This is fairly classic cracked screen symptom.  Streaks that don't change, some black marks and a jagged edge and sections where the video works normally.  There are no visible cracks, the screen is probably cracked inside on the back.

Screens are sold several places, this is cheapest I found:
Has a replacement for 59.99 for matte, 52.99 for glossy.  I went for matte, even though I think the previous one was glossy.  Had to pay $10 shipping on top.

Also found some on ebay, but didn't find the matte screen anywhere else.  Also the model came with a 3year warranty.

I hate videos but I watched a youtube video and transcribed the procedure. 

1) Remove the two screws under the covers at the bottom left and right.  Hobby knife to pry the covers off.

2) Needs a hairdryer to loosen the glue.  Hate doing that, I've melted plastic before.  Run on low for a few minutes.  Later he says you don't need to do this.  Great.  DON'T USE A HAIRDRYER.

3) Work around the edge putting fingers on the screen size pulling up the bezel.  

4) For the seam on the bottom, close the laptop and use the screwdriver to pry it apart

5) pry off the hinge covers with a small screwdriver

6) Remove the four screws on the silver taps that hold the screen down.

7) Screen flips forward

8) Peel off the adhesive tape

9) pull the video cable out of the screen.  It just presses back in with a click.

N140B6-L06 is the screen model in the video.  Did some more searching on the web to see if the part number yielded a better price.  Didn't find one.

Looks easy, same as other Asus and Acer laptops I've replaced screens on.   The bezel has to be pried off instead of just screws on Acer models.

Ordering the screen and waiting ....  I will add more when I get the part....

Ordered the part on Sunday, it was here on the east coast on Thursday.  Pretty good turn around.

Here is the new screen fresh from the box with a piece of plastic coating on the front.

Model B140XW03 V.1
The label shows these part numbers and a 12/31 manufacturing date.

Pried up the two black squares at the bottom with a case knife.  At first this made me unhappy, I was concerned about scratching the front.  However the black squares are nothing but tiny squares of tape, and once you get under the edge they peel right up.

Took out the two silver screws.  You need a jewelers screwdriver, they are pretty small.

This was probably the hardest/scariest part.  How to pry apart the bezel?  The video showed the guy peeling it apart with his hands.  But I had to get it started.  The trick was to close the lap top, and wedge my knife in the corner near the hinges and pry it apart a bit to start.

After that, drop the knife and use your finger nail to begin popping it apart.  Open the laptop because the black bezel is the part that has to move.  Just work around the edge with your fingers and pop it off.  Black bezel came away easily with lots of popping sounds.

The bottom edge is a bit tricky.  It hooks over the hinges and you can't get your fingers on it.   Close the lap top and run your fingernail to separate, then open the lid again and stick your fingers down by the screen.  Hard to say exactly how I did it, just work it a bit and lift it out.

Take out the four silver screws that hold down the screen.  These are the four smallest silver screws on the tabs attached to the screen.  Don't take out the others!!  I've made that mistake before and the hinges fall apart and with the springs they can be a pain to get back together.

Screen now flips forward and reveals a wire and a small connector taped to the back of the screen

Peel up the tape from the back of the screen carefully with a hobby knife.   Don't mess it up because you will need to use it again to stick the connector down again.    Leave the tape attached on the connector, just take it off the screen.

Once the tape is off, pull the connector out of the old screen.  It comes out pretty easily.

Here is the part number on the old screen.  N140BGE-L42 Rev A4.  It was not the same exactly as the one in the video, and not even close to the one on the new screen I bought.   The only thing in common was the number "140".   So the model and rev of the screens in the Asus laptops does vary it seems.   The new screen was matte not glossy so I'm not surprised the model is different.

The shape, connector, and mounting brackets were the same, the new screen looks like it fits despite the model and manufacturer differences.  Some minor differences in the shape of the metal flanges.  I forged ahead and connected it.

Pushed the connector into the socket on the new screen.  Wiggled it back and forth a bit while pushing and eventually it pressed in all the way without any gap between the connector and socket.  Not a real obvious click.  Pressed down the tape, which now bears my fingerprints.

Powered up the laptop before re-assembling it.  SUCCESS!! The screen lights up and works perfectly.  Happy dance!

Put the four silver screws back in that hold down the screen.    Worked the bezel to get it put back on.  The key is to get the bottom edge down on top the hinges first.  That takes some wiggling and working it.  Sorry no photos, that took two hands :).   Once it is lined up in the right place, just squeeze it back together.   Work around the edge and make sure it is all snapped back tight.
Put the two screws at the bottom front  of the screen back in.  Put the black squares of tape on top.  If you stare you can see the tape is a little worse for wear for being peeled up, but no other obvious scratches or signs of my handiwork.

Hooray!  Here is the laptop back in working order, good as new.  
The whole repair I would say was easy.  Did it on my kitchen table and start to finish took about 1/2 hour including taking the photos for this blog.  While I admit to doing this sort of thing regularly, I think anyone with two hands and good eyes or glasses could do it in less than an hour.  The only tools needed are a small Philips head jewelers screwdriver and a hobby knife to pry up the tape and pry up the first bit of bezel before you can get your fingers in.

I must say the matte screen is a bit different, and although it is quite readable, the colors are much more muted.  I don't know if I recommend it. The jury is still out.  It is a matter of taste.  This laptop is for college schoolwork in a variety of environments, so maybe it was a good choice to get matte.    I may get complaints from the user.