Monday was also the day the backlight arrived in the mail. I'd ordered the $12 part from Ebay. Backlights are long, thin florescent lights (new technology uses LEDs) and are used to improve the visibility of liquid crystal displays. A friend had an old laptop, a Thinkpad T22, with a failing backlight. I offered to replace it--no guarantee. It was a new experience, but plenty of advice existed just a google away.
Several weeks ago, I disassembled the laptop display, pulling apart the internal frame so I could remove the faulty backlight. I had to measure it to make sure I ordered the right replacement. The new and the old backlight are in the following picture. I placed a quarter under them so they could be easily located. The new one is an eight of an inch shorter than the old.
Today, I soldered the wires to each end of the new backlight, allowing for the 1/8 inch, and reassembled the display.
The laptop works! And you can see what's on the display!