here's an update for everyone:
1) the company that claimed to have 230 of the chips has, in fact, precisely zero of them. so, that idea fizzled out. too bad.
2) our very own Minox has agreed to attempt to repair an iGesture. i sent it to him via fedex yesterday. let's all burn some joss sticks to wish him good luck. i'll keep the forum up to date with progress reports.
3) i've been hearing from a lot of fingerfans. there is a recurring theme that the touchiest part of the repairs is to separate the sandwiched PC boards (if it turns out that they need to be separated). so... minox: if you think you need to separate the boards, unless you feel very very good about your soldering/desoldering skills..... there is a lower risk way to handle the separation. a friend of mine in silicon valley owns a short-run PCB house, and she said that one of her crew can do the separation for us. so, if the iGesture boards need separation, i'd be more than happy to pay the Fedex to ship it to her, have her separate the boards, and Fedex them back to you to continue the repairs. [you'd still get the same $200 for successful repair -- i'd cover the incremental cost for the separation]
4) and one other recurring theme (which is echoed on this form) is that the "dreaded static discharge zap" is reasonable fatal to the xilinx weak link, and that it is especially prevalent in dry, cold climates. minox, my darling, since you are in new york ---- please carefully ground yourself so your electric personality doesn't zap the igesture while you're repairing it.
i am feeling very optomistic that minox's adventures with this igesture pad are the first step on minox's future with a long and sucessful moonlighting as a Fingerfanciful repair depot.
i hope everyone has a great president's day weekend!