The ribbons should come out, there is a little weird clamp that holds them down, usually a really small screwdriver will do the job. Search for some people that have taken their lilliputs out of the plastic and placed them into their own custom housing. A guy named PHC (if I remember correctly) had a GREAT write up on the process. But he also later changed his screen name to Megatronic or something.... Just do a good search and you'll find plenty of pictures. All is definitely not lost, just a little more work than you planned on... But thats all part of the hobby.... trust me.