Just for internet posterity, the Chamberlain 248754 garage door opener may start beeping every 30 seconds with a red (not orange) LED. The manual claims that you need to call service for this issue. We just ordered a battery for in-store pickup at Home Depot and it was fine.
Archive for the ‘hardware’ Category
My Android phone came with a tiny amount of memory and my phone company filled most of that with useless, undeletable apps. I finally had it and unlocked my phone, installing a custom firmware. It took me back to the days when I did it on my PSP. It’s still the same environment…bad instructions in forums assuming you know way more arbitrary details than you actually do. (What? You weren’t born knowing what BackSideUpdater is? It’s so obvious!) All files are obtained via questionable links in forums. The best instructions I found were on some kid’s youtube video. Anyway, it’s done and I actually have some space to install some apps now. We’ll see how this goes.
The kitchen light went out so we got a different light to put in. I’ve embellished these instructions so that you know what to expect if you are in the bottom 5th percentile of people attempting home repair. Place the base of the light fixture into the electrical junction box in the ceiling. You do have a junction box up there, don’t you? You don’t? Well, go to the store and get a drywall saw and cut out a hole and put one up there. You back? Good. Now screw in these two screws and put the base of the fixture on to the screws and twist it into place. I hope you don’t mind that there isn’t really enough room to check the alignment of the screws and keep your hand out of the way at the same time in that impossibly narrow, darkened space. I’ll wait till you’re done with that………………………………………………………………3 hours? Are you serious? You bent the screws and messed up the threading? Fiberglass in your eyes and lungs? Shredded the aluminum heat shield and most of the fiberglass? Excuse me while I take a moment to laugh heartily.
We actually began this project a couple of days ago hoping to just change the ballast on the old light. It turned out to be a one-of-a-kind model, just like most of the home hardware I’ve ever tried to replace…not found on the web, etc. Well, guess I learned how to cut a bit of drywall and remove fiberglass splinters.
I got a pair of Western Digital Livewire ethernet over powerline adapters. They get up to 100 Mbps. Far faster than your internet, but slower than 1 gig ethernet. Anyway, it’s a good option when your wifi just isn’t cutting it. We had an issue where the upstairs router wasn’t reaching a downstairs machine very well. This bridged the gap well.
My PC was always waking after I put it to sleep. Why, why, why? This guy had the answer. Apparently something was sending a packet or two to my PC and the network card was waking up.
My #1 requirement in a vehicle is an auxiliary audio input. (I don’t care if the vehicle actually runs.) We got a used Nissan Quest a while back and it has a ridiculous shaped center console that the stereo is in. The stereo is a custom size and shape and besides, the stereo buttons are built-in on the top.
So, replacing the stereo is out. Next best option, an adapter from GROM Audio that plugs into the satellite input on the back and lets you do Bluetooth and aux input and even charges USB. Thus began last night’s 6 hour nightmare in broken console tabs, broken shifter tab, etc. How do you pull tabs out of slots in a car? You break them, that’s what you do. It’s like Nissan intentionally made the stereo the most difficult thing possible to access. They made sure that unrelated panels on the sides of the car cover the center console and have to be removed to get at the middle panel. And the beauty of it is that the CD player seems to have come unplugged in the process, so I may get to do it all again at some point. Noooooooo!!!!!!!
A new game was lagging, so I was able to do a new PC build. The sweet spot in price/performance at the moment seems to be Intel i5/Nvidia 560 Ti. It was held by AMD for quite a while…they’re not really that far apart, whatever the case. It runs BF3 in 1920×1200 with pretty good detail. The load times for Windows booting up and games loading from the SSD are pretty amazing. Unfortunately, putting it right under the house thermostat means the house gets kinda cold…whether in winter or summer. I probably need to move it.
One interesting thing I’ve been seeing is Google Cloud print…print your google docs on your home printer from anywhere…as long as you leave a PC on at home or your printer is one of a few that supports it natively. Of course, I hate paper, so I don’t plan to use it, but it’s a neat idea.
I like the way Google Chrome syncs bookmarks to your account…but I guess I want different bookmarks at work than at home. Had to disable syncing of bookmarks at work.
A few miscellaneous things…
We went walking along the Rio Grande near Tingley Beach the other day and I had forgotten how cattails can be explosive when they’re ripe. Sean was having fun with the fuzzy ‘splosions. In case you’re unfamiliar with Albuquerque, “Tingley Beach” is just some ponds near the river. The model yacht club sails their boats there on Saturdays and the geese are all over the place. Between the main ponds and the river are a couple of secret ponds with lots of neat plants and a little swampy mud pass area for the kids to fall into.
We tried Blockbuster instead of Netflix. It seemed nice because they offered games for the same price. Unfortunately, they’re so incredibly slow that it’s not even worth it. There are no Blockbusters in Albuquerque to do the “manual trade-in” anyway.
There is nothing sadder for a PC gamer than to have to buy a low-end video card. In our media PC, the PCIe x1 slot for the TV card and PCIe x 16 slot for the video card are right next to each other. So, the cards are right up against each other…giving little ventilation to the video card and a very short life. Thus, I ran out to Best Buy the other night to buy a low-end video card to replace it. How many polygons per second? Who cares? It’s just a video card that does the minimum…wasting away there.
Yesterday I went to the Realtime and Embedded Computing Conference. One of the presenters was a guy from micro-machines area at Sandia Labs. He showed us videos of microscopic gears and motors they’d built. In one video, a dust mite clung to a gear as it turned extremely fast. The dust mite was visibly dizzy afterward.