Is your Dyson Animal vacuum cleaner sucking, like mine was? There’s a good chance you can fix it cheaply.
In my case, the vacuum head — in Dyson speak, it’s the “soleplate” — was not seating down fully on the floor.
Because the soleplate wasn’t fully flush with the contact surface, the suction was greatly reduced. Here’s the sad thing: I knew this for some time. Like years. And I never got around to doing anything about it. I was just vacuuming in mediocrity. Well, I finally ⇥ (read more)
So I finally got around to updating my iMac from Lion to Mountain Lion last night. Wow, I am pleasantly surprised!
For the past year, this was a regular occurrence: systemic memory rot.
It was ridiculous. I felt like I was using a Windows machine. No offense, 95% of the world. But seriously, it was crazy bad.
And now after the Mountain Lion update, it’s like a new machine. And all for $20.
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There’s an article at The Good Men Project worth reading called “Not a Joke: Why Do Our Boys Keep Up the Mass Shootings?” in light of the mass murder this morning in Colorado. I left a comment there that I wanted to explore some more ⇥ (read more)
A few weeks ago, the worst fire in Colorado’s history broke out. In my town. It was like Armageddon raining fire down upon us. A bunch of people lost their homes, a few people died. It was definitely a scary few days.
After the very professional firefighters and city government folks began to gain control, some levity was in order. I got on Twitter and joked that I wasn’t going to shave until this end-of-the-world stuff quieted down. And a local report named joined in. The following is the Tweet ⇥ (read more)
Is this a mashup made in heaven? I think it was.
Sarah and Iris and I all went to this concert a few weeks ago titled, “The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass” with text by Marisha Chamberlain and music by Carol Barnett. The Colorado Springs Chorale’s Chamber Singers performed the piece.
The idea is so pure and revelatory: a unique combination of bluegrass rhythms with sacred choral arrangement is just surprising and wonderful. Here are some thoughts I had on ⇥ (read more)
I ran across this most excellent xkcd comic the other day:
It’s just so funny on so many levels, if you’re a EE. Let’s just go clockwise around the page, starting at the top left.
- I love that the battery voltage is a square root. Just so obscure and mathematically nerdy.
- Gluing open the switch? Ha!
- That PNP transistor has two emitters, look out! Crashing electrons!
- I like that the printed value of the resistor isn’t explicit; just the color code is written. Priceless.
- Solder blob, yes! Any engineer worth his salt relies on solder blobs during prototyping. It’s especially funny that this blob is shorting out a bunch of parts.
- 666 timer. Why didn’t I think of that one? The 555 timer has had too much fun for too many years.
- Magic smoke bottle. Again, just so funny.
- Just try to do some nodal analysis on that resistor network!
- Holy water, tear collectors, and sandals… wow.
- “Hire someone to open and close switch real fast.” I laugh out loud each time I read that.
- Most expensive chip available — I used one of those in my senior design project!
- Arduino for blog cred. That’s so trending now.
- I’m afraid that 50V battery isn’t going to last long.
- Hot glue. Man, if I had a nickel for every time I whipped out the hot glue gun…
Insider parodies like these really crack me up. I’m reminding of the Death Waltz musical score, also comically brilliant in its absurd complexity. My wife reminded me of some music that her choir performed by ” PDQ Bach” ((P. D. Q. Bach is a fictitious composer invented by musical satirist “Professor” Peter Schickele. In a gag that Schickele has ⇥ (read more)
As my wife can attest, I’ve been lost in the world of code again. It‘s happened before. This time, I was working on a big project for an NPO for which I do part-time admin work. The project involved updating their WordPress theme. I had not selected the previous theme they were using; it was roughly 4-6 years old, so showing its age in a lot of ways.
The effort was very much a “start from scratch” job. Since web dev is not my day job, my skill set is somewhat limited in the world of PHP and CSS. So I knew that I ⇥ (read more)
My good friend James contacted me with an electronics problem. Seems his daughter’s cell phone was on the fritz. So I agreed to take a look.
She has a Pantech P7000 flip phone, but it stopped charging. I asked a few questions first to understand the nature of the problem. For instance:
- Has she tried other wall chargers? Yes, all give same symptoms.
- Has she tried other batteries? Unknown.
- Has she tried wiggling the cable to see if it makes connection? Yes, and it does.
James gave me some great info, so I knew what I was in for. My guess was that the charging connector on the phone was going bad. I’ve seen it before. James sent it to me to have a look:
The first thing I did was have a look at the charger, just to test out ⇥ (read more)
On my computer, I’m in the habit of using lots of subfolders for my organization of reports and other output I generate from my financial software. I prefer to use a structure of month names inside the for the year, with forced chronological order.
So I wrote an Automator script to do this for me automatically. It took me a long time to get around to doing it. I had been creating all these myriad subfolders by hand until now.
To use this, you save as a ⇥ (read more)
You remember the first phase of the iPod jukebox, yes? To jog your memory, the basic goal was simple. How do I make these dust-collecting components:
…work with my iPhone in order to have music in my workshop? Simple concept, not so simple electronics. The project is mostly a connectivity issue, i.e., there are tons of inputs and outputs that must all be managed with connectors and wiring and power regulation.
On paper, the system looks something like this:
In Phase 1, I had done a substantial amount of wasted work with one such ⇥ (read more)