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Showing posts from 2005

Fujitsu S-Series Repair

The Patient: Fujitsu S-Series Laptop

The power connector of my S-Series Fujitsu laptop failed (a Lifebook S6110), just like so many others out there. I called up Fujitsu for repair; their local service center wanted about $80 just to look at the laptop (which obviously only needed a new connector). I concluded that it was silly for me to throw $80 at an estimate for repairing the power connector, so instead I went after repairing it myself.

Researching the problem.

At first I looked on the web for the right connector. After searching high and low, I found that the Asia Industrial Company appears to sell a very similar part, the DS-208. Let me know if you contact them for this jack.

I also saw a part for sale by a laptop power jack "repair" web site, but it didn't look like it would be mountable on my laptop's motherboard - the pins are in a different location, and I think it'd be very difficult to properly mount this part inside of my laptop.

Going at it.


Thanksgiving Centerpiece (or, fun with paper mache)

Every year, one person in my family is assigned to make a special thanksgiving day centerpiece for the dinner table. This year I was assigned to make something.

Fulfilling my obligation, I have created a paper mache Turkey, the center of the American thanksgiving celebration. Read on to see how to make this Thanksgiving Centerpiece Turkey, the official Pilgrim Turkey of Thanksgiving.

Gobble Gobble! You can make me too!

Strangely, most people don't know the story of how Thanksgiving became synonymous with turkey. But first, maybe you'll want to know to build this handsome fellow...

Building the Turkey

I started with a couple small balloons, some coat hanger wire, and masking tape. I formed the body and head with the balloons and taped them together. I bent the coat hanger wire to form the beak and legs/feet. Some needle nose pliers helped me bend the wire.

Balloons, tape and wire. Note that I taped the feet to my work surface.

The beak frame. I drew a face on the "head&qu…

CFL Update - Save Electricity, Save Money.

I've been receiving a lot of questions and comments on compact fluorescent light bulbs ("CFLs"). Why? Well, maybe because electricity rates are almost three times as much as they were only a few years ago!

I have replaced most of my traditional "incandescent" light bulbs with CFLs. Replacing old-fashioned bulbs with "fancy" CFL bulbs has reduced my electric bill by more than half - or hundreds of dollars per year - at very low cost.

I find that a GE 27 Watt CFL (on left) is substantially brighter than the 100 watt traditional bulb (right)

CFLs are more expensive than regular light bulbs, but they use much much less electricity and last much longer. I've paid between $0.99 and $3.50 per CFL bulb, depending on the type and style.

Bulb Recommendations

I have used CFLs from various manufacturers. I have been happy with modern bulbs from LightWiz, GE, and Phillips. I purchased some bulbs from Ikea a couple years ago, and they work well too. However,…

Saving Electricity and Reducing Costs

Since everyone from the President on down is asking us to minimize our energy consumption, I took a look at my own electricity use. I didn't feel I was being wasteful, but I thought it would be interesting to just take a look and see. What I found surprised me - and helped me to save $300 per year at negligible cost.

My first step was to replace often-used lightbulbs with high-efficiency CFL-type bulbs. During the evening I often have my kitchen and living room lights on... in total, I use these lights maybe 2000 hours per year. I went down to the local home center and bought about a dozen discounted CFL bulbs of various wattages (from 13w to 27w). I replaced the bulbs in the kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedrooms, and office. In all, I figure I save about $150 per year in electricity alone, thanks to the CFL bulbs!

By the way, my new CFL bulbs aren't nearly as sucky as the old-fashioned ones I used five years ago. These new ones are at full brightness almost immediate…

Seller Beware

I was bored a one day and decided to put up some ads on Craig's List - you know, I wanted to sell some of my junk.

So I put up an ad a got a reply from a guy named Bobby. Bobby is overseas, and he is looking to buy a junky $100 bike from the good old U.S.A. He also owns a shipping company.

It also happened that Bobby needed a $2,500 check cashed, and evidently he couldn't do it in his own country. Therefore, he asked me to accept a check for $2,500. Then I would then send him $2,400 and the bike. It'd be a win-win for everyone! His shipping company would pick up the bike later, so there'd be no shipping expense to me.

It's great that the internet can bring the world together, and allow people to rip-off others across the globe.

So I received the check via FedEx. The envelope was sent from Nigeria. But what do you know, the check turned out to be a fake - drawn on some poor soul's account. Good thing I didn't cash it and send Bobby the money - if I did, I…