Monthly Archives: September 2006

Battery Recall

Well, it only took 3 attempts, but DHL and I finally connected today to deliver my new PowerBook battery. This one replaces the recalled one my computer is currently discharging into a safe-for-shipment state.

An interesting note about the recall shipment process: the new battery arrived via DHL. In the box was a FedEx prepaid shipping label, and directions that indicated I should use the FedEx sticker in the US, while Canadian recall participants would be provided with a UPS sticker. Who would have thought you could get all three (DHL, FedEx, UPS) in one transaction? Impressive.

From the letter accompanying my replacement battery:

Tips for faster discharge: Play a DVD movie, a CD in iTunes (turn on the Visualizer), or the Chess game (set to play computer vs. computer).

Haha, awesome: Apple just instructed me to play computer vs. computer chess as part of a battery recall.

As a matter of fact, I think I shall… as well as enjoying as much of Inside Man as I can watch in the remaining 12 minutes of this battery’s life.

Au revoir, my somewhat-abused-and-less-than-loved-for-being-ridiculously-hot Sony-manufactured debacle of a battery.


Dave and I pooled our USB extension cords this evening to wire my laser printer to the Myth box by the TV. The result? Approx 20′ of über-USB!

The picture below pretty much says it all. The Myth box is located left of the TV, and the printer is located at the right of the image, at the near end of the couch. The über-USB cable wraps all the way around the room behind the couch, under the window, and behind the TV, for approx 20 feet total. Awesome!

[Large linked file warning: 1.22MB]

From left to right across that picture, the green circles highlight:

  1. The end of one USB extension piece in the Myth box
  2. One of the connections between extension cables
  3. The other end of the über-USB cable in the printer

How nerdy are we?

They "Cleaned" It

So at the Engineering Bash I tried to turn on the fountain. It flooded in about 60 seconds. I jumped to a hasty conclusion that the summer maintenance folks had failed to clean the filters properly, and accused them of such, publicly. Only to have one of those said summer maintenance folks inform me, in person, that he was in fact on cleaning duty this summer and can vouch for it having been done. I was left looking like a jerk, grasping at straws for other explanations, and having to walk away embarrassed.

Today, Tim and I took a look “under the hood” of the fountain to see if we could figure out what, after the assurance of clean filters, could possibly be causing the flooding problem. Here is what we found:

Oh wait: That looks an awful lot like completely clogged filters, leading directly to the flooding we experienced.

15 minutes with a shop vac later, the problem was resolved and the fountain runs fine. So I looked like a jerk for naught, and apparently the maintenance guy and myself have a different perspective on the precise definition of “frequently cleaned.”

The mouse IS the better mousetrap

I was trying to clean my laptop screen today with my “Klear Screen” cleaning solution (bought two years ago from Scott’s recommendation, works awesome., and I could not seem to polish off this one particular smudge.

Let me back up. The cleaning process is:

  1. Turn off monitor. Well, I didn’t want to shut my laptop down, so I settled for turning off the backlight, leaving the contents of the screen just barely visible.
  2. Spray once for 14″ or less, or twice for above.
  3. Spread solution to corners of monitor with corner of micro-chamois.
  4. Immediately begin polishing off the solution with remaining surface area of micro-chamois.
  5. Once no solution is visible, the monitor is clean.

Use once a week for best results (Hm, I’ve used it about half a dozen times in 2 years…)

So I was stuck in step 4, because I couldn’t seem to polish off this one spot. Upon closer inspection, that spot was my mouse cursor. Oops.