Some Random Stuff

I’m not obsessive about cleanliness or neatness in general, but when it comes to anything that I’m going to ingest, eat off of, or which will TOUCH any such thing (i.e. people’s hands who are preparing things I will eat), I definitely am obsessive about cleanliness.  However I wasn’t always this way, and as a kid, I put a coin in my mouth at least one time.  I have no idea why, really.  But for some reason I distinctly remember the taste and feeling of it even now.  I also have no idea why that is, nor why I thought of it while driving yesterday.

My little sister IMed me this the other day, about our cat CJ:

Maria: hi
Maria: there was a spider on the ceiling and mom wacked it on the floor and CJ batted it around for a while untill it stopped movin (it wasn’t dead, it was just scared) and then he licked it up. a live spider!!!
Maria: eeeeeeeeeeeew!

"A live spider!!!"  That cracks me up  : )

In other news that isn’t funny or random, I fixed a problem on Kim’s notebook yesterday, for which she sent it back to HP twice and they did nothing but wipe the hard drive and leave the problem intact.  The problem was that it would sporadically just shut down for no reason at all, and then refuse to turn back on.  They apparently couldn’t identify the cause of problem, which is strange because it’s a common problem with notebook computers.  It stems from the fact that over time, as the receptacle for the power plug gets jostled and worn, the solder joints connecting it to the motherboard start to weaken and break.  It gets to the point that if you turn the power plug a certain way, it works fine, but bump it just a tad, and it breaks the contact.  Eventually, if it goes long enough without being repaired, there is no contact at all unless you press/hold the plug to one side, or up or down or something, and when you let go, it loses the contact immediately.

We disassembled the whole thing, which with notebooks is always a little tricky, and then I re-soldered the 3 connections for the power jack.  But upon re-assembling and testing, it was no different.  Which was pretty frustrating because the disassembly and re-assembly is quite a process -- not that it’s hard, but it’s sort of tedious because there are so many screws and different pieces which aren’t standard at all from one notebook to the next.  But I ended up doing it 3 times so by now I’m pretty good at it :)

The second time, I removed the jack completely and just soldered two wires directly into the motherboard.  This didn’t work either.  My last resort was to try maybe soldering the top of the board, too; instead of just soldering the pins when they come through the bottom, I now put some on the top too.  This was tough because there’s so little space and so many components right around the jack, in addition to the fact that the jack itself is tall and there isn’t much room to get the tip of the iron into the space around it.  I replaced the crusty old tip on my soldering iron with a nice pointy new one, soldered the tops of the pins, and that fixed the problem.

I’m pretty excited that it finally worked, because the only other source of power is the battery, which charges in the laptop through this power connection.  So basically the computer would be trash, even though the rest of the system is mostly fine, and it’s decently spec’d too -- 700MHz PIII, 384MB memory, 40gig drive, etc.  So I was really glad to be able to save the poor lappy; it’d be such a shame to have to get rid of it over something like this.

Posted by Anthony on 7 replies


01. Jan 11, 2005 at 11:57pm by GrandPimpin' J:

Thou shalt not make excuses for bad web design and programming bugs!  See the image at the following URL:

02. Jan 12, 2005 at 12:17am by Anthony:

A bug is not the same as "bad web design," and I haven’t made any excuses for anything.

Anyway, I am aware of that bug.  I’m in the process of converting my site from PHP to SSI and that’s on the to-do list.

What your comment has to do with any of the 3 topics mentioned in this post, though, I can’t imagine.

03. Jan 12, 2005 at 01:24am by GrandPimpin' J:

It was the first link which allowed a reply.  (as the car MP3 player is not a web log entry, and the car MP3 player page was the page that a friend had sent me).  Hence it’s where I first noticed the bug, and explains why the screen capture was taken from that page.

Ok, so no excuses.  I’ll take that comment back.  That’s cool if you’re actually planning on fixing it and not just writing it off as unimportant.

04. Jan 12, 2005 at 01:34am by Anthony:

> and not just writing it off as unimportant.

Yeah.  That was quite an assumption considering that you don’t know me nor have you ever spoken to me about this (or any other) issue.

FYI the main page allows new posts (as opposed to comments on existing posts) to be created.

05. Jan 12, 2005 at 09:37pm by mom:

Just an observation, I’ve found it interesting that one can’t get to your weblog from numerous other pages in your site without clicking and searching different links.  I wonder if that is intentional on your part and/or part of your grand scheme of things.  I know that the weblog is in the ’etc...’ under ’the goods’ but newcomers to your site won’t.  I often have to use that string even from a ’reply-to-a-message’ page that I am at.  Newcomers may search for the ’home’ or ’homepage’ or ’back to main weblog’ link at the bottom of any given page they are on.

Just a thought, no criticism intended :)

Still lvu,

06. Jan 12, 2005 at 09:56pm by Anthony:

It’s very common on the internet for a website to have a logo/header image at the top of every page, which is a link to the homepage.  That’s what I do on my site.

I did consider putting a "Home" link under "The Goods" in this layout, but eventually decided against it.  The problem is that links on a given webpage are subject to the inverse network effect: the more links there are, the less useful each link becomes.  If a person visits a site with only 3 links in its navigation section, there’s a fairly good chance that he’ll click on all of them.  But if he visits a site with 30 links, there is virtually no chance that he’ll take the time to explore them all.

A good balance is somewhere in between, and ultimately I decided that for the main-page link, it was better to have fewer items under "The Goods" knowing that home is still accessible through 1) the header image, 2) by manually clearing the address bar, and 3) indirectly through the Recent Discussion list.

07. Mar 9, 2008 at 05:01pm by maria:

Haha! a live spider!
I was (am?) so weird :)

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