Wednesday, March 30, 2011
So I received a hard drive dock that i had ordered online, and upon receiving it, I immediately knew something was wrong. I hesitantly shook the box only to discover the weight designed to keep the dock stationary had broken loose inside the dock. when I emailed the company inquiring about a replacement, they informed me they would be happy to mail a replacement as long as i paid to ship my defective unit back. now for a large, or pricey item, this may be understandable, but I paid 15 dollars for this, and wasn't about to spend 8 more for a chance at receiving another defective unit, I opened the enclosure to see what i could do about it, and noticed that not only had the weight broken free, but in transit, it had managed to break off the only component on the bottom side of the board. a single crystal oscillator. obviously i couldn't just reattach the weight and have everything work, so i pulled out my "Bucket 'O Parts" and set out to find a new one to replace the broken one with. five minutes later I had my oscillator, and was plugging in my soldering iron to prep for the transplant. a few quick maneuvers later, i had everything as it should be. i grabbed an old drive off of the shelf, plugged it in carefully, and flipped the switch, SUCCESS! another instance where voiding a warranty was both cheaper and easier to accomplish than trying to use the warranty to get a replacement. Now, obviously not everyone knows how to solder, but try it out, the tools are cheap (~$10US) and you can practice with wires and old circuit boards until you become used to it. Now go and void some more warranties!
Sunday, March 27, 2011
CHDK is a piece of software that resides on the memory card of your camera (mainly Canon point and shoots), that enables many features that canon did not put into the software of the camera. You can create scripts that make taking HDR photos a breeze, custom time lapse scripts, scripts for taking photos of lightning, and much much more. CHDK can also enable taking photos in RAW format, if you don't know what that is, you probably don't need that feature. and best of all, this amazing modification is one that doesn't even violate your warranty. You place the program on your memory card, and it stays there. it doesn't modify the camera at all. for more information, you can check it out at http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK
The correct tools can make the difference between voiding the warranty on your device, and voiding the functionality of your device. if you don't have the proper tools, don't take a pair of pliers to a screw thinking "oh it'll be fine" because no it won't. it's just a bad idea. Get the right tools. I cant tell you how many times my friends have destroyed their electronic devices because they were too impatient, the worst one being the guy that took a pair of pliers to the back of his iPod because he couldn't find a wedge or "spudger." He ended up not being able to use the device for 3 weeks as he waited for a new back plate from china. Just remember, think before you act. Have a nice well lit, clean work surface, and be prepared for the possibility you may not accomplish everything you want in one sitting.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Voiding warranties, some say its wrong, some worry about future support, but I am dedicated to using the hardware that i own to the fullest extent possible. If a router can be given a 200% boost in range through nothing more than a simple software update DO IT! If you can keep your video games safely stored away in their cases while you play from a backup copy, Why wouldn't you? Are you a huge anime fan but your dvd player won't play those import titles from japan? FIX IT! There is information readily available everywhere online that can help you on your way, most DVD players have a special code you can enter from your remote control to remove the region locks on your player, so why not take advantage of it?