Tuesday
Aug032010

Putting My Skills to Use

While waiting for the hard drive cable to come in the mail, I tried booting the 12-inch PowerBook from my external LaCie drive. The LaCie is a cloned image of my Macbook Pro, which is Intel-based, so it wasn’t successful in booting up an old PowerPC-based slab of metal. The kernel panic-esque screen made for a good laugh, though. But whatever, at least I tried.

Then on Friday, the ribbon cable arrived from amazon. When I got home from work, I basically dismantled the 12-inch with my eyes closed since I’ve opened and sealed it (and the 15-inch as well) already and memorized all the steps. So it took less than 20 minutes this time, and it was easy breezy beautiful cover girl. I attached the cable, inserted it, checked the connection, screwed everything back together, and powered it on. Voilà. It booted up just fine. I logged in with her account and all her stuff was there on the desktop like nothing ever happened. Well, besides the screen shrinking by 3 inches. So I handed it to her and she couldn’t believe that I was able to revive her computer. Technically, it was more of a reincarnation than a resurrection. She was very thankful, but then I got scolded for giving it to her too soon before school starts because now she has more time to mess around and break it again. And people call me ungrateful? Whatever, I’m still awesome.



http://jay.si/skills

Monday
Jul262010

Back to My Nerd Roots

Various members of my family have been pestering me to fix my sister’s dead 15-inch PowerBook G4. The reason it doesn’t work is because the power receptacle is broken. Blackened and cracked, even if it did work, I wouldn’t feel safe plugging the power cord into it, so I definitely wouldn’t feel comfortable letting her do it either. She mentioned, in passing, that “a couple times, it sparked really loud and bright when I plugged it in, but it seemed fine so I didn’t tell you.” Then I envisioned seeing her entire dorm building burning down on the news because of an electrical fire from her loudly-sparking PowerBook.

I checked online and it looks like DC-Power Jack A1095 boards are like $90. I might have invested in one, but then I came to possess an old 12-inch PowerBook. It seemed to be in working condition, but it didn’t have a bootable disk. This is when the idea for me to “fix this one with that one” was suggested. But I didn’t want to. I don’t have the time. Weeks later, I was nagged enough times to push me over the edge. “FINE, I’ll do it. Jeez.” But I didn’t have any tools at home. Not ones that would be useful in this case. Who knew they made hex screws so small? WHY?

So I decided to take her PowerBook to work so I could dismantle it there. After a few minutes of searching and searching for screwdrivers small enough for the job, I finally found one and got down to business. It took more than an hour, but it was pretty straightforward thanks to the awesome guys at iFixit. I took her old hard drive out and put the shell back together. I took a break from that stuff and just caught up on actual work work, and then I went home.

The next day, I was still riding the high of getting down and dirty with my hands in computer guts. So I started working on opening the smaller laptop, even though it was Monday and I thought I wouldn’t want to do this during the week. It took me about an hour because it was a slightly different (and so slightly unfamiliar) model. I got all the way to the last step and then I saw that there was, in fact, no hard drive in there, so the previous owner must’ve had a good reason to toss the shell. Although, I am able to boot from my old PowerBook recovery DVD, and the mouse/keyboard/display all seem to work just fine. I’m not sure what’s wrong with it, but I’m patiently waiting for some major flaw to rear its ugly head (i.e. something’s wrong with the logic board or something).

Anyway, since the hard drive was gone, so was the ribbon cable that connects it to the board. And the one that came from the fried 15-inch laptop isn’t the same kind of cable. So I just ordered one on eBay for like $8.50. So I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what happens when I put the old hard drive in the new shell. Fingers crossed.



http://jay.si/nerdroot

Sunday
Jul112010

LATE Ride 2010

LATE Ride Pano

This is a pretty fun midnight-to-sunrise bike ride through Chicago that I thoroughly enjoy every year. Unfortunately, I don’t exactly look forward to it. There’s s little too much drama involved in the preparation (i.e. registering, paying, packing, transporting the bikes, meeting up with others, etc.). There’s just so much stress that it almost ruins the whole experience, which is pretty awesome to begin with.

But it was slightly better this year because this was the first time that my sister went along for the ride. I was glad she enjoyed it too. She got a firsthand glimpse of the stupid stress caused by some other family members involved. After starting & finishing 2 hours earlier than last year, waiting for the sunrise at buckingham fountain was much longer this time. After that, there’s always a bit of confusion about where to eat and how to get there. By then, everyone was dead tired. I know I sure was.

Afterward, I crashed on the nearest couch and remained unconscious for the next 6 hours. Then we ate and watched Spain win the world cup. By the time we got home, it was like 5:something. The day was pretty much over. I think that’s the part I hate the most about this ride; it eats up the entire weekend and leaves my butt really sore. I have more of a problem with the lack of free time, but at least the sore muscles mean I exercised.



http://jay.si/late2010

Wednesday
Jul072010

Push NOtifications

I wish my push notifications worked even when those apps are multitaskingly running in the background. It took a lot of troubleshooting to figure out the cause of the problem. I even downloaded a push notification testing app. Basically, I need to manually quit apps from the multitask app switcher in order for them to completely stop running in the background. Only then would my notifications come through. It shouldn’t necessitate this much effort.



http://jay.si/nopush

Monday
Jul052010

In the Beginning

Squarespace had a free 14-day trial, and with my old site hosting plan expiring in about the same timeframe, I decided to give it a go. They advertise fine-grain control of every detail of each page, but I was more concerned with the initial overall look. I settled on this look and customized the basics, leaving the details to be sorted out later. But it looks more than just acceptable now, which is what would’ve happened if I made this site from scratch. I’ve tried it before and I just end up obsessing over the details before the foundation is even sturdy. It was bad. So I’ll just work with this store-bought box of ingredients, and maybe change the recipe over time.

Basically, I intend this to be somewhere to spew my random thoughts that require more space than Twitter’s 140 characters. Maybe throw in a few images, videos, and inappropriate fits of rage. I hope it’s a step up from blogger and tumblr. Plus, I like having my own domain that happens to be my name dot com. However, I prefer to intake information rather than create it myself, so keep that in mind.



http://jay.si/first

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