Calling All Hipsters

December 4th, 2014


Dryel will ruin your dryer

November 30th, 2014


I decided to give Dryel a try for some dry-clean-only clothing. When they were finished, I noticed blue marks on the inside of my dryer. Tried cleaning them with everything from a Magic Eraser to spray cleaners; nothing worked. They’re their permanently. Where did they come from? I think they came from the Dryel bag! It’s not color-safe? WTF!

Wireless local backups for a PC and a Mac, Part II

November 30th, 2014

This is part II of a post I wrote over a year ago about the Pogoplug Series 4. I’ve kept the original post up (with a huge “do not follow” banner) because I wanted to leave evidence of the hours I wasted trying to get this device to work as-is. Here are my new instructions:

1.) Wipe the existing OS and replace it with Arch Linux ARM.

2.) Install Samba.

3.) Install your favorite backup software capable of writing to a network drive (e.g. Cobian on the PC, GetBackup on the Mac).

Note that you will no longer be able to use the cloud. That’s fine, it’s junk. You’ll notice in my original instructions that I originally tried to install Samba on Pogoplug’s native busybox OS. For weeks, backups only half-worked because the drive would get corrupted so often. I’d have to disconnect the drive, attach it to my PC, reformat it, repair it, sometimes every other week. It was useless. I can tell you that after following the above simple instructions, I have not had to touch my Pogoplug at all. Good luck!

Time to Make the Donuts, er, Doughnuts…

November 2nd, 2014

Ship it!

May 31st, 2014

How many times have you said this?

May 30th, 2014

Stand Your Ground

December 15th, 2013

Chevy Aveo Door Probs

November 19th, 2013

I’ve got probs … with my 2005 Chevy Aveo’s doors. Shit’s always breaking on them. Here are two recent problems (and fixes):

1.) The driver’s side door latch stopped working. Pulling the latch would not open the door. The problem was a small plastic piece on the end of the thin rod that connects the door’s locking mechanism to the door latch. The plastic piece had cracked and so the rod was no longer connected to the latch. I went to AutoZone, bought a small pack of plastic doodads (“Door Lock Rod Clip Assortment”) from a company called “Dorman Help!”, and replaced the plastic piece. Good as new.

2.) The driver’s side lock FELL IN THE DOOR. In other words, there was a big hole in the door where the key should go. Supposedly this is a common problem and caused by a single faulty hex bolt that holds the lock mechanism against the door. If you remove the door panel, you may notice this hex bolt rolling around in the bottom of the door. It’s printed with the number “4.8”. (If you can’t find it, you’ll have to dig up a replacement.) I lined the lock mechanism back into place, spread some Loctite Threadlocker on the hex bolt, and screwed it back in its hole (with a ratchet and extension). Good as new!

For both of these fixes, you’ll need to pry the plastic door panel off the door frame. Pull the window crank off. There are three screws at the base of the panel, one by the door handle, and another by the door latch. It’s a pain in the ass pulling the door panel off without breaking the latch. Trust me, with some maneuvering, the latch will go through the hole in the door panel. Once you’ve fixed what you need to fix under the panel, it’s a bitch lining the door latch back through it’s hole in the panel and reattaching the panel to the frame. But with some luck, you can get everything back together again. Just takes about a 100 tries!

Ridgid wet/dry shop vac float issue

November 2nd, 2013

I have a small Ridgid 4 gallon wet/dry shop vac (model WD4050). I was cleaning the filter and when I replaced it, the vac didn’t work anymore. When I turned it on, it’d make a loud noise and emit a burning smell. I remembered that when I turned the unit over to clean the filter, I heard a “klunk” sound. That sound was the “float” falling down the float cage. The float keeps water from going into the motor. I guess the motor was so hot that when I turned the vac right-side-up the float never fell back down again. It had been fused to the motor (see the melted plastic on top of the float). With a slight pull, I pried the float off of the motor, put everything back together, and it now works fine.

Battery charging probs with a DSC alarm

October 28th, 2013

I have an old DSC PC 500 security alarm. One day it started beeping with a low battery. So I bought a new 12V battery and replaced the old one. A few days later, it starts beeping again. Thinking it was a faulty battery, I replace it again. The same thing happens. I did some research and it appears these old DSC alarms are prone to their charging circuits failing. This is super annoying because the alarm won’t function without a charged battery, even when it has full AC.

Here’s what I did to solve this: I bought a “BatteryTender” trickle charger and hooked the alarm leads AND the trickle charger alligator clips to the battery simultaneously. That way, if the AC is ever cut, the alarm’s AC AND the charger’s AC will both shut off and the battery will work as intended. But while there is AC, the trickle charger should keep the battery charged without harming the alarm, thereby avoiding the low battery signal.

It’s a tight squeeze, but here’s what it looks like: