Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Electronic Buzz

This past week I have been up to my ears in solder, thermal paste, and screws!  I ordered a larger cpu for my HP Mediasmart server and that was the first thing I swapped out this week.  It's not easy to rip apart but everything went pretty smooth.  I really should have done it when I upgraded the ram but I was too chicken then ;)  The baby now smokes along at a good speed and the heat is minimal.

Next up was Sydney's laptop.  I bought arctic silver thermal paste for my server cpu and thought it might help with the heating problem of the laptop.  It's a big job ripping that baby apart and I wanted no distractions.  I waited until the kids left for school and got at 'er.  After filling up the kitchen table with parts and pieces I managed to get to the cpu.  What a mess!  The original paste was dried up, caked on, and generally worn out.  I used alcohol to clean the cpu and heatsink and applied a small amount of the new paste.  I cleaned up the fans, adding a small drop of oil on both of them.  A can of compressed air cleaned up the dust, and a good general cleanup, and I was ready to put it back together.  As I got to the speakers I decided to baffle them to help with the tinny sound, so I cut up some gauze and taped them behind the speakers.  I got the whole works back together and, darnit all, one speaker didn't work.  That one speaker has been a pain ever since the first time I took it apart.... sooooo I took it apart again.  Mickey moused the speaker connection and wala it works!  Sound good too :)  The laptop does feel much cooler and I highly recommend the arctic silver.  Heat is the worst thing for computers.  I don't know how people can cram their towers into those little cubby holes in their desks, (and they are always near the floor,) and then expect the computer to not overheat??  The computer acts like a mini vacuum cleaner sucking in all the dust and debris from that level, it's even worse when there's carpet!  The dust acts like insulation making more heat so even if you can't rip a computer down to the cpu you can blow it out with compressed air and place it somewhere where there is lots of circulation.  I blow my laptop out at least once a week, especially because I have waaaaay too many dogs in this house that shed, and shed, and shed.

Okay I'll stop ranting ;)

Finally the last thing on my electronic list is the kid's Wii... and it's not been going well :(  I bought a mod chip for playing backed up games.  Yes I know it's illegal to download games and burn them if you don't own them, and because I'm on a satellite connection there's not any chance I will be downloading games.  I strictly want this for backing up the games we already own.  I've already had to replace three games due to scratches and at 60ish dollars a piece it's getting expensive.  So I get the Wii ripped down, solder the chip into place, put the thing back together.  Doesn't work.  Rip it apart again, check to see the led light is green on the chip, yup it's on, the Wii still plays purchased games, just not the ripped ones.  Bad chip?  Bad soldering?  I've checked every connection with the multimeter and everything's good so I can't figure it out.  Could be I need to get different disks.  I'll keep working it on it but I'm about ready to fork out the money to buy one already modded.

Update: WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOO!  It was the burn!!!  For some reason my laptop didn't do a good burn... on about 6 different disks.  I hooked up my external BenQ drive, which is old as the hills,  and it worked!  You want to see a happy person just look at me :) :) :)  So far I've burned two games and they work great, the originals are stored safely in a drawer to stay scratch free forever :)

As well as doing all the electronic stuff, Hubby and I cleaned out the chicken coop.  We did a major this time, including building a new roost.  I picked up 15 new chickens and they even laid four eggs in the cage by the time I got home.  I've been getting about 15-16 eggs per day out of the coop now, much better than what I was getting.

The brown one is quite young and the other one is about two.

Out of the 15, 10 are fairly young and 5 are older.  Here's one of the older ones.

Making themselves at home.

I drove down to Hope and met a guy there to get the chickens.  If you've never seen Hell's Gate I snapped a picture of it.

Along the way there's a few tunnels one goes through.  I wish they'd put a tunnel in at the Big Slide, sigh....
Hubby bringing in wood for winter.

The pool is put away, the garden is overrun with weeds (but that's typical on any day), the coop is clean, and our deck is filled with wood... c'mon winter I'm ready for you now.


Anonymous said...

Busy busy all the time...ab

Sorka said...

We have started making it standard practice to burn a copy of every game cd that comes into our house!!s
We have had far too many that have gotten scratched beyond repair, or shredded in the cd drive!!! And then there are the ones that got stepped on! yikes!

DaviMack said...

Great job with the computer! I need to probably do the same, with my laptop, to keep it cooler. I made the mistake of setting some papers on the keyboard the other day and the thing overheated - blue screens, and then all sorts of odd things with the monitor. I let it cool & it's fine now, but still - way too much heat.

With the burning of games - it may be that it's writing them out in a different format (Joliet instead of ISO, or vice versa). Just a thought.

jackie said...

Oh my! The things that you do to computers really make me envious! I don't even know what half of those letters mean!
And I love the chicken shots! Their eyes make them look like they are always so surprised!
You can wish for winter all you like, Not me! I am soooo not ready!

dawn said...

Wow, some lovely chickens and you had a trip to hope; great photos.