1029 Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?

Sorry guys, I’ve been talking to Mom about the state of the family and lost track of time. I’ll update with a few extra thougths in a little while.

The other night Dad asked me to fix his television. It wasn’t getting a signal from anything, so I just fiddled with the remote. Nothing. So I used the buttons on the TV itself. Nothing. Then I found the remote that came with the TV, not the Direct TV one. Finally it switched over to the right input. Problem solved, right? Nope. The Direct TV remote wasn’t working properly. So I asked dad if he trusted me and after a few moments he said “Yeah?” I went online and found out if you could open up one of those remotes because the screw holes are not easily visible. It turns out you can, and several kind soulds have videos detailing the proceedure. I cracked open the thing and found that something had been spilled on it. I’m guessing coffe, but it could also have been dog barf. Or possibly a combination of the two. Anyway it has soaked into the circut board and was clearly gumming up the buttons. I cleaned it out as best I could, made sure nothing obvious was broken, and sealed it back shut. It worked, more or less. Not perfectly, but after a second cleaning I decided it wasn’t going to get any better through any machinations I might perform. The main part of the circut was still obviously wet and there was nothing to be done other than to wait and see. A couple of days later the thing just started working again. I tested the whole thing and every button performs the tasks it’s labled for. Maybe not the most amazing story, but it saved the $30 some odd bucks it takes to replace one of those remotes at least.

The internet is great when it comes to looking up how to fix stuff. I’m glad that so many people don’t just give up when things break, and also have webcams. XD


“You laughed, I’m off the hook…” Yeah. That actually works in a marriage. FYI :/ I’ve fallen prey many a time :/

So Ed and his sister are now “wooing” Jolene, are they ?
Who can make her laugh the most ?
Who can make her the happiest ?

.. there will be so many shippings of Jolene + Ed + Sister now.
Should make for an interesting courtship though. :)

Ok I have a rant about remotes. We have a Philips DVR box and the remote had gotten really crappy, it basically stopped working – or worked when it felt like. I tried cleaning it, everything, nothing helped, the thing was just so crappy and worn out. At the end it got to the point that the only way to get it to work was to take away the covers and use a piece of metal to “manually” press the contact points on the circuit board and even that didn’t work all the time.

So finally I figured it would be time to get a new remote. Since philips didn’t offer any replacement remotes for this model, to my knowledge at least, I got one of those universal remotes, which was promised to work on ALL models of DVR’s. So, yeah, it worked, somewhat – about half the buttons. I couldn’t record or watch recordings. So I called the customer service of the guys who make the remotes, and they basically told me that for this particular model of DVR I have, no universal remote works. So I took it back to the store and got a refund.

So finally, I found this remote in an online shop that was like a 3rd-party remote made specifically for this model of DVR – apparently, because philips doesn’t make them themselves and the original remotes seem to break really easily, lots of people had “bricked” their DVR:s by not having a working remote, so someone had figured there’s a good business to make the remotes for them. Awesome! I ordered the remote, it works perfectly, saved me the money of getting a new DVR just because the remote was broken.

And the rant part is this: philips, you miserable pieces of f*!”#ยค””3, I’m on to you. You make crappy remotes that break easily, then don’t offer any replacements, because you want people to have to buy new boxes. That’s just awful and dishonest.

Well, it looks like my sad prediction about death coming in threes has panned out. Yet another comic artist that I follow announced today that his stepfather is going in for chemo, but it doesn’t look good. He’s very sad and they are preparing to say goodbye. If his stepfather doesn’t make it, that will make three web comic artists who have lost close family members in the last three months.

On the note of fixing technology, my mate gave me a bag of DS games that he found a while back, there were like 29 different games in the bag. I tried them out in my DS and found that most of them didn’t even register that there was a game in the system. I took some rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip and cleaned off the connector points and managed to get three or four of them working.

I was going to just throw the rest of them away, (which is where my mate found them in the first place I later found out) when I decided what the heck; why not just open one up and see what makes it tick.

I’m a curious person like that. So I got a razor blade and cut one of the game cartridges open carefully along the seam. Turns out the insides are just a single circuit board and nothing else. It didn’t look like anything was broken, but I noticed that there seemed to be a little bit of something smudged on the circuit so I used the previously mentioned alcohol and Q-tip method to clean it off.

I then took a little bit of superglue and resealed the cartridge, let the glue dry, and tried it in my DS again. The game worked fine. So I started taking all of the other defunct cartridge’s apart the same way and cleaning them then putting them back together. I got kind of tired of doing it after a while, and just set the rest aside to work on later, but all of the ones I did it to now work just fine.

Too bad most of them are titles that I really have no interest in…

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