Archive for February, 2011
Recently I bought a Synology DS211j NAS for storage. A pair of 2TB hard drives in RAID-1 make for roomy storage, and this NAS is rich on features for it’s price, and it only supports up to 2TB drives.
I ordered the NAS with 1 drive initially, then got the 2nd one shortly after. One minor thing I noticed fairly quickly is how the light from the drive 1 led would bleed into the drive 2 indicator. It made it look like the light was on when in fact it was off.
Despite it’s compact case (or maybe because of it) the DS211j is very easy to work on.
The case cover slides off for easy installation of the drives. Here you can see the NAS with the cover removed and one drive installed. The top drive slot is drive 1, the bottom is drive 2.
I had to see how the LED light output was being delivered to the front of the case, for this, I removed the front bezel from the case cover. It removes very easily using a #2 Philips screwdriver.
Next I placed the front bezel on the bottom to see where everything lined up. It was quickly evident where the light “leak” was occurring — the plastic divider that Synology was using between the LEDs simply wasn’t present between the drive 1 and drive 2 light channels.
After some thought I came up with a solution: Isolating the light channels using electrical tape.
I carefully put the electrical tape on the light channels and carefully cut to fit. The result:
I test fit the light guides over the LEDs.
And that’s it! After reassembly, the drive 2 LED was nicely blacked out. I did install my 2nd drive today and it looks great. I can now easily notice the drive LEDs blinking independently of each other.
It’s a well-known fact that Li-ion batteries have a shelf-life, and the OEM warranty on batteries is typically only a year. This is because not only do the cells degrade over time, but they also degrade over use. If you’re having trouble with your laptop battery, it’s often worth a minute or two to read the date code on it to see if it’s premature failure or old age. You can read more about Li-ion cell life here if you’re interested.
Every Dell part has a PPID sticker, and the Dell part number is part of that number. Along with the country of origin, the date of manufacture, and some other information. I’ll explain three of these fields. Here is a sample PPID sticker from a Dell battery:
You see three fields marked in the photo:
Country of origin: The first field (blue field) in the photo indicates the part’s 2-letter country of origin. In this case, Korea.
Part number: The second field (green field) in the photo has the Dell part number. In this case, UD265 (the leading zero is omitted if present). Knowing the part number makes it easier to order a replacement battery. :)
Date Code: The fourth field (red field) in the photo shows the parts date code in three digits:
The first [hex] digit indicates the year of manufacture. 1-9 for 2001-2009 respectively, 0 for 2010, A for 2011, B for 2012, C for 2013, D for 2014, E for 2015, F for 2016, etc. (Note: See Chris’ comment below.)
The second [hex] digit indicates the month of manufacture. 1-9 for January through September, respectively, and A-C for October through December.
The third [hex] digit indicates the day of manufacture. 1-9 for day 1 through 9 respectively, and A-V for 10-31.
This battery was made January 5th 2008.
Knowing that heat is one of the biggest enemies of electronics makes me a bit of a cooling junkie. I say a bit because I still won’t dare any exotic PC cooling solutions, like water cooling (water + electricity?) but I will mod heatsinks and fans onto things like routers, modems, etc.
So, now I have a Wii.
I noticed while playing even graphics-intensive games that the fan in the rear of the unit doesn’t spin up at all, and the graphics will occasionally lag. Now, this could either be a good thing (the hardware isn’t hot enough to need it) or a bad thing (the hardware is hot and needs it, but it’s not kicking on). So, I was thinking of tearing it apart and doing something along the lines of hooking the fan directly to a v+ line.
I started searching for some pre-manufactured solutions, and I found the Nyko Intercooler. $6 isn’t bad, and since it doesn’t use the USB ports for power (a lot of solutions did and I didn’t like that) I figured “why not?”
I got the Intercooler today and hooked it on. It installs by snapping over the rear fan exhaust and features a pass-through from the ac adapter for power.
So here’s the quick review on this unit.
- Powers on and off with the unit
- Clean design
- Good airflow
- Easy installation
- Doesn’t block any ports
- Loud. (It reminds me of an old desktop CD-ROM drive spinning at full speed)
- Doesn’t come in black ;)
All in all, its a decent little gadget, and at $6 delivered, I can’t complain. The “feet” you see at the bottom of the ac adapter pass-through are designed to keep the pass-through supported, so it doesn’t damage the ports connection to the Wii mainboard. They are removable and support a horizontal configuration. The unit does have good air-flow and makes me think I’m going to have to spray out the intake filter on the bottom of the Wii occasionally with compressed air.
Not a bad bit. Though I haven’t done enough gaming since I installed it to see if it makes a difference in the areas where I noticed lag.
Do you have one of these devices (or something similar) for your console? What are your thoughts? Please share in the comments below.
So at least once I week I get hit with the following:
“Did you see what so-and-so put on Facebook?”
“I don’t want to look right now.”
“Just go look.”
Don’t get me wrong, I think Facebook has a certain social value. A certain value. I’m not trying to downplay it, but unfortunately it’s turning into, or been turned into… well, something else. I hear a lot of people say “I use Facebook to keep in touch with family and friends I don’t see very often.” or “I’ve met friends that I wouldn’t have met otherwise, using Facebook.” Good on you!
Unfortunately the real value of Facebook has been drowned in a sea of spam and junk. I had to have someone show me how to hide and block it, otherwise it’s almost impossible to sift through it.
Facebook is turning the corner (some would argue it passed it a few miles ago) of being more harmful than beneficial, but I suppose that can happen with anything that more than half-a-million people get involved in.
Friends you don’t know in real life, people you will never meet, people you may never want to meet, and you and your “friends” are sharing your life with them, around the clock. The “social obligation” of having Facebook friends reminds me of High School cliques.
There’s also the over-sharing: the Facebook status that just screams “I’m a loser!” The pointless random stupid Facebook “repost” crap. Whoever thought some of this up had a fantastic idea to bring Facebook page views and advertising revenue.Lastly, there’s the gossip. Nothing spreads faster on a social network than gossip. Gossip, rumor, stuff that’s made up and has little, if any, truth factor. You want to spread gossip, Facebook is the way. There’s also people who have lost their jobs, ended up in jail, or otherwise punished for something or other they’ve put on Facebook. Recently, a California judgeagainst a juror because of their Facebook posts. Good. You shouldn’t have been discussing the case publicly, and you knew better.
Let’s also not forget the privacy issues surrounding Facebook. After all, Facebook started by stealing people’s personal information and sharing it. That’s what got them off the ground. Why should they stop a good thing? Not to mention the malicious apps that install viruses on your computer, in an effort to get just-that-much-more of your information.
I feel bad for the people that simply “live” on it, and forget that there was a time when it wasn’t around, and there will be a time where it won’t be. Social networks come and go all the time. Look at MySpace for a really good example. I think people have too easily forgotten this… what happened to the good old exchange of email addresses? Rather, it’s “I’m on Facebook.” If you’re using depending on Facebook as a way to share blurbs and photos with others, you might just want to keep your options open.
Businesses have been doing it too: I’ll see billboards and TV ads encouraging me to “Find us on Facebook.” Just the other day I got an email telling me that a business was having a drawing or a contest for something-or-other, and all I needed to do to enter was “like” them on Facebook. Really? So how are you honestly going to choose a “random” “winner” from all your Facebook groupies? I think businesses that do this do a discredit to themselves in an effort to get (or expand) a fan base. I’ll “like” a company on Facebook if I really want to get updates from them, not because you’re throwing me a teaser.
To Mark Elliot Zuckerberg and the rest of the Facebook devs: Well played.
What are your thoughts on Facebook, currently the largest, most controversial, and most profitable social media networking website ever?
So you’ve noticed the Network-Manager applet is missing from your notification area in Ubuntu and you can’t connect to your wifi or cellular network. Now what?
Here’s a few tips to get it back, based on Ubuntu 10.10:
1) Make sure Network-Manager applet is installed
Open Applications > Ubuntu Software Center
Type ‘network’ in the search box and hit enter.
Locate ‘Network Manager’ in the application list and make sure it has a green check mark next to it.
2) Make sure Network-Manager-Applet is set to run on start-up
Open System > Preferences > Startup Applications and make sure the box next to Network Manager is checked.
The next two tips are slightly modified tips provided from UbuntuGeek:
3) Make sure Network-Manager is managing your connections
Open the terminal and type:
gksu gedit /etc/NetworkManager/nm-system-settings.conf
change the “
managed=false” to “
managed=true” and then save it.
then in the terminal type:
and then reboot.
4) Re-add the notification area to your bar:
right click panel>add to panel>Notification Area
Open a terminal and type:
gksu gedit /etc/network/interfaces
then check that the file has only this 2 lines:
auto lo iface lo inet loopback
Delete all the others then reboot.
6) You may also want to try restoring the panels to default.