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PIC CDC ACM
Fun with HC08
Java Goes Native
Gas Fired Furnace
Down Memory Lane
Stupid things are often done
Behind every stupid thing
I created this page to publish here things that I'd like to
say face to face to someone, if I only knew where and who that someone
is. For example, being a product developer myself, I would very much
like to give feedback on many products that I've come across. However I
don't want to tell it to the poor distributor or sales person whom I've
purchased the thing from. What good would that do? I know that if this
kind of feedback actually reached the original designer (or even a
manager ;-) they would consider it and it might actually make a
difference. But how do you approach something like Microsoft or Siemens
or Nokia to name a few? They are so big that chances of my feedback
ever reaching anybody who could make a difference is infinitesimally
I'm in no way implying that I'm faultless myself, I once thought I made an error but in that thought I was mistaken ;-)
FUJITSU / Siemens
E Series LIFEBOOK
Look at the image to your left; when docking this laptop to the docking station it is very easy to damage the connector. There is no way to change that connector, you need to swap the main board. This damage happens easily because underside the laptop, on the right side on the docking station there is an earthing spring that pushes back as you insert the laptop. This easily causes the laptop to enter left side first in to the docking station and then one of the pins that are supposed to center the floating connector actually enters the connector and ruins the main board! We have had to replace at least three main boards because of this.
Would you believe it, the laptop and the docking station have indentical power supplies but different connectors! There seems to be no technical reason for this. But it does mean that if you need to go to the board meeting and give a fancy PowerPoint presentation you'd better remember to take that other power supply from home to the office as you surely do not want to drag your docking station with you.
Unplug the power supply from the docking station and see how your computer re-boots. Yes, it works, even in the docking station, without a power supply, running just fine on batteries, but unplugging the supply causes it to re-boot. Nice, and I thought that having batteries would give me some extra proctection late at night when I stretch out and kick that power cord.
Once the laptop is in the docking station you cannot insert/remove any PCMCIA cards. Why is that? They work ok, you just cannot insert/remove them. Instead you are forced to use the oh-so-inconveniently placed PCMCIA slots at the back of the docking station. Be sure to remember to remove any flash memory cards (for you digital ixus) from the docking station before you leave for home with your laptop. Otherwise, no birthday pictures.
To remove a PCMCIA card you need to push a small lever next to the card slots. Fine, but if you push it by accident then you have no choice but to remove the PCMCIA card. This is likely to crash your operating system (won't name it here but you know the one...). If you do not remove the PCMCIA card then the docking station will remove the afore mentioned small plastic lever as on the docking station there is a small flange, the purpose of which is to prevent inserting/removing PCMCIA card while docked!
A minor inconvenience is that the power switch on the docking station is located so that moving the docking station sideways easily turns the power off (without warning).
The carrying case, along many similar ones, has the problem that if you don't make a habit of zipping it up every time you close the lid, you are sure to forget that it is un-zipped and grab the handle as you leave for home, only to observe the laptop flying onto the floor. Actually, I do not know if this is an official Siemens case I have, but at least Dell has a better one where the lid does not open completely, thus eliminating the possibility of a disaster.
Me and my wife, we surf the channels a lot, because like Bruce said, there is nothing on. Now, on most TVs if you press in rapid succession 2 and 4 to get from channel 4 to 2 and back (in order to avoid that adult movie on channel 3) you end up on channel 24, which is not there as we only have four channels here. Nice!
Sony, JVC...you name it
Krups Aroma Control
Krups had this nearly perfect coffee maker (the right one on the picture), until somebody decided it needed a facelift. And of course the old but gold one is no longer in production. I've gone through quite a lot of coffee makers in my time, about a dozen or so (for some reason they don't make things the way they used to, all the things I handle have a tendency of breaking down...or is it just me?). The old Krups was almost perfect and white ( which,if you have not noticed by now, is the main criteria in this housedold when selecting appliances). So when when it refused to stay on and the pot handle got broken (it was not me and I did not do it on purpose) I thought, hey, we need a Krups. So we bought the new one (on the left in the picture). Oh boy, does it s..k.
First of all it is a lot higher than the old one, so I had to hack the kitchen cupboard arrangement. There is no reason for it, and in this case, bigger is not better.
Secondly although the filter system swings out, you have to lift the lid to fill the water tank. Well, that is common enough in coffee makers, but the swing out filter which is shaped like a sphere has a two centimeter stick out on the side, which is difficult to see and which the coffee spoon seems to caught by every time I try to fill the filter with grounds. And the mess it makes.
Speaking of the swing out filter, there is a lever that opens the filter outlet valve (to let the coffee flow to the pot) only when the pot is in place. Nice idea, but in practice it tends to swing the filter out and not open the outlet valve.
Then the 'AromaControl', a bi-metal what-not that is supposed to improve the aroma by letting the hot water linger a little longer in the filter. Never seen a coffee maker that is as complicated as this one. This AromaControl feature is just one more thing to break down, and I've now seen it dysfunction in two units within months of purchase. And does it improve the aroma..haha.
Furthermore, the coffee flows throught the cap of the pot, the cap which has a valve that opens when you insert the pot into the machine. I suppose the idea is that once you remove the pot from the coffee maker it closes automatically so that the coffee stays hot a little longer. Nice, but the cap gets scratched and looks awful within weeks!
And the ultimately, the cap is hollow, and if you have a mishap with the filter so that it flows over and grounds get into the coffee, then the grounds fill the cap, so that the next pot is again full of grounds, although you thought you had it all cleaned up so well.
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Recycling Thin Air