atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#4135: A professional repair.

Yesterday I fixed Mrs. Fungus' old monitor.

I had to get out my desoldering iron, two soldering irons, the solder, and the card table to do it. The desoldering iron and the solder--obvious. The first soldering iron I grabbed was made for soldering sensitive circuits; it has a grounded plug and I had to plug it into an extension cord, so I went back for the one that I normally use, a dual-range iron with a regular two-prong plug. I prefer using that one anyway because I can set it on 30-watt mode to heat up quick, then pop it back to 15-watt mode to do the actual work without overheating anything that I'm soldering. The card table--I needed that because I don't have a dedicated workbench in the house. (And if i did it'd probably be covered with crap, anyway.)

Disassembly was simple, and shortly I had the power supply board sitting in front of me. Realizing I needed more light on the subject, I grabbed my desk lamp; then I got to work. First thing I did was to identify the solder joints that I needed to remove; also since I was removing electrolytic capacitors I made doubly sure to mark where the negative terminal was supposed to go. It turned out that the circuit board was similarly marked, but why take chances?

Desoldering went pretty smoothly. Put the tip of the iron over the solder joint with the suction bulb compressed. Wait until solder melts. Release bulb. Move to next joint. I was fortunate in that these things desoldered pretty cleanly; I didn't have to do any touch-up work and the things came out nice and easy.

Insert first cap, bend leads to hold it in, invert board, solder--something I've done hundreds of times, and I repeated the operation with the other two. Upon inspection I decided I wasn't happy with the look of the solder joints on the last one so I reheated them until they melted, and gave 'em an extra second or two of heat. I can't really describe how I knew when to stop heating them; the appearance of the joint changed somehow and that's when I knew to take the iron away.

Triple-checked everything, snipped off the excess leads, reassembled...monitor worked. Mrs. Fungus' computer goes into sleep mode after about ten minutes of inactivity, so I fired up the WoW client and let it sit while I did some WoW myself.

The monitor stayed on the entire time, as it should. Done and done.

I could have fixed this when it happened if I'd had the right parts on hand. Fry's charged us nearly eight dollars for those three capacitors, which cost maybe a nickel apiece in bulk.

It sure is nice to know how to fix things.

* * *

Matt Walsh has some commentary on schoolbooks that teach nine-year-olds about masturbation. He includes an image of the first page of the chapter on masturbation, and right underneath the chapter title is a cartoon image of a girl masturbating, smiling happily at the reader.

It's an image right out of a firkin' porno mag. Except it's a cartoon drawn for the consumption of nine year old children.

There is so much wrong with this that I, like Matt, depair of finding a good place to start enumerating all the problems...and so, also like him, I'm simply not going to try. If you don't already know what's wrong with this shit, you're already a lost cause.

* * *

So the latest Obamacare news is that not only does the government force you to pay more for insurance you don't need--and fines you if you refuse--but unfortunately plumped for their "never pay" policy. "If you don't have a claim it's very worthwhile, but if you have a claim, well...there it is."

(Go to 2:30 for context.)



Isn't it marvelous? This thing is barreling right down the rails in the direction predicted by everyone who opposed it, and this kind of nonsense was exactly the reason we opposed it. It's not even fully implemented yet and already it's obvious that IT DOESN'T WORK. IT CANNOT WORK. IT WILL NOT WORK.

* * *

Looks as if about 90% of Connecticut gun owners are ignoring the new gun registration law. This is the sort of civil disobedience that works. If 90% of the people affected by a law simply ignore it, what can the government do? Arrest them all?

* * *

Borepatch then goes on to link a story about a B-17 that had a midair collision with a Nazi fighter, yet managed to land safely. The picture is too small so you can't see what's going on in his post (at least I could not) so I had to go to the link posted in the comments.

DAMN. The real story behind it is amazing. Then again--for all that they were complicated machines, airplanes back in the war years were simple compared to today's aircraft. You try and fly a 777 with its tail nearly cut off, and I'll watch from a safe spot on the ground.

* * *

SpaceX is experimenting with reusable boosters. One way to cut the cost to orbit is to build your first stage so that it can be recovered, refurbished, and reused. The one major problem with the Saturn V was that the entire rocket was expended in use; if the boosters had been reusable we might still be flying the things.

Reusability was beyond the scope of the design for the Saturn V first stage, but given a little time and sanity that might have evolved into the specification sooner or later. Instead, we got twenty years of the space shuttle. *whimper*

Well, better late than never, I suppose. I just don't want to get to the Moon like D.D. Harriman did (see here).

(Incidentally, WTEF is up with that cover? What does an effeminate man with spooky eyes have to do with making the first trip to the Moon??)

* * *

WTEF=What The Everlasting F---

* * *

Anyway, since Mrs. Fungus wanted her old monitor back, I took the little AOC 19" and hooked it up to my system, having to make some room on my desk to do so. And in the process, somehow that turned into me working on Mom's old filing cabinet, which has been used only as a stand for the routers and modem (and their UPS). I cleaned it out, generating a bag full of trash in the process. Whee!

I do believe I am turning into an Nvidia convert. Connecting the monitor was painless, and configuring the driver to run it was even more painless, if such a thing be possible--the thing automatically set the extra monitor to display in its native resolution, without me having to fiddle with the settings for the main monitor at all. How mircaulous is that?

I just remember how much annoying BS I went through trying to get the ATI Radeon A) to recognize that I'd hooked up another display, B) to extend the desktop onto it, C) without changing the resolution of my main monitor to match that of the extra one, which was 1024x768, thus wiping out the arrangement of icons on my desktop.

This is how it ought to work, damn it: I plug the thing in, wait a second while the video card recognizes that another monitor has been connected, then open up the driver and find out that it's already been configured correctly...and all I have to do is change a couple of defaults to have it set up the way I want.

Same computer, same OS, different brand of video card, much smaller pain in the anus. And most of that pain came from crowbarring a monitor onto an already-cluttered desk, which has nothing to do with the hardare anyway.

It's going to take some time for me to get used to having two monitors, and I may not keep it set up this way. We'll see. But WoW runs in fullscreen window mode and I can run a browser on the other monitor, and look up stuff on WoWHead or read the Fungus or-or-or while I'm waiting for something in-game. That's pretty f-ing cool, right there.
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