zola: (Default)
My main storage hard drive died, just quite working. These things happen, it's an old drive, but the frustrating part is that I just got that external hard drive from [livejournal.com profile] trekkieb47 so I could back up the important stuff and it died before I could do so.

And of course that's the drive that has the stuff I don't want to lose.

All is not lost. Due to the circumstances of the failure (no noise from the drive, abruptly stopping working with no warning, no errors or instability in drive prior to failure), it was most likely that it wasn't the guts of the drive but rather the pcb board.

Read more... )

So. The long and short of it is that I need to find a replacement board. I'm putting this out here to you guys too, because I know I am not the only one here who has a box full of computer parts and has friends with boxes of computer parts. ;)

I need either a pcb board or a refurbished drive. It's a Western Digital WD Caviar, 60gb. Here's the important part: It MUST have the part number: WD600BB-00CAA0. A different second half of the number is different firmware, meaning it won't work. If you have a dead drive of that model that was making all kinds of funny noises before it quit, I'd be willing to give it a try.

[livejournal.com profile] madclarinet I finally called back that site we found (http://www.com-com.co.uk) because they didn't reply. I'm wondering if I shouldn't have you call because the person I got was just AWFUL. First he said I didn't send the quote request because I didn't get an email acknowledgement (like dude, I'm CALLING because I didn't get an email acknowledgement), then I read off the code and he said "We only deal with the first set of numbers." I started to say "but I need to get one that is an exact match" and he said "you won't get it from us". I realized at this point that he was going to be less than helpful so I ended the call.

So I'm thinking maybe I ought to have YOU call because I think I ran into another asshole who heard the feminine voice and assumed I didn't know anything about computers, or maybe he just didn't like Americans or maybe he had a fight with his mother or girlfriend or something and didn't want to be at work. (number in UK: 0845 643 1180)
zola: (Default)
Just thought I would share something that I thought was kind of neat, I happened across it when I was reading a book on androids. The measurements will, I think, be awfully familiar to Big O fans. ;)

The section in question is discussing Honda's Asimo and Asimo's predecessor, P3.

"P3 is the size of a very small adult, standing 1.6 meters (5'1") tall, but despite the use of the very light metal magnesium in its construction, comes in at a hefty 130 kilograms (285 lbs)."

Perkowitz, Sidney. Digital People. Washington: Joseph Henry Press, 2004. 130.
zola: (mad science)
I was playing DDR yesterday and one of the arrow keys on my dance pad got stuck!

Fortunately, we have two, so we swapped pads. After I quit, Keith and I started tearing apart the broken dance pad. Let me state first off that we have the really solid ones, the metal ones, because I had teenagers when we purchased the game and I knew they would be tough on it.

The design is astonishingly simple. There is a contact plate about the size of an index card wired into the main harness, padded with foam, with jumpers connecting the arrow plates to light up the LED indicators. The arrow plates themselves have some aluminum tape to touch the contact plate, that's on a thin foam backing.

Each "square" is lined up via triangular pieces of plywood in the corners, and it looks like all that had happened was that one of those got a bit shredded and was keeping the plate from springing back up.

Pictures! )

We're going to refurbish it, it's definitely due. There was a manufacturing defect, we discovered, that is the real reason one of the plexiglass pieces has a crack in it--one of the screws that holds the plywood base wasn't socked down tightly. It's clearly been like that since the pad was manufactured, there is an indentation , not a crack, in the contact plate.

I can probably replace the plexiglass part quite inexpensively, I don't know if I can get the arrow to peel off the plexiglass, but even if I can't, I can buy the actual piece no trouble. The contact plate has minimal damage and I found copper tape for repairing the broken circuit--the contact plates are so big that the one small damaged spot hasn't caused any trouble, but we'll fix it while we have it apart.

We're going to replace the foam so the pad is nice and springy again, and probably replace the underlying piece of plywood with a slightly thicker piece so that the screws have a more solid base to bite into (this won't affect the height of the pad at all, we'll just use thinner backing on the part that goes on the floor).

This stuff is amazing--we could actually make a brand new board if we needed to!

July 2014

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