Category Archives: Personal

Taking a laptop apart to check out the CPU

This was an old laptop that didn’t boot up anymore. Originally the diagnostic lights indicated it was a motherboard failure, but after researching it again and reading how other users solved this problem, I now came to the conclusion that perhaps it’s the CPU. I decided to take it apart and locate all the components. Now I know where everything is at and can easily swap pieces out. I keep those old computers around and check eBay every now and then for parts. Here are a few pictures of my adventure:

As you can see, I did find the CPU and therefore added a few eBay auctions to my watch list. Perhaps I can get one of those similar machines with heavy cosmetic damage, but an intact CPU that’s compatible with this model 😉

Black Friday at Best Buy

Just for the record, Black Friday is absolutely overrated. I can’t imagine going to a store and standing in line for hours, at 40° Fahrenheit, waiting for the doors to open at midnight. I was, however, curious as to how many people would be this crazy, so at around 10pm I drove past my local Best Buy to check out the situation. I estimate that there were about 250 people freezing in line.

Best Buy did have a couple things that caught my eye this year. One was a Sharp 42″ Class LCD 1080p HDTV for $199.99 ($499.99) and the other a HP – 23″ Flat-Panel LED HD Monitor for $119.99 ($229.99). Even though the Sharp had less than average reviews, for $200, a 42″ HDTV is a 42″ HDTV. Unfortunately, the Sharp was what you call a door buster, which meant that if you weren’t one of the first 20 people to enter the store, it was more than likely that it was going to be sold out. The HP monitor, on the other hand, was just a regular sale. The thing is, most people who shop at this hour are either looking for early Christmas presents or to treat themselves to something nice e.g. iPods, laptops, DVDs, gaming consoles, etc, which is why I arrived at Best Buy again close to 1am.

I admit to standing in line for about 15 minutes, but it was nothing compared to what it would have been at 10pm. I realized later that they weren’t opening the doors for everyone at midnight, but rather letting people through in sets, doing somewhat of a crowd control. Then after x amount people left the store, a new set would be let in. I guess even Best Buy has an occupation limit.

Once inside, I inquired about the Sharp TV and then proceeded to the monitors. Not a soul over there. I checked out that beautiful HP monitor, inspected all of its capabilities, and then walked over to one of the demo computers to read some reviews. The majority rated it 4.5 out 5 stars. Furthermore, the best price for the monitor was indeed Best Buy. Nobody had it cheaper, even after taking shipping and tax in account. After spending another 15 minutes on research and now finding that there were two monitors missing, I picked one up for myself, leaving two behind on the shelf.

It had been a really efficient trip thus far, but after locating the tail of the checkout line, which wrapped around several aisles, I felt tricked. I had already come this far and I certainly wasn’t going to walk out the store now, and any doubt I did have, shrunk with every step I took forward. Ironically, I was on the phone with a friend of mine, who was at another Best Buy (after tempting him with this great deal on that monitor), but the moment he saw the checkout line, he walked right back out. There you go Best Buy, it lost you sale!

What do I take away from this experience? Well, I think I’ll go back to my motto: “Don’t stand in line for a product unless it’s for a new release of Halo,” but nevertheless, I did end up with a shiny new toy.

Hello world, to the nth time

It’s 4am and about one hour ago I drastically decided to go back to WordPress. Before this installation there was a static PHP page, and prior to it, a Drupal and WordPress installation. I dub this the triangle of confusion. I’m certain that I’ve landed back in this corner of the triangle because I updated and migrated five different WordPress installations last weekend. I hadn’t used WordPress in a while, but seeing its polished UI and out of the box features again, was enough to take action. A static page, even if the code is as beautiful as it gets, is just not convenient to maintain, and even though a Drupal installation can turn a website into a very powerful and flexible product, it seems overkill for a personal site like mine.

I have high hopes that this installation will stick around for a while, as I’m planning to actually populate it with content and keep it coming. The main focus will be to provide an archive of the various projects I’ve worked on, but at the same time, it’ll become a notepad to hold thoughts, news, ideas, and anything else involving my career as a web developer & user-interface designer.

Happy Thanksgiving, and we’ll talk again soon!