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Moment of Weakness

Posted 2012.10.03 14.38 in Computers/Internet/Technology

My handy little 4GB SD card that I use for occasional backups and to ferry files here and there accidentally let its guard down. But just for a moment!

In that brief moment I saw its weakness, and instinct took over. I pounced, and just like that, the SD card had been skinned, its inside-y bits laid out for all to see.

Interesting stuff. I assumed there’d be just a single chip in there, or more likely, one of those blobs-on-a-board. Except – damn it, now I need to get a new SD card.

Actually a few weeks ago I had dropped the card in my office then run it over with my chair – quite by accident – and was surprised to find it still functional. The chair had cracked the outer shell though, and I’ve been trying to pretend not to notice ever since… today I couldn’t resist any longer. Had to see what was inside.

Thermostat Failure

Posted 2011.04.14 16.51 in Computers/Internet/Technology

After nearly a full month of flawless operation, my DIY ethernet thermostat suffered some kind of stroke yesterday evening, and this morning slipped into a coma.

I don’t know what cause the glitch but it appears that the microcontroller that runs the whole thing has been fatally befuddled. And while 98.2% of the time, I use a socket for any IC in any project, in this case for some stupid reason I did not.

Indeed, everything is soldered, hot-glued, and taped in there so well that I’m not sure it’s even worth-while attempting to debug & repair. I think this is a back-to-the-drawing-board moment. Or at least, back-to-the-assembly-line moment.

So, I have a couple replacement parts on order (and you can bet I’m re-stocking my IC stocket supply), and I suppose I’ll have to rebuild the darn thing over the weekend. It wouldn’t be such an issue if this had happened closer to the summer months, but for now I can’t leave the house unheated for days-on-end.

Hopefully the parts will arrive tomorrow and I’ll be able to get at it. Otherwise it’ll probably be a week before I can recover from this tragedy.

In the meantime, my home heating needs are being serviced by this neolithic thermostat that was recovered from an archaeological dig, and has been on display in a dusty old museum somewhere. Or quite possibly I found it on a shelf in the storage closet.