Sunday, January 22, 2006

From Dark Ages to PDA's

What's a man to do about a PDA today? I'm sure I'm not the only one that has been in the dark ages, and is now looking at getting a PDA.... but I look and look and look, and can't find anyone that has a good review on, basically, all the PDA's, like a history outline. Tell me when they came out, what features they have, pro/con, comparisons, PDA Brands – HP, Dell, Toshiba, Sony, Palm, Acer, ...

Accuracy in media?!?

Fox News (watch it only for the entertainment, if you can stand it), Why is it I could easily find more/better information than they had during this particular report!?!

My days in the media we wouldn't do such a thing, If you don't know what you're talking about you're better off to shut up.

And NEWS?!? News is to be non-biased reporting. Fox News is blatant at giving their opinions, or more accurately said -- their politically bent opinions. Or is this SNL (Saturday Night Live) news? They talk off camera joking with the crew to blur their "news" opinions, and it's not just them coming up with this off their head -- they make such errors that they must be reading it from a tele-prompter. (like saying comma for coma)

Our role is to inform the public

Marvin Kalb, a longtime broadcaster now with Harvard's Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, says "some tilting toward a sympathetic view of the American soldier at war" is "a natural phenomenon in this context," one that had not prevented the public from getting "very good coverage on television."

But Mark Hertsgaard--whose books about U.S. foreign policy include "On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency"--strongly criticizes what he calls the "false patriotism" of the networks.

"It is not our role to revere or applaud the government or the military. Our role is to inform the public and thereby serve the country," he says. "The government is not the country, and so when you see reporters talking about 'we' and essentially following the good-guy script, they are...betraying the real principles of journalism and American democracy."

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Visit Memory Alpha

Warp coils are an integral part of a starship's warp drive. Mounted within the warp nacelles, the coils take the plasma generated by the warp core, and use it to create the warp field that allows faster than light travel.

Warp coils are typically composed of cast verterium cortenide surrounding a core of densified tungsten-cobalt-magnesium.

Learn about the warp coil.

Bias in the Media

I'm watching Fox News, (for entertainment I guess.) Is this cowman I'm watching? Letterman?

They're certainly not trying to pass this off as NEWS are they? Whatever happened to the BBC's stand on being non-biased in reporting? Even the BBC has veered from that long held motto. You don't get news anymore, you get a politically corrected spin to it, but you're not supposed to notice they're spinning it.

It's one thing to be an alive, thinking, real personality, another to take up the chat show persona on news events, to sway your viewers toward your side of the issues.

Remember one mans freedom fighter or patriot - is another mans terrorist. Terrorist is a word the BBC wouldn't use years ago. It's not because there weren't any, it's because it's a biased word. It's not reporting -- it's biasing!

Sunday, January 1, 2006

Ventilating a hard drive case

In this project we're working on ventilating a Hard Drive case.

This case is for housing an external IDE hard drive and interfacing it to USB 2.0

The case comes with a small fan, but I'd say it's just for looks, as it only has micro-slots for the air to come out of. There are slightly bigger holes in the front for the air intake, but not by much.

So what's the deal? The hard drive gets hot! There's no airflow.

Our mission - to ventilate it!
Non-vented vents (5.38 kbs)>

The project involves routing out the fan slots to increase the non-existent air flow.

Let's get to it!

Tools needed (7.04 kbs)

Tools you'll need:

  • Phillips driver #2 & #1
  • Thin narrow flat bar or knife
  • Dremil™ tool (or similar) with straight flute (or slight taper) bit
    • Or a drill & bits if you want to use the files to make to holes
  • Round file - small chain saw file about 3/32"
  • Small thin flat file - like a point file
  • Small needle nose pliers

The side straps is all that holds the case together, and removing them is to be a careful matter, they snap off, but we don't want to snap them. If you carefully pry between the fan and the case the pins holding the fan will pop out.
Once the case is open you'll need to remove all the guts but the power switch & plug, this includes the hard drive (I started this without doing removing the hard drive, but found it had to be done to cut the tapers in the slots with my router/grinder), it will be easier and safer in the end to remove the HD also. So mark the plugs or make a drawing of the color codes, trust me, you'll forget how it went when you go to reinstall it, what seems obvious now will have you questioning it later.
The hardest thing, after the case side straps, is getting the fan out. This case has the fan mounted with plastic pressure pins that just press into 2 protruding case mounts.

Use a thin narrow flat bar or blade and place it between the fan and the case at the point where the fan has a mounting plug (where they should have used screws). You might elect to replace these plugs with screws when you reinstall the fan, a small screw should work in the holes, be very careful they're not too large or you'll break the protrusion, and then you'll be a happy camper.

These pins should pop out with a little twisting force on the bar. Careful you don't loose them as they'll POP out.
With the fan removed, take a marker or pencil and mark (or trace) where the metal plate meats the plastic case. This will be your guide when you cut the slots out.
If you're not use to working on cutting holes this small with your cutter you should do some practicing on something laying around that you can destroy. This takes a steady hand and an understanding of how the cutter and bit act in the plastic of the case, if you've got sharp deep groves in your bit (like mine does) it can get away from you and take out more material than you want. Take it easy and slow, you can do the edges with the files if you like, then you just need to open a hole so you can get the file into it. If you don't have a Dremil™ type tool and wish to use a drill bit, then you can just cut a series of holes on the slot so that you can get your file in to finish to job. This technique can produce better looking results as a router can easily gouge out too much material (I know).

Cutting the slots out (16.2 kbs)

To the cutting room -

On this case they have a foot under the fan (great design), so you can't cut that out, and you don't want to make it too thin around it or you'll take the strength away from the weight bearing foot. But you can still get good airflow by simply opening up the slots that are under the fan. The slot extends out beyond what the fan sees, there's only limited benefit by opening them up more than where the fan sits, I opened them up a little as to aid in the distribution of exiting air because of the low clearance on the bottom that you're blowing the air into and to make it look symmetrical (if that didn't make sense, don't worry about it). There is 1 whole slot that I didn't touch as it's not under the fan.

Make sure you remove the metal plate, it will dull your bit if & when you hit it, and you'll want to remove more material from the slots than you can get to with the plate in place..

Case marked for fan impression (5.81 kbs)
After removing the metal plate you can see your marks and know what material to remove.
Here you can see I alreay started cutting the slots.

case cutout from inside (6.32 kbs)
case cutout from outside (4.41 kbs)
non-vented vents before we started (5.32 kbs)
Inside & outside views of case after cutting, and before.

Before you put things back together -

Clean the case of burs
Clean the fan

Cleaning the Fan (8.68 kbs)
Assortment of brushes (11.3 kbs)
Cleaning the fan with a mascara brush. Don't throw out those old brushes, having several kinds of brushes on hand is helpful.
After you get it all in, and before you put the case top on, plug it up and power it up to see if the fan is going to work. Mine made a lot of noise because of an alignment problem, because of the shotty mounting (pins). I had to press on the center a few times and get it centered, then if quieted down.

guts (11.7 kbs)
The guts in the case (metal shield romoved).

Next up-

I'll finish up on the front plate and the cosmetics in a later update.
We're going to put a filter in the front to keep the dust out (yes, you have dust).