Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Kodak Camera Repair

Recently I was given a Kodak camera that was a few months old but was not working.  It had fallen off a chair and that fall had rendered it DOA.  After taking it apart to look inside I discovered that the battery contact fingers were not touching the battery.  The fix was easy, just bend the battery contact fingers up.  That can be done without taking the camera apart. 

Just in case you want a peak inside the camera, here is a picture with the front and back covers removed.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Facebook is infected once again

There is a new Facebook virus going around.  The biggest giveaway is that it uses shortened links.  The messages refer to a video of you or other things like that.  Don't open the link.  If you are infected the only way you will know about it is if one of your friends tells you that you sent them something that you did not send. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gateway W350a Laptop Conversion from vista to XP

My dad’s Old laptop was running Windows Vista and true to form doing anything with it was a pain in the butt.  So I upgraded it to Windows XP.  Once again Gateway does not support XP on that laptop so you have to go out and find the drivers for yourself. 

This time to find out what hardware was in the laptop I used a program called SIV or ‘System Information Viewer’.  It’s free and it does a fantastic job of identifying your hardware.  SIV told me what the motherboard chip set was the AMD ATI 690 and the network interfaces were both from Realtek.

Via Google I also found out that the Gateway W350 is also known as the T1625

Realtek RTL8101E-GR Ethernet:
File name - PCI_Install_XP_2K_5719_10202010.zip

RTL 8187B Wireless:
File Name - RTL8187B_Auto_Install_Program.zip

Once you can connect to the Internet then you can go after the video and sound drivers;

Graphics drivers:
Go to support.amd.com and look for XP drivers for the ATI 690 chipset.
File Name - 10-2_Legacy_xp32-64_dd_ccc.exe 
Its many megabytes in size (I think 75 megs) so have a fast connection and be ready to wait.

Sound – Some say to use the Dell R134875 drivers but they did not work for me.  I also tried using the ‘Sigmatel’ drivers on the gateway web site to no avail.  I think the hardware is an ATI-791.  Some say to use Gateway CAB D00758-001-001

*** NOTE *** The best sound driver is sound_driver_92XXM4.zip

All of the drivers are available at  http://www.allquests.com/question/969837/Gateway-T1616-Windows-XP-Pro-upgrade.html

This is a typical SIV "machine" tab screen, click on it to see it actual size.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Interlocking laminate flooring

I used tiles to do the floor in the master bedroom.  The floor tiles have several problems.  They require luan to be put down first to be glued to, that takes a lot of time and increases the price quite a bit.  They stink, literally they give off a bad odor for months (currently over 6 months), stop and smell a box of floor tiles at the store before buying them!  And last of all we moved the bed and there are permanent dents in the tiles where the bed had been. 

So for the living room floor I used the Interlocking laminate - wood looking floor tiles.  It took 8 hours to do a 200 square foot floor.  The first 2 rows are the hardest to do.  When you tap in the next row the first one wants to come apart.  Then the lip gets into the groove so they do not go back together.  The floor is supposed to float, but I was tempted to nail down the first row then take the nails out after the floor was done.  Anyway if you can get the first 2 rows done then you can stand on them to do the rest of the floor. 

You might want to know that even though they easily snap together one at a time, when you have a row of 18 feet of them they do not go together very well at all.  You will need to get the tool kit to gently tap them together or make a tapping tool out of a 2x4 about 8 to 10 inches long by cutting a groove it it to match the groove in the floor tiles.  Also you need to keep each row slightly raised up (Put a pry bar under the leading edge to do that) until they are all snapped together lengthwise.  That allows some of them to unsnap slightly so they need to be tapped back together.  When they are gently tapped together they will then drop down to be level.

Hopefully soon I will have before and after pictures. This one is a before for sure!
And here is an after picture.  Note that the room was also painted and the door replaced.