September 07, 2009

Who's awesome?

I'm awesome!

Haha, not really, but to my neighbors' amazement I managed to fix their Maytag Neptune clothes dryer computer. Mostly, it was a matter of following error codes and technical manuals. But it was complicated at first because they told me the code was "E5". When I went to take a look, I saw that it was "t5" (the LED was displaying an E with the top bar missing). However, when I was searching through the manual, it was actually "tS".

Anyway, I'm not actually sure which of my fiddles fixed it, but one or more of them did. And my neighbors were suitably impressed.

Posted by JAY at 07:10 PM | Comments (0)

September 08, 2009

Incidentally Environmentally

I logged into my utility company's website for the first time and they had a feature that allowed me to compare my usage with that of others on my street. Statistics are always fun.

Apparently, I use just over 1/2 the electricity of my neighbours. And I use just over 1/4 of the electricity. That's pretty good, I think.

Only 7% of customers used less electricity. Less than 1% used less water! (And yes, I shower ;) )

I don't particularly try to save energy. In fact, my computer is on 27/7. However, I don't have air conditioning and unless I leave the lights off unless I need them for a particular task.

Posted by JAY at 06:23 PM | Comments (0)

September 12, 2009

Cheapest HDTV Ever

I lucked out a bit with some impulse purchases from Dell. The most recent is their new 23" monitor, the ST2310, which has full 1080p resolution and an HDMI input for just $200 (80 bucks off). What makes it great for HDTV is that it also has an audio output. So the HDMI input can supply audio to the optional Soundbar ($36).

Since I also purchased a very discounted Logitech speaker set that has an auxiliary input, I can plug the monitor directly into that and get good sound from those speakers while still getting computer sound. The picture quality is great (I've only tried 720p and 1080i) for TV. For computer, though, it's not as good as my S-IPS panel 2209WA which has the most even backlighting and color that I've ever had ($220 on sale, vertical screen rotation, but no HDMI and not full HD resolution).

The bad:
The only bad thing about using this as a TV is that it doesn't have some of the features that a dedicated TV set might. The one thing that I'd like is the ability to 'zoom' standard definition letterbox broadcasting to fit the wide screen. Still, it's still a bigger picture than my old SD LCD 19" set.

I also use this monitor as a secondary computer monitor. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a dedicated button that can cycle through the inputs - it takes a couple button presses (and the buttons are inconveniently located on the side) to switch inputs. And when switching from HDMI to DVI, the colors get a bit scrambled, requiring a power cycle. This wouldn't bother anyone who wasn't switching inputs constantly.

The front bezel is glossy black, which I don't particularly care for. It's nicer looking than flat black plastic, but I prefer the flat black plastic as it's less distracting with no reflections.

Posted by JAY at 11:17 AM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2009

Sienna's Birthday

Sienna is up and walking now and her baptism and birthday were both celebrated today (well, allowing for my backdating of posts). Rucell made her usual overflowing buffet of delicious. My contribution was mini chocolate cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Buttercream. They were yummy and the icing was very tasty (I don't usually like icing, but this stuff is good).

All the usual cast were there and everyone seemed to have a really good time. Riley likes watching people play Wii, which I suck at, but I was getting pretty good at Mariokart after a while. He also liked watching the "waiting" splash screen on the Wii Shopping channel, as the little circle graphic cycled. We replayed that for about 20 minutes, following the graphic with our fingers.

The cupcakes took enough time that I didn't get a chance to buy Sienna a birthday gift! Upon consultation with Trev and Sean, Leapfrog DVDs look like a good choice.

Posted by JAY at 02:35 PM | Comments (0)