Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The state of me

So it's been a bit of quiet here lately. I mean I used to put up 2-3 posts a week back then for some time, and now I'm doing 1-2 a month. What's going on here? Has my life become so much quieter? Actually it's kind of true. These days there's almost nothing going on. On work front I've been stuck on an embedded project where I'm coding in 'c' - meh! On personal front I'm kind of down these days. You must remember I bought a Raspberry Pi3 a while back, but I'm yet to get a monitor for that PI-HTPC I wanted to do. I should be learning new things - but since I'm not doing anything in Qt - I just don't have any real need to do anything about it right now. So aaah, I've been just spending my days doing 8 hour work days, and 12hr weekends.
Mostly I'm watching B-grade Hollywood movies and reading sci-fi. I've managed to hit a good series - The General by David Drake, and it's quite immersive. I'm reading A. A. Attansio's Radix Tetrads series in parallel. Both of them are amazing. But that's it. Nothing much beside it. Actually I'm facing a bit of cash crunch lately. And that means not much travel, no weekend getaways, no movies in theatre - damn things cost an arm and a leg together - 250Rs for "When Harry met Sejal"? WTF!!!
Anyway, the monitor's on hold because of cash crunch. The new projects are on hold because of cash crunch. And I've a huge excel giving me a picture of my finances if I stay around my current job, that tells me money is going to be tough for about a year from now. So I guess I'll be lazying out the days till then.
Frankly I need something related to Qt - this Embedded C thing sucks - all the time you are just doing code, code and code. Half the time only you know what the hell the code does and if someone else had the misfortune to go through your code, without the background, then God have mercy on them. Well, that's life. Anyway, let's hope situation improves, or at least does not get any worse (me getting pink slip? Oh horror - with two mortgages on my head I'll be fish fry!! :( )
Adios!

Friday, August 11, 2017

My Lenovo G580 died of water exposure, and I had to get it repaired!

Last week, due to bit of an accident involving a full bucket and it's broken handle, my Lenovo G580 got some water inside. It wasn't completely washed out, but bit of splash got left side of laptop where the VGA port is. When I saw what has happened, the laptop was charging, and so I quickly turned off the power adapter. The power light was ON, so I long pressed the power button to power it off.
Then I removed the battery, and opened back panel and removed RAM, WiFi card and HDD. Then let it all dry for two days. After this I put everything in and tried to start it. Nothing at first. Then I connected the power adapter and tried charging, the charging light came on. Then I tried power button. This time I got one short beep followed by three long beeps, and then again another beep and stop. No display.
So started my hunt for a good laptop repair center in near vicinity. I remembered the Acer's repair. I think I got duped off there for about 6-7thousand rupees, since the idiot got me an infirior board with only 2G of DDR2 RAM in 2 sticks while my dead board had 3G of DDR3 RAM. Plus he screwed up it's touchpad. And worse, the thing died in about a year. Shit!!!
Anyway, might be my bad luck. So this time after going through a number of Lenovo Authorised Service Center Reiews - all of them had shit reviews! - I found a guy about a km away with good reputation. So I gave him the dead Lenovo for repair. He called me in about 4 days saying it's a problem with the Display IC, and will cost about 2000 Rs to fix. I was okay with that, so he fixed it in two days and now I have the Lenovo back! Good job - Mahesh Computers, Wakad, Pune!
By the way, this october this machine will complete 6 years. My expences through this period were - keyboard and battery replacement - 2000/- for a Gizga Battery which didn't work, but the service guys were friendly and I got a replacement soon, and 1249/- for keyboard by Gizga - going good till date. These two things I got replaced in May, 2015. The original bettery went for 2Yrs 7 months- which is kind of okay. The Gizga battery is going good for last 2Yrs 3Months - and the current stats are - 42.8 Wh desinged capacity, 29.2 Wh current capacity which means current capacity is about 70% which is fine after all this time. Good job Gizga!
Next small expense is about 150Rs for thermal paste in May 2017 - I noticed that the laptop is heating up for a while. After confirming it's not some crazy software, I ordered some basic thermal paste online. Then dis-assembled the laptop after watching a youtube video. Checked the thermal paste on CPU - it was dry and cracked. So cleaned it all using a bunch of soft cotton. Didn't have rubbing alcohol at hand, but it was enough. Then dabbed bit of new paste on the cpu and ensured it's spread fine. Then fixed it all together, and checked the temps - the CPU temps came down by average 6-8 degrees which is good improvement in my books.
And after that it's this 2200/- rupees for a repair. Overall I'm happy with this Lenovo G580. Solid machine.

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Fiio A1 experience

Couple of weeks back I bought the cheapest Fiio I could find. That's the matchbox sized A1 portable amplifier. 
It costs me about 2000Rs. It's portable. Good a small battery inside. Charges off computers USB port with supplied micro-USB cable. Provided items are two clips, two stereo cables, one micro USB charging cable and a user manual alongside the portable amp unit. 
Let's get right into the experience. The amp is decently loud. The provided three equalizer presets are not much help though. The tiny form factor makes it ultra portable. 
My only gripe is I don't have any heavy headphones/ weak audio sources to use these. 
My Soundmagic ES1 run fine on my years old Nokia C5. Heck even the 32Ohm Sennheiser HD349's run fine on that. 
So there's that!! Maybe I wasted my 2K!!😃