Three for Three

Regrettably, I’ve let the week go by without an entry, passing at least a couple of days deserving their own posts. Outside of work, a lot of my time has been spent with one thing or another taken apart on my desk.On Wednesday, maybe, a flip clock I won on eBay arrived. The latest addition to my collection, a Panasonic RC-7053, is in good shape although it was more than somewhat dirty. It’s an interesting model and includes a day of week indicator. The main neon illumination bulb was bad so I harvested one from a broken clock I have on hand and installed it without incident. After a couple hours work I had the clock looking great.Yesterday, a non-functional laptop I bought out of curiosity arrived. It is a Sony VAIO QR20, a nine year-old novelty that featured a carrying handle. It was packed rather poorly but arrived well enough. Like the notebook I fixed earlier this week there was nothing visibly wrong with it, but I hard to rebuild it and add RAM and a hard drive. I ran out of spare laptop drives and had to pull the drive from my first MP3 player, an Archos Jukebox 20.Once I confirmed it was functional I started cleaning each component. The cosmetic condition of the computer was pretty good but it was quite dirty. It appeared it was used as a place mat by the previous owner with little bits of food everywhere, even inside the casing. The keyboard was especially filthy. I spent several hours completely disassembling the laptop including the LCD bezel and cleaning each component individually before reassembling the laptop. Later I installed Windows XP and searched for the drivers for this model. I am still trying to get the hotkeys and jogdial to work.Today my handiwork with a screwdriver was much simpler. I accompanied Mom to Harry’s Ace Hardware to buy potting soil and some other odds and ends. We left the store with a mailbox for the house. It has been in need of replacement for quite some time but only now did she find a suitable replacement. I mounted it when we got home. Later in the afternoon I installed a mini-pci Wi-Fi card I ordered for my recently resurrected ThinkPad. I thought I was buying an IBM “authorized” card but I had to use the no-1802 fix to make it work.Later this evening I decided to pull the trigger on some new speakers for my computer. I’ve been spending time these past couple weeks reading about speakers, amps, headphones, DACs, etcetera. I’ve been less than content with my current Logitech Z-5300e 5.1 speaker setup. Most of my usage is music which only utilizes 2 of the five speakers I have and I have never been able to properly position the rear channel speakers anyway. I considered purchasing some passive bookshelf speakers and an amplifier but ultimately decided on a simpler arrangement. Tonight I ordered the Audioengine A5 powered bookshelf speakers, which apparently sound incredible for their size and price point. Later on I may purchase an USB Digital/Analog Converter and an amplifier to power my Sennheiser headphones and perhaps a future set of passive speakers.

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