Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sometimes the low tech solution is the best solutiuon. Also provides evidence that necessity is the mother of invention:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

iPhone 3G Battery Swap

A number of months ago my wife received in the mail an iPhone 3G from her son (Thanks again!). He had upgraded to an iPhone 4. Up until two weeks ago she had been using it as a fancy iPod Touch and for making Skype calls (since it has a microphone on it). Two weeks ago she got a new SIM card for it and began using it as a pay as you go phone (AT&T does not allow pay as you go data on an iPhone for grreed reasons). She was very pleased and excited with this development. Well then last week it stopped charging properly. She was bummed to say the least.

Off to the interest we went and sound a number of sites that show you how to swap the battery out in the phone. We particularly liked the video and PDF guidance provided by

So we ordered a battery and tool kit ($5 and change) – which arrived Friday. So Friday night was swap night for the battery. The Repair kit comes with the following items:
  1. The replacement battery (not shown)
  2. 2 Spudgers
  3. A guitar pick
  4. Another guitar like pick
  5. A #00 Phillips head screwdriver
  6. A flat head screwdriver
  7. A suction cup (helps to separate the screen from the back of the unit.

 So I removed the SIM card from the phone and began removing the bottom screws by the dock connector. This is where the night ended. We had a challenge getting out the second of the two screws on the bottom of the phone that you must remove to get into it! So off to a few stores to see if we could find a very small ez-out (no luck) but we did find a precision screwdriver kit (another $6 or so). This kit had a 1 mm flat head screw driver that eventually (Saturday morning) – allowed the second screw to be removed so our adventure could continue.

Next we continued to follow the guide and undid 6 cables, 9 more screws, and the logic board and finally got to the battery. Here are some pictures to illustrate this for you.

3 cables that connect the screen section to the logic board.

A screw is hidden under the Do not remove sticker.

Logic Board for the iPhone 3G

A little elbow grease and a spudger tool and out came the battery!

In with the new

Finally everything removed and disconnected back in (in reverse order) and the iPhone was returned to normal. A quick power up test and all was found to be well. After a little charging I made a test call from the phone to the house line as a final test.

So the bottom line is – if your iPhone battery is not holding a charge – you (yes I mean you) can replace your own battery! It just takes a little bit of time and patience to get through it and make sure you don’t damage the ribbon cables. This will save you loads of money paying someone else to do this for you or for replacing your device.

Televsion Revelation - OTA HDTV

When we were planning our move to North Carolina, Louise, my wife, and I made the conscious decision to NOT get cable TV. This was mainly due to two items 1) first - we have a tendency to watch quite a bit of television when we have it and 2) a high cable bill (even if you take out the Internet access and digital phone from the bundle) due to movie packages.

We have been getting our TV shows via the internet but recently we purchased two small HD TVs for my wife’s new system to use as monitors. This use of these TVs has not worked out well – thus one of them was moved to the older computer in our bedroom so my wife could still have two monitors on her new system. This led me to have a sudden insight – digital TV was supposed to be available over the AIR (OTA) thus overcoming the cable bill! So I did some research and found out through this site:


That I should be able to get most broadcast stations that I would want with a passive antenna.

So $16 or so dollars later – were are now using a Phillips SDV2210/27 passive antenna to pull in HDTV and we get the main broadcast channels from Charlotte in nice crystal clear HD. YEAH! Here is picture of the Antenna box:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Huge Pen Drive for a Very Small Price

I woke up this morning to an email from my neice Patti, who was asking about a Pen drive brand and if it was good or not. The second item I noted was that she was getting an absolutely fantastic price on this device via ebay which brings up its own question that I will address in a moment - on to the Brand question.

The brand of a pen drive is an interesting question and probably varies greatly by who you ask. Many probably just say get the cheapest - but this is not always an appropriate answer. Personally prefer different brands depending on the situation - so here is my break down:
  • High Security needs (think FIPS 140-2): Definitely IronKey - a bit pricey but there is no better drive IMHO when it comes to a secured drive. Built in encryption and a kill feature if someone messes with it physically or failed the password 10 times. See more at
  • Regular use - Typically I prefer Kingston or SAN DISK for regular needs but may also venture into the PNY brand evey once in a while. Currently my main pen drive is a 32GB Kingston Data Traveller.

So my second question is - where do you buy Tech like this from? I have never really considered ebay as a source for electronics but this in this particular case I might - since the price is 10.8% of what it would cost at newegg for the same drive! What an interesting dilemma.
So I suggested to my niece that she do a little investigation on the seller and if she did order to get a second on and I would reimburse her. Hey a deal is a deal and considering that Louise (my wife) and I just had a bad data event with one of our laptops - this might be a great backup solution for the next system.

So what are your thoughts?