Archive for category Home Ec
So this arrived from an email address similar to, yet not quite the same as, the URL of a physician’s office where I had an appointment a few days hence:
My email client is set to prefer plain text, disallow remote content, and not open attachments, so that’s as far as it got. Donning asbestos work gloves and face mask, I pried open the message and its attached HTML file with the appropriate tools and found, as expected, scripts doing who-know-what.
Called the office and, also as expected, was told my appointment time had been changed.
Showed up, mentioned it to the doctor, and was told the office must check off many boxes to demonstrate its HIPAA compliance.
Bottom line: HIPAA now requires patients (a.k.a., us) to open random attachments from random senders, all in the name of privacy.
Banks do that, too.
Before my Genuine IBM 5160 PC XT with an 8088 CPU, I scratch-built a Z80 “personal computer” and wrote a primitive multitasking OS. Plenty of electrons have flowed through the transistors since those days.
A great way to start the day; ya can’t make this stuff up!
We hung a pine-cone wreath beside the back door (a.k.a. the only door we use), replacing a Welcome sign painted on a slate tile. Of course, the tile had long provided a sheltered spot against the house siding:
We hope whatever it might be eats well this year.
Spotted this under a counter at Panera Bread:
You’re looking downward from the edge of the communal meal countertop at the power and network cable ports in the floor. The cables snake into the counter legs and emerge at the countertop to provide AC power, USB charging, and wired network ports in addition to ubiquitous WiFi: all the conveniences of modern dining.
Alas, down at floor level, the poor cables get kicked against the edge of their cover plates, bent with no strain relief, and seem jammed under the sharp edges of the leg extrusions. I expect the connectors below the hatches also endure a nightly bath of gritty water, with bonus salt during the winter months.
And, yes, the AC power plug sits halfway out of its socket, with the blades exposed.
A reasonably good silicone-wire multimeter probe set arrived last spring and has worked well enough (I thought, anyhow) for the usual voltage measurements, but recently failed while measuring a small current. We all know how this will turn out, but the details may be of some interest.
Measuring the resistance from tip to plug located the fault to the black probe, after which I poked a pin through the insulation near the plug:
The two leads near the bottom go to my shiny Siglent bench multimeter. Despite their similarity to the failed probes, I’m pretty sure Siglent has better QC (well, mostly).
The probe’s resistance was near zero from the tip (offscreen to the left) to the pin and megohms from pin to plug (on the right). Figuring the wire worked loose, I pulled it away from the plug:
Although I wouldn’t have trusted those probes anywhere near their alleged 1 kV rating, seeing that exposed copper-like substance was disconcerting.
Hacking off the strain relief bushing around the wire got closer to the fault:
And, finally, the problem becomes obvious:
Pulling a black banana plug from the heap, I decided to drill a proper hole to anchor the wire:
Which looked like this afterward:
And produced a strongly mismatched pair:
Ain’t it amazing how much fun you can have for a few bucks, all delivered by eBay? [sigh]
You can find anything on eBay (clicky for more dots):
The key information:
For that price, I’d expect in-person hand delivery.
Stipulated: ZVNL110A MOSFETs aren’t in production and we’re buying from diminishing inventory, but (as of late December 2018) they’re still available for under a buck apiece in small quantities.
A new pair of shoes arrived with extravagantly long laces requiring shortening. Years ago, I found heatshrink tubing completely unequal to the task, so I deployed Real Metal:
The ferrules come from a kit of such things, minus their plastic strain relief:
That’s a fancy hexagonal crimper for round-ish results. If you have a square terminal block, you should use the square crimper that comes with the kit.
Worked perfectly and produced immediate customer satisfaction.