Microwave Ovens… Science’s little sabotager

September 24, 2008

Lately at work we’ve been having trouble with our Symbol 1060 handhelds running slow and/or disconnecting during heavy production times. We have tried separating the access points from the rest of the network through vlans, but made no progress.

We then called in an expert from “Bar Coding.” He had a nifty device called a YellowJacket Wireless Analyzer. This thing could detect available access points as well as measure interference. We began to do a sweep of the warehouse and didn’t notice any interference. Although, the closer we got to the cafeteria, the worse the interference got. I would estimate that we were about 60 feet away from the cafeteria and were experiencing a 1/3 degradation from signal strength. The closer we got, the worse the strength got and the worse the interference got.

Bastard Microwave

Bastard Microwave

It turns out that someone in the cafeteria was warming up their food in an industrial microwave that was located near the wall that separates the cafeteria form the warehouse. I always knew that microwaves were supposed to screw with wireless signal, but I never imagined it to be that terrible.

This blew my mind so much that I felt it to be necessary that I share this with the Internets.

Feel free to share any crazy wireless stories you may have in the comments.


Chopper Reid and His Shenanigans

September 20, 2008

While at work today I stumbled upon a few videos from Chopper Reid. I never heard of him until today and let me be the first to tell you, HE’S HILARIOUS. This is the funniest thing to come out of Australia! Check him out! The last one is my favorite!

Chopper Reid has a job interview:

Chopper Reid goes over road safety:

Chopper Reid discusses airport security:

HP Slimline Series – why are you so damn hard to troubleshoot?

September 17, 2008

Being the “new tech guy” at my current job, fellow IT techs send any and all coworkers looking for discount computer help to me.  I’ve fixed countless computers before from broken power supplies to missing .dll files.  I seemed to be at the peak of my computer repair profession until a certain person brought their mother’s HP Pavilion Slimline s3027c desktop in for repairs.

HP Pavilion Slimline s3027c

HP Pavilion Slimline s3027c

When I recieved the computer it would turn on, but not display anything, not even the P.O.S.T.  I figured that it was an internal shorting the motherboard out.  Keep in mind that this computer is fully SATA.  I removed the CD drive first and powered the computer on and VIOLA! the computer booted.  I shut the computer down and proceded to go to my refridgerator and make myself a victory drink.  When I returned to the computer about 15 minutes later and attempted to turn it on, it booted but no P.O.S.T.

Needless to say, this pissed me off and ruined my short-lived victory.  So for shits and giggles I plugged the CD drive back in.  And to my surprise the computer booted again!  I had a sneaking suspicion that after letting it sit for 15 minutes it wouldn’t boot.  I was right…. I hate being right.

It seems that the computer is bored with its current setup and likes to be stimulated in order perform its intended tasks.

Next I decided to rule the CD drive out all together by putting it in my Dell XPS 410 system.  My system booted fine and the drive worked flawlessly.   I’ve tried swapping the SATA data cables in the broken PC with the ones in my PC but nothing seemed to work.

Pain in the ass Power Supply

Pain in the ass Power Supply

This leaves me with two possible suspects (maybe more?) the powersupply or the motherboard.  Being that this computer is compact in size, the power supply is, of course, oddly shaped and almost impossible to find online.  The computer itself is relatively new but the owner didn’t buy a warranty for it.  The only option I can see is contacting HP and seeing if it is possible to purchase a replacement power supply from them as well as bending over and paying an insanely outrageous price.

*UPDATE: I updated the firmware for the HDD and DVD Drive and the computer has booted without fault the last 10 times. Why I didn’t think of this sooner is beyond me!

*UPDATE: Computer won’t boot again. I swallowed my pride and called HP tech support for help. Needless to say that they’re baffled. So, I talked the owner into buying a new computer and salvaging parts from the broken one.

Feel free to post any suggestions to me or vent your HP Slimline gripes in the Comments:

The Upcoming Election

September 13, 2008

The upcoming election is the biggest political fiasco that we’ve seen in the last century, with the exception of 9/11, but I won’t dwell into that.  We have an African American and a retired Vietnam Veteran running for the title of commander-in-chief.  Right away you see America split into each “contestant’s” corner rooting them on.  Minorities go for Obama and White redneck war-monger racists go for McCain. (generalities, of course)  Me being from a rural Pennsylvanian town, I should automatically be placed into the McCain category, but thankfully for the US and probably the world, there are a small number of Americans that actually care about policies and plans.

I for one see Obama as the lesser of two evils.  But, “OH NO, Barack Obama’s middle name is Hussein!  He must be a terrorist!  Not another 9/11!!!!  Obama picked Joe  Biden as his running mate, thank god.  WAIT!  If you take letters from both of their names you get OSAMA BIN LADEN.  9/11 again!!!!!!!!!!!!”  This is the biggest pile of shit I’ve ever heard.  Who in fact can back any of these claims up?  John McCain?  I think not.  Who started these claims?  The Republican Party?  Probably.

The other thing that Obama has going against him is that he plans on making the US a peaceful nation (God Forbid).  He hopes that he can spread the American way through peace and alliances rather than through brute force.  Although I do not agree with some of his policies (removing the right to bear arms for example), the chance that any bills like this would pass is highly unlikely.

Now for McCain, don’t think that I forgot about you, the only thing that you have going for you is that fact that you probably won’t change much of anything and that puts many Americans at ease.  You have to admit people in general do not like dramatic change.  What I’m finding out to be hurting McCain, atleast around here, is that he was a PoW in Vietnam.  On top of that, he could have been freed earlier, but decided to stay with the rest of the PoWs.  Now wouldn’t you think that would make him seem Patriotic and the perfect candidate for US?  In fact, this scares the piss out of people.  You can’t tell me he doesn’t have a grudge against the vietmanese or anyone people that would be considered a threat to America.  LET THE WAR BELLS RING!  BLOW THE HORN OF GONDOR THE AMERICANS ARE INVADING AGAIN.

BONUS POINTS FOR McCAIN—- He picked a woman as a running mate.  (here come all of the women’s votes towards McCain)  Do their names combine like the wonder twins into a terrorist name?  NOPE!