Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sno' Movin'

We got some snow... 20+ inches... and then it changed to rain. The driveway was turning to slush, and the snow-blower was having trouble with the heavy wet snow. This, of course, means it's time to break out the big snow machine. Bill and Ollie got the battery hooked up and fired it up. The 3-53 runs like a champ!

Then we had to clean a path through the back yard so we could get the bucketloader into the parking lot.

By taking successive swipes with the bucket, we got the parking lot cleaned up to an acceptable level. We were worried that if the slush froze, it would leave 1 foot deep ruts in ice, making it difficult to get out of the parking lot. Here, we're just removing a lot of the slush and making a big pile across the road on the far side.

While the machine was out, we moved some snow around and made some little jumps in the backyard, which Ollie immediately took advantage of.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Computer Fixin's

Here is a sad G5 iMac. It is so sad that it can't even make the frowny-mac face. When you try to power it up, it doesn't do anything. Careful listening reveals that it starts to power up but then powers down within 1 second.

This, of course, means it's time to take it apart. As suspected (because of its age), some of the electrolytic capacitors in the power supply section had failed. These things typically only have a 1000-2000 hour lifetime, so it's not uncommon to see failures in older electronics. A quick order to DigiKey (about $20 worth of parts), a bit of soldering to remove the old caps and install the new caps, and it was ready to put back together. The knife block in the picture was used to lean the motherboard against so I could heat the solder on one side and pull the cap off from the other side.

Yay! A happy mac! It's very satisfying to fix broken electronics.