Miscellaneous StuffWell, it's only been a bit more than a week since the last post, which isn't too bad if you ask me. There wasn't much happening last week...aside from the fact that the 'non-summer routine' is starting up. I was kept fairly busy throughout the week, so I left work early on Friday afternoon to enjoy the remainder of the warmer temperatures for a while...
I've been into the PHP thing lately, and the overhead of keeping everything running properly (and patched) when I'm the only one who ever really utilizes the software is a bit of a stretch. Call it simplification.
I was overall very happy with the results. The part I like about the validator tools is that they often times catch strange things and help to make sure things appear properly. I had very few problems overall (I probably checked 50 pages and really only had troubles with a line here or there, most of which was fixed by changing one or two templates)...so I was happy about that.
I haven't yet run most of the MZ Online stuff through the wringer. It gets a bit more complicated with the TWiki rendering, because in my experience, sometimes the markup 'code' one uses in TWiki doesn't render out to 'proper' XHTML (although it's supposed to). But, all of the other sites I actively manage are both XHTML Transitional compliant and CSS compliant. Go me.
I did manage, however, to do the downstairs trim before it got cold. I may do another coat of paint on the newly painted stuff (door trim) and I'll double-check the window trim again (which was painted last year) to see if there are trouble spots which need to be addressed.
I also finally found the correct size storm window for the window which doesn't open in the kitchen. I'd always had the screen on it (which at least kept out some of the snow and stuff, but it wasn't any good from an insulation perspective)...and I was looking for the storm window. Long story short, I found it (it was hidden with a bunch of screen windows we no longer need), and it only needs to be repainted (upon first inspection). That's a Good Thing.
When I was given the unit, it was missing several chassis screws I noticed. This appeared to be the sign that someone else started working on it but gave up. Anyway, I was feeling up to the challenge so I took it apart, clear down to the removing the motherboard. Before I got that far, however, I noticed how 'dire' the situation really was going to be. Not only did the power plug break, the nipple part was rolling around loose inside the laptop. Upon removing the motherboard and doing some close-up looking, I figured that I could possibly epoxy the plug housing back together (it at least broke cleanly), but the bigger question mark was whether or not I would have a reliable electric connection when it was glued back together. You see, when it broke, it actually pulled one of the electrical contacts clear out of the motherboard.
It was at this point in time I wondered how damage like this could be done...
Anyway, I broke out the epoxy and mixed it, then applying it to the plug housing generously (on the exterior). In addition to having epoxy in the cracks, I figured the additional 'shell' which was created couldn't hurt. Of course, neither could taking it apart -- after all, it couldn't get any worse than it was -- it already wasn't working. After the epoxy set up, I broke out the old soldering iron (which I hadn't used for at least five years) to see if I could make a solid electrical connection again.
After putting up with the stink of the soldering iron, I finally got what I believed to be a fairly solid electrical connection established. After doing a bit of cleanup, it was time to reassemble the laptop. That didn't go too terribly bad, aside from having to remove a few screws which I'd put in the wrong places...
So, once the machine was back together, it was time to try starting it up. Much to my surprise (I really didn't expect it to work), it powered up and after sitting for an hour or so had fully charged the battery. I made sure it seemed stable (it's not a bad little laptop, even though it's on the order of 4 years old), then shut it down. It's still sitting here on my desk now waiting to be picked up, but the fellow whose laptop it is should be able to resell it. I would just personally be a little gentle with the power cord. I might be good, but I don't know how good I'd call that soldering job.
This post was upgraded to the MZ Online Blog on 8/29/07