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Jan 31,2008(CleaningTechThursday)

Dirt Devil became a household brand when they introduced the hand vac back in the 1980s.  Years later, the original Dirt Devil design was reissued as the "Classic."

Fast forward to 2007: the entire Dirt Devil line has been revamped by Karim Rashid, with an eye toward both modern forms and innovative functions.

RainyDayMagazine will be reviewing them in our RainyDayKitchen section this year. Some will be featured in this year's Spring Cleaning issue.  Others will be used in our Fall Cleanup project.  Look for a RainyDayPuzzler at the start of February where you can win something and get a jump on your own Spring Cleaning (hint, hint). - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Jan 30,2008(WickedWednesday)

This flashlight (The Torch) from WickedLasers may look like an ordinary flashlight, but with an output of 4100 lumens, it is anything but.  The Torch is the WORLD's strongest flashlight...much brighter than anything we have looked at in the past!

How much light is 4100 lumens? Well, it is enough to cook an egg and light stuff on fire!  This is not something you want in your checked luggage.

So how much will all of this luminosity set you back?  How about $300?  Now before you think that $300 is too much for a flashlight, consider the cost of the Polarion Helios (previous record holder) at $2200!   At 1/8th the price, the WickedLasers Torch is really a bargain!  - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Jan 29,2008(TicTocTuesday)

Replacing a watch battery is a DIY project within the capability of anyone.  For about $10 in tools (the cost of a typical battery replacement at the jeweler), you can have a fun time doing it yourself.  The only reason why you may NOT want attempt it is if you are worried about accidentally scratching the back's finish. 

If you want to give this project a try, you will need two tools.  The first is a small screwdriver or a pin-retractor.  The pin-retractor will make taking the band off much easier.  The other tool is an adjustible case opener.  This tool is used to open the back of the watch.

To open the case, adjust the case opener so all the pins are aligned with the channels on the back of the case.  Rotate the tool counter-clockwise to open.

Once the back has been removed, you can see what type of battery powers the unit.  In this case, it is a Renata 399 button battery.  Most watch batteries are easy to find.  However, if you want it cheap, get it on EBay.  We purchased ours on EBay for about $0.25 each.

Replacing the battery is a simple matter of popping out the old one and putting in the new one.  Before taking out the old one, though, do note the polarity (+/-) orientation.  Trust us on this little tip.  - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Jan 28,2008(MonitorMonday)

We received the key part to the DIY-Cintiq project last week. Because of the size of the connectors, the FFC extender could not be fabricated in-house.  We ordered the part from DIY-Beamer in Germany about a week ago and it showed up on Saturday.

Sharp-eyed readers will note that it is a 20 pin extender but a 10 pin FFC.  This is because we were unable to find a vendor who sold a 10 pin version of the extender (thanks to contributor Jeff P. on the idea of using the two different sizes).  If we are careful in inserting the cables, we should be able to get it to work.

First, we laid out the pieces of the LCD monitor (digital board, AC circuits, front control panel, etc...).  After the parts were placed, we realized that the power cable connecting the DC and AC circuit boards would have to be extended.  The rest of the day was spent in connecting the various components together.

Once everything had been connected, it was time to power up the laptop and see if the LCD would still come to life.  Whew, it's ALIVE- Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


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