Friday, April 07, 2006

Quick and dirty fixes made permanent

It is confession time again!

I have this habbit of not wanting to replace/pay for an expensive repair job on things that apart from a single defect are otherwise in perfect working order. Below are two examples of what I am talking about:
The snowboard in the pictures is a Burton 167cm Floater with Drake step-in bindings (think Switch with a hi-back) mounted on top of Palmer plates used in conjunction with Northwave boots. Two full seasons ago I broke the tension adjuster (a lever-like thing to push the hi-back into the boot once you've stepped in) for the last time (I think I broke them about 6 times in total (my riding style can be somewhat aggressive at times) - but then it became impossible to get the replacement part; they had stopped making the model and I had bought the last remaining stock already). After pondering about the cost of getting new boots and bindings I decided to see if there was any makeshift solution I could come up with to buy me more time to consider the intracacies of such a significant purchase.

[UPDATED 09/04/2006: I found one of my broken tension adjusters. I've included a picture for reference.]

The initial solution was to take the cork of a wine bottle and cut it in half lengthways (after consuming the wine of course). I would then step-in and then whilst pushing the hi-back in with my hand push the cork into the gap between the hi-back and the curved metal at the base. This wasn't so bad except that it was a bit fumbly what with thick gloves and all that. The solution was then further refined to make use of Champagne cork and to stick it to the curved metal at the back/base of the hi-back and then wrap the whole structure in masking tape. Although a little more difficult to step-in (though cork does give so it wasn't tooooo bad) this actually worked very well; about one-and-half-season's-worth-of-trips well (I also think it made a fairly strong fashion statement with one hi-back having brown masking tape and the other (in the picture) having white)!

As this season has now drawn to a close I have decided that the board, boots, binding (and some of my wear) should be retired after years of good service. I am now looking forward to seeing what modern technology can do to enhance my white powder experience! If anyone is interested in the stuff I am retiring then let me know...

The laptop in the picture was purchased about 4 years ago and after about 24 months the screen began to fall down of its own accord (I understand this is due to the (largely inaccessible) screws that hold it in place wearing a grove into the pivots). This was really quite annoying as the laptop rocks! It's a Sony Vaio SRX7F/PB and has 384MB RAM, 850 MHz P3, 80GB HDD, 10.4" display, and only weighs 1.25Kg. Additionally, although it is 4 years old it still has 4 hours of battery life, runs XP Pro, has an integrated 802.11b wireless, and a Firewire port which is most needed as it connects to my 2nd generation 20GB iPod (which thankfully still also has good battery life). For my uses (not as light as you might assume) this is still very adequate (well, it could do with more RAM, but unfortunately this is the limit that its motherboard will handle) so I decided to apply the same "let's find a makeshift solution" to see if I couldn't get the screen back to its former supporting-its-own-weight-whilst-tilted glory.

The solution was to take some yellow post-it notes (the thin kind) and fold them in half and then slide them into the gap between the two halves of the laptop at the base of the monitor. This simple fix has completely restored the screen's abililty to support its own weight at any angle. This, needless to say, is awesome as it is effectively as good as new again (well, better, as now it has a funky piece of yellow post-it notes sticking out the top).

And it gets better! I can even close the laptop without needing to remove the yellow post-it notes, thereby putting this makeshift solution on a par with the masking taped cork one....!!


At 6:58 PM, Blogger A Shropshire Lad said...

You are really, really sad! :-)

At 11:33 AM, Blogger Payara_Confessor said...

You don't know the half of it! (Remember this quote from an earlier posting: "my secrets (selectively distributed) are the glue that connect the various aspects of me together"...)


At 11:39 AM, Blogger Payara_Confessor said...

Actually, here is a project that (thankfully) didn't make it off the ground: I did (seriously) consider making my own laptop carrying case out of masking tape and bubble wrap!!!

At 11:06 PM, Blogger Yumiko said...

honestly... *sigh*


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