Friday, 27 July 2012

The Golden Age of Nokia

When I was on holiday in Thailand, in 2002, a Korean guy on the same jungle trip as me, dropped his 2002-era Nokia phone in a stream. I thought it was toast, but he took it to pieces (case, circuit board, battery screen I think), and in a few hours it had dried and worked perfectly!

I don't know if modern smartphones have the same build quality, but this is clearly a good user experience.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Homebrew Timed Taping

In about 1991, I bought a dictaphone from Argos. Before that, I bought a 'clock radio' which is a clock combined with a radio, so you could set a timer and wake up to Radio 2.

I had a bit of an inventive spirit. I was visiting a relative at about 6PM and going home about 10PM. But Dragnet was on Radio 2 at about 8PM.

My solution, though slightly heavy-handed, was to take apart the clock radio.

Now, I noticed that the radio had a power wire, so when the clock hit a certain time, the power went to it and it played out of the speaker.

So, given all that, there was only one thing I needed to do...

Well, I hit the record button on the dictaphone, then I connected the radio's power wires to that dictaphone, and connected the speaker output to the dictaphone's line input.

The idea was simple: The clock part of the machine would trigger the dictaphone to come on, and tape all that came out of the radio's speaker output. When done, it would cut off the power and the dictaphone would cease recording!

It worked! I could now record Dragnet while being away from the dictaphone.

Monday, 26 March 2012

The Best Biscuit Tin in the World

A good biscuit tin today, is hard to find.

My parents have 2 rather nice biscuit tins, and no biscuit has ever been known to have gone soft in one.

So I wanted to buy one for my new dwelling.

I found a Brabantia tin while shopping for curtains in a big mill out of town, but the problem was it was RUBBISH! The biscuits got soft real quick and stayed that way.

So I decided to get serious... I studied the 2 parents' biscuit tins and read the patent number, amongst other things, and the phrase 'moisture absorbent lid'.

I Googled the patent number but found nothing.

However, when I went to (Google Products UK), and put in 'moisture absorbent lid', I found a matching biscuit tin!

It was here:

So I bought it. Now I have used it for 1 week, and the biscuits are still crisp. This is a great biscuit tin!

The important thing, I think, is the sides of the tin are metal, whereas the Brabantia tin is plastic-sided.

I hope to treasure this biscuit tin for as long as I live.