Dell Latitude E5550 Battery Replacement

In the office we tend to buy Dell Desktops and Laptops. In my opinion they are no better or worse than any other brand and are priced competitively. Normally we have a 3-4 year cycle moving old equipment out and new equipment in. This one E5550 has been hanging around for whatever reason and was feeling slow. I originally popped the back cover to upgrade to a SSD and noticed the battery was in bad shape and needed to be replaced.

E5550 Battery Replacement

From the looks of it, two of the cells out gassed and have a belly. This is very bad since the battery capacity is obviously reduced. It is also dangerous to the hardware since the added pressure from the battery could damage the system board or cause the case to crack.

E5550 BatteryE5550 Battery

Where to purchase a suitable replacement?

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How To Paint Old Stock Honda Accord Rims – Cheap & Easy

My oldest son drives a 2007 Honda Accord Coupe and like any 12 year old car the exterior is weathered and showing its age. The car isn’t worth much however to a college student on a limited income its worth its weight in freedom.  Recently he began attempting to spruce up his ride and one area that needed attention was the wheels. The stock Honda rims were showing signs of corrosion and just looking bad.

He decided that paining the rims black would bring new life into them and at the same time make the ride more suitable for his age group. The goal here was NOT to make the rims perfect, but mainly to hide the corrosion and improve the look of the car on a college kids budget. (Under $100)

I would say they would have to pass the 10ft test. Do they look good from 10 feet away? Yes? Great you did a good job. Let’s get started.

TOOLS YOU NEED (Hopefully You have some of this)

 

 

 

A nice set of jack stands $26.00 at Amazon

 

 

 

A decent floor jack $140 at Amazon  Could be found cheaper at Harbor Freight Tools!

 

 

 

Wheel chock or something to put behind the wheels $17.00 at Amazon

 

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Exchange Server Tip – Allow all users to see each others calendar

I work for a mid sized accounting firm and collaboration is an important part of making our group efficient. Mangers need to peer in on their staff calendars and the staff also like to see where there managers are. Exchange calendars are easily shared, however most staff members either don’t know how to do it or forget to allow access.

First step – set up a group in active directory

If you already have a group with all users in it you can simply use that. Otherwise access active directory and create a group (like the one below) and add all your users to it.

(GROUP)-Shared_Calendar
Share your calendar the manual way

You can easily have each user do this in Outlook. Simply access your calendar then click Calendar PermissionsExchange Calendar Permission Continue reading “Exchange Server Tip – Allow all users to see each others calendar”

Incredible Shrinking Products – Pure Leaf Edition

I love iced tea as much as the next guy. Other than water I usually only drink iced-tea. The Pepsi Company makes a tasty tea called Pure Leaf. Compared to the other popular brands of tea I personally think Pure Leaf is one of the best tasting around. Flavor variations are diverse and pretty much all enjoyable.

Iced Teas are expensive and Pure Leaf is no exception

If you shop around on Amazon or your local supermarket for a while, you will notice that the various sellers of Iced tea have cranked up the prices of their teas. Its not the price of the tea that gets me angry Its the deception that I hate.

Pure Leaf – Same bottle two different sizes.

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Does anyone remember the floppy disk punch / notcher?

Floppy disks are all but a memory for most. They have gone the way of the tape cassette and VHS tape. I can remember back in the late 80’s and early 90’s shopping Radio Shack for 5 1/2 disks to feed my Commodore 64 1541 disk drive. The only issue was the 1541 could only write one side of the disk, so the backs of the disks were wasted. Disks were expensive a 3 pack would run $15 or more!

Floppy Disk
Wow Expensive!

 

As luck would have it, a creative person would develop a solution to alleviate some of the pain my 15 year old self was suffering due to my full allowance going to floppy disk procurement.

 

The 5 1/4 Disk Punch!

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Emerson 888 “Atlas” Nevabreak Pocket Radio

I was cleaning out the closet again and stumbled across this Emerson 888 Atlas radio. It was given to me by my grandfather and according to the internet it was released by Emerson in 1958/59.

An over view of the Emerson 888 ATLAS
Atlas 888
The Atlas 888

It is amazing how technology has changed in the last 60 or so years! This radio was capable of tuning the AM band radio stations using 4 AA batteries.

It boasted 8 transistors, and said it was a pocket radio. Pocket? It is way too large to fit in any pocket. Think Mr. Spock’s tricorder. The radio came with a leather carry case with a strap. Continue reading “Emerson 888 “Atlas” Nevabreak Pocket Radio”

What were – United Profit-Sharing Coupons

I was helping clean out some old paperwork in my grandmothers basement and came across these United Profit Sharing Coupons. On the surface it would appear you collect the coupons which are issued for making purchases and then redeem them for items you want out of a catalog. I was curious how it worked exactly and decided to do some research.

The United Profit-Sharing Business

United Profit-Sharing Corporation was based in New York city at 44 West 18th street.  I’m not sure when they opened, but I believe they operated from the 1920’s to the 1950s. The idea was quite simple, strike contracts with Continue reading “What were – United Profit-Sharing Coupons”

Best Desktop PC Battery Backup

Depending on where you live in the world continuous power without disruption can be an issue. Here in the United States we are lucky to have a power grid that works great most of the time. However, on occasion equipment fails and your power can be disrupted. Do you need a Battery Backup to help keep things running in the event of a failure?

Battery backups have been around for many years and come in many different sizes and capacities. In this article I would like to focus on the backup you would use for your desktop PC.

TOP BATTERY BACKUP CHOICE:

Over the years I have found APC to be the superior choice in battery backup systems. They make very large units to cover the server room and small units to backup the desk top environment as well.

Think of a backup unit as an emergency spare tire that will allow you to safely pull over to the shoulder. When sizing a unit, it should give you sufficient time to save your work and shutdown gracefully.

APC Battery BackupI have found this particular unit – APC BE600M1 600VA to be perfect for desktop workstations. 5 outlets are battery backed, while 2 are surge protected only. This will give you plenty of room for your PC, multi monitors, router and wifi. In my testing 600VA can keep the average PC running for an additional 15min after the power has failed. Plus the unit is very affordable running for under $60 at Amazon. The best part is this unit features a USB port than can keep your phone or tablet topped off during the power failure!
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Repair A Mouse With A Broken USB Cable

Recently a coworker of mine purchased a Logitech M500 corded mouse on Amazon. Its relatively inexpensive at $24.99 and perfect for office use.  As you can see from the image below, its a nice size mouse with a few extra buttons. I believe Logitech has been selling them for years.

Now I get why amazon has frustration free packing!

The mouse came in retail packing and upon cutting open the sealed packing he accidentally cut the USB connection off the mouse. He immediately tossed the mouse in the trash and proceeded to order a second. I saw this and said, hey don’t toss the mouse, let me attempt a repair.

Easy Mouse Repair

I considered soldering the wire back together, but that would prove to be messy and there would be a large bulge close to the base of the mouse. My second idea was simply to replace the entire USB cable from an older mouse that was sitting in my parts bin.

STEP 1 – Open the mouse

The Logitech M500 has the screws hiding under the 4 pads on the bottom of the mouse. Remove the 4 pads carefully and set aside. Then remove the 4 black screws to gain access to the mouse.

 

 

Carefully pry the top of the mouse away from the base to revile the internal components .

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Father’s Day Round Up! Great Gift Ideas For Dad

Father’s Day is approaching again and if you’re like me I always wonder what would be a good gift for Dad. There have been years where a bottle of wine was the gift of choice, or maybe a couple of dress shirts. How boring! Hopefully your Dad is as great as mine and not only deserves a fun cool gift, but would also appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas!

Is your Dad into computers? Maybe a fun USB drive would be the perfect gift? Low cost, yet thoughtful!

16GB Mercedes-Benz USB Flash Drive in the style of a Car Key!
$12.99 GeekGearStore.com

This is a very cool gift for Dad, especially if he drives a Benz and enjoys electronic gadgets. On sale at GeekGearStore.com $12.99 Continue reading “Father’s Day Round Up! Great Gift Ideas For Dad”