Friday, July 24, 2009

Cactus face

Cactus close-up

Cactus close-up, by r-z

"Hey Dad, what's that green plant with the spikes?"

"A Venus fly trap?"

"No, the other one"

"... you mean a cactus?"

"Yeah, your face is like a cactus!"

Apparently I have prickly whiskers, just like a cactus

Monday, July 20, 2009

23" Cinema Display power adaptor failure

Thank you so much to the gentlemen working at the Maccentric service center in Chatswood!

This morning started out as though it was going to be "one of those" Mondays. A blackout over the weekend had taken out my beautiful 23" Cinema Display after having just received a notice from the power company that the rates were going up by more than 10%! Talk about adding insult to injury, but fortunately I'm here working in dual-monitor mode now and I've never appreciated it more.

Everything else in the house was fine when the power came back on, but the power/status LED on the Cinema Display was flashing in a peculiar way and not working. A bit of Googling lead to an Apple knowledge base page which revealed that the sequence of flashes indicated a problem with the power adaptor. So I made some calls to the local Apple stores asking after a replacement.

The closest store informed me that according to their technician it can be swapped out with a generic unit available from any electronics retailer. Made a mental note not to visit their "genius bar" and called the bigger store in the city where I was advised that a replacement part can in fact be ordered by making an appointment with the genius bar. I decided to skip that and went back to the Next Byte store I'd originally bought it from.

They referred me to the Maccentric service center which was just around the corner. Turns out they actually had a replacement unit in stock! I bought it, took it home, plugged it in and - got the same flashing status light. Shit, at this point I'm worried that my worst fears have been confirmed and the monitor itself has been damaged. I had to call them back anyway to give the serial no. of the monitor, and when I did the guy suggested that I bring it back in to try it with the PSU from a 30" Cinema Display because he had seen that fix the problem before.

Not an hour later I had dusted it off, packed it up, and driven it back into the store. Unbelievably, they also had a 30" PSU in stock as well, so we unpacked it, plugged it all into a Mac Pro on a test bench, and my beloved Cinema Display sprang back to life! I just had to pay the difference between the 2 PSU models and the problem was solved!

So I highly recommend Maccentric for any Mac repairs you might need, the staff were knowledgeable and professional, and by recommending a $140 power adaptor they saved me from having to replace a very expensive and beloved monitor.

Thank you again to the Maccentric service center, Spring St. Chatswood!

(And a big F-U to Energy Australia for blowing it up in the first place!)

Monday, July 06, 2009

Clouds and planets

Hello blog, it's been a while! How's things? I've been busy over on Twitter:

Austin Mini Planet by Hi I'm Santi

Austin Mini Planet by Hi I'm Santi

Just wanted to quickly recall a conversation I had with my son the other day:

We were walking home from school on a grey, rainy day when he asked me where planets come from. Whenever he asks anything which is even vaguely philosophical I always avoid offering my own opinion and just reply with "what do you think?".

He went on to say something along the lines of: "Well, clouds kind of stick together to make rain drops, so maybe planets were made the same kind of way. Maybe there was all this dust and stuff and it kind of stuck together and turned into planets."

I was taken aback and had to ask if he'd heard something like that somewhere before. He then went on to ask where plants and animals came from, and how people were made. Maybe the cloudy weather had him in a contemplative mood that day.

Fortunately we arrived home just in time to save me from having to either offer my own opinion or pretend I don't have one. I really want him to keep asking awesome questions like that and find his own answers as he grows up.

He never ceases to amaze me with how a child's mind which has been spared any kind of indoctrination can see things so clearly sometimes.