Inanity. Abbreviated.

2012-05-18T13:24: Household Tech Update

Ended up buying the Blu-ray burner. I realized that if I update the firmware on the player and the region-free codes stop working, as online reports indicate they probably will, then I'm stuck with a region B/2 player. As always, piracy wins for ease of use. Transcoding takes a long time, like almost two days per disc on my laptop, but that just needs to be done once and we hardly buy things that often. It does make it worthwhile to burn transcoded copies to another disc for backup, even though they can be reproduced from the originals.

I also just got a USB charging cable so I can charge the Nokia phone from my multi-USB charger on vacation. USB charging is a small mess. Short version (really!) without citing everything: original standard = 500 mA, no problem. That's most computer USB ports. AC chargers can provide more but have to signal the phone/tablet/etc. that it's OK to pull more. Actual standard: crossed data lines = 1000 mA available. Without seeing that, some phones won't pull >500mA, and some like my Nokia (and past Motorolas) won't charge at all. Apple standard: various constant voltages on data lines = various amounts available on power lines. iPads, for example, won't charge if they don't see the values they expect, so lots of third party chargers provide them. But then everything else either charges a little slowly or (Nokia, Motorola, ?) doesn't charge at all. Solution: "charging cable" with data pins crossed in micro-USB connector. Just don't confuse it with a normal, "data" cable.

While researching that, I discovered that my multimeter is reading DC voltages wrong, reporting a number about 50% higher than it should. I have nothing to check it against but if it's not the meter, then every battery and power adapter in the house is severely overpowered. This actually makes me feel better about some readings I have seen in the past. I need to try replacing its battery, which is rather old, to see if that helps it work better. Otherwise I'll eventually want a new one of those too.

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