Dell Mini 10v Component Upgrades

Recipe for the best diaper-bag companion for a new mom 🙂  After the upgrades, closing the lid yields 2 second suspends and it also awakens just as fast.  Not to mention it has multiple USB ports and SD card reader for offloading and reviewing photos.

Here is dismantled 10v photo in order to install the new SSD and RAM.

The biggest help in the tear down of the machine was one of these: Norton’s universal cleaning stick from CountyComm.

There are many plastic snaps the case uses in place of screws in the keyboard palm rest.  The cleaning stick worked wonders in prying those apart without damage.  There are also ribbon cables that can be easily separated from the motherboard with it.

Resources for doing the upgrades

Things to do when switching Companies

Letter of Separation

State timeline and intentions clearly.  It does not need to be overly detailed, but it will go in your file with HR.  There are plenty of example letters online for reference.


Decide how to handle 401k, which Clark Howard would say: Roll it Over!  Just need to call to see if roll-over is an option.


Determine when health benefits from the old Company end and at the new Company begin.  If there is any lapse (which is bad) between when your old coverage ends and the new begins, decide on paying for COBRA Insurance which may be offered from the old Company’s health plan.  Keep in mind, single-payer insurance can be expensive and COBRA insurance normally is not subsidized due to voluntary separation.  If the job-loss is involuntary, COBRA is actually subsidized and pretty economical.  Going on a spouse’s plan is an option as well.  Typically a job-loss is a qualifying condition for the spouse to update their benefits.

Stock options

If vested but not exercised, and it is beneficial to use them (after taxes, etc), don’t forget about them before leaving!


If you have unused vacation and it has already been accrued for the year, ask about getting paid for it.

And lastly, enjoy the adventure 🙂

Elemental Designs A2-300 Subwoofer Unboxing

My Elemental Designs A2-300 subwoofer showed up earlier in the month.  I reviewed it on their website but didn’t think I did it justice.  After setting the subwoofer in an initial placement I reran Audyssey.  After verifying crossovers/settings I started up Serenity.  The opening scene made the wife came running in to see what was up (plus she likes that movie)  🙂  Initial impressions are very good.   I still have tweaking to do, but does that ever finish?

The A2-300 was ordered on January 24 2010 and showed up March 9 2010.  It could have been 2 weeks sooner.  My order took a little longer than normal because during production eD changed the roundover appearance from 0.5 to 0.75 on the cabinet.  I was interested in the new style after seeing the forum post photos.   In my order I also had requested that both the spiked and hourglass feet be included due to flooring/placement concerns.  Either way the feet are sturdy.

See the unboxing gallery after the jump.

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Post Fail

Blogging is hard.  Sitting down and working through the writing process takes time and that time commitment has been the main problem.  My plan is to make posts from any timeframe rather than what just occurred in the recent now.

This plan should open up post possibilities from the past, present, and future 🙂  WordPress luckily has a way to set the publish date so the post can represent when those things actually happened.

It at least should make for an interesting Internet Archive history over time.

Operation LiftMaster

One of my LiftMaster garage door openers (1/2HP, Model 1205A, MFT 1999) stopped working after 10 years.  Upon first glance, I saw white dust had accumulated in the Up/Down travel adjustment holes. Upon removing the casing, the nylon drive gears had failed (the drive gear that turns the sprocket had stripped).

This past weekend I fixed the opener in about three hours and I highly recommend the: Liftmaster Gear and Sprocket Assembly Kit Part Number 41C4220A.

I also bought Sears Craftsman Liftmaster Garage Door Opener Gear Kit – Part #41A2817 as well because my house has two LiftMaster openers.  But I found the sprocket solution to be better in this case as I could just drop it in.  I now have the extra stripped sprocket which I can use with the extra part kit to replace the stripped gear and reuse it on my second opener when and if that fails.

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Remove animations from Gnome


  • ‘desktop/gnome/interface/enable_animations’
  • ‘apps/panel/global/enable_animations’
  • ‘apps/metacity/general/reduced_resources’

Reduced resources for Metacity also turns hides window contents when moving. But turning on accessibility fixes that:

  • ‘desktop/gnome/interface/accessibility’

300 Gallon Rain Water Collector

A summer project is complete!   Just in time as we are under water restrictions due to a drought.

Installed under my front porch is a 300 gallon rainwater collector and is modeled after my Dad’s rain barrel.  The main difference between ours is the pump is not hooked up to a pressure sensor.  Rumor has it that the pumps used do better when there is a continuous flow of water through them (even though restricted) in order to keep them cool.   We will see how each approach lasts over time.

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