Sunday, December 09, 2012

Technology: Fixing Devices, Soldering

I have my Onkyo TX-SR606 receiver that for half a year was taking 10 minutes to warm up until it would recognize HDMI devices. And a week ago or so my LG Flatron L246WH monitor started doing the same thing until after a couple of days it stopped working at all. After I searched the net for people having the same problem, I was a bit surprised that I am not alone and was even more happy to read that there are solutions to the problems that I have. Both cases had to deal with the dead capacitors/condensators and required some soldering but I felt pretty comfortable with it. Along the way I learned the proper way of soldering and how to take care of the soldering iron. So, after I fixed it, both devices have been working like a charm. Anyways, if something is broken and has similar symptoms and isn't under warranty anymore, before thinking about buying a new one, take a minute to search the web for similar symptoms that you have and hopefully you will be able to F(ix) I(t) Y(ourself). And if you do not feel comfortable fixing it yourself, there should be people around who could help you.

Here are the links that I used during the process and saved me some Swedish dollars:

Fixing LG Flatron L246WH monitor:

Fixing Onkyo TX-SR606 tuner:

Soldering tips:

Taking care of the soldering iron:

P.S. Can you imagine how much money people at the recycle places (probably) make by taking devices that people throw away, replacing a couple of capacitors and selling them?


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Technology: Verified by VISA

Once you’ve signed up to Verified by Visa, you’ll be protected whenever you make an online payment with your Visa card at any one of more than 300,000 web sites across Europe.
(verified by visa website)  

The above statement is not really true.

Just returned from the trip to Italy and discovered an interesting thing about purchasing things online with my Visa card. When I purchase something via Internet using my Visa card, it always asks for "Verified by Visa" password before processing. This time I was trying to purchase a ticket for the bus. I entered card information, name, code and then, as usually, "Verified by Visa" screen came asking for the password. I did not have the password with me so I clicked on Cancel and decided not to purchase the ticket online, assuming the transaction was cancelled and I closed the window.

I checked my bank account today and saw that the seller charged my card anyways. I contacted the bank and they told me that it is actually up to the seller whether to process the order or not when password was wrong or was not entered.

So, the point is if someone has your card information, they still can use it even if your have your card connected to "Verified by Visa" system. It could be that this is more for a seller than you who is able to verify if you are really to owner of the card. Anyways, I am not sure why sellers are allowed to skip this step, since I feel less secure this way. It was a transaction for less than 10 Euros but I am contacting the seller and then Visa if I will not get a refund.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Technology: Windows 8

My colleagues and I traveled to Orlando, FL for TechEd conference this June and I have received a lot of impressions and inspirations about current and coming Microsoft technologies, including Windows Phone, Windows 8 and new user experiences that Microsoft develops for Metro. This week both Windows Phone 8 and Windows Surface were presented highlighting the top features of both. It is a pity though that my newly purchased Nokia Lumia 900 will not be upgraded to Windows Phone 8 operating system, since the new operating system will run only on new hardware.

The most exciting thing, i believe, is Windows Surface running Windows 8. I agree with my friend here, it is big for Microsoft and is going to be a success. One might argue that it was not the right decision to go with their "own" hardware instead of just releasing the operating system and allowing other hardware vendors take care of the hardware part. It might look like Microsoft is following Apple's way of doing business, controlling both hardware and software. Although it is not really true. Hardware companies can make their own tablets to complete with Microsoft. Windows 8 is still an operating system that will run on any computer. So, I expect Samsung, Asus, Acer, Dell, HP and others coming with their versions of tablets and ultra notebooks that will compete with Microsoft version. Anyways, i can easily see myself writing to Santa for Christmas, promising I am going to behave and wishing to get a Surface device as a present. It just way too good to ignore :).

related videos:
Windows Phone Summit
Windows Surface Presentation


Monday, May 21, 2012

Sports: Россия - Ice Hockey World Champion 2012

This years Ice Hockey world championship was hosted in Sweden and Finland and my friend and I was attending two matches where Russia was playing. Those matches were just playoff matches against Sweden and Czechs (in both matches Russia won; actually Russia won all the matches), but it was a great enjoyment. It's a pity though that the semi and final was played in Finland but even watching it on TV was quite a show. The tickets were a bit expensive. For instance, for the semi-finals the prices were starting at around 150 Euros, and I can only guess how much it cost for the finals. Next year it will be again Sweden and Finland hosting the world championship and I will surely attend the games as well.

Anyways, the point it that the Russia won gold this year and I am really happy for them. I must admit it would have been quite a show if Russia had a chance to play against USA and Canada but those were eliminated by Finland and Slovakia n quarter finals. Those matches, were really good games as well.

 So, Поздравляю с победой!


Sunday, April 08, 2012

Life: Spring is Almost Here

The winter is slowly giving up its powers although we still have snow here in Stockholm area on the 8th of April. It is a bit unusual but I guess it’s the same for Lithuania and Russia these days. Marie’s mom is staying with us, helping with Alexander. He will start his kindergarten sometime in October or November this year. For one month in January - February, my father was here as well, taking Marie’s mom place while she was back in Belarus.

It is interesting to see how differently Alex is behaving with different people. He is growing up and picking a word here and there.

We are making plans for the summer and for some time in August, I will be staying with Alex and I am planning to come to Klaipeda for a couple of weeks in mid-August, hoping for a good weather.

have a great spring!