Associated Links

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Stealthy Prime Delivery

A strange thing happened with a recent order of coffee from Amazon Prime. Invisible delivery.

As I always do, I placed a “next day” (for Friday) Prime order for my usual 100 count, box of “coffee pods” for my Kuerig K-Cup brewer.

I was down to a two-day supply about 5 K-Cups. No problem as delivery here in the Dallas area is very fast.

The order was processed very quickly. As usual, I started getting delivery updates via text message which again was absolutely normal. Text messages are an opt-in feature for prime members. Sometimes, it seems like an overkill of tracking. But it has become the expected […] Continue reading » Stealthy Prime Delivery

A “Small” iPhone Update

iPhone 4S

This iPhone 4S is again running at full charge. It’s now had its second battery transplant. Presently on its third battery since new in October 2011. Not too shabby for an almost eight-year-old phone.

The battery cost is between $10.00 to $15.00 depending on the tools ordered with the battery. Micro-drivers are necessary as well as good eyes and steady hands. Both of those are starting to run out on me, just like the old batteries. Ha!

That cost and a little effort sure beats the heck out of a large new phone that I don’t want or need. The new phones are like carrying around […] Continue reading » A “Small” iPhone Update

Abusive User Reports

There are a lot of trolls and grinches is the world of consumer user reports. Also, some ignorant users who have no qualms about revealing their ignorance because they have no clue how ignorant they are. The concept of finesse in using a product or tool escapes them. Their world is “plug and play”. Problems or failure is never their own. Blame always belongs to the product or maker. They enjoy a sense of “empowerment” to cast a minority negative vote on a generally good product.

In some cases, negative user reports are attempted user blackmail against the seller. “Do what I ask, or I will hurt […] Continue reading » Abusive User Reports

Ain’t Broke!

Many people believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough features yet.

I often say or think the first line. I almost forgot the come-back.

Many engineers are tasked with taking something that isn’t broke and make it cheaper to produce and no better than it needs to be. It’s call “planned obsolescence” when the need is determined to be designed-in failure. In the case of the light bulb, there was a light bulb engineering collusion that occurred on December 23, 1924, that decided the lighting industry needed to have a replacement market […] Continue reading » Ain’t Broke!

The Science of Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting requires a knowledge of the why and how of proper behavior or operation. I don’t troubleshoot human problems as their how and why is very complex. I do enjoy troubleshooting things mechanical because machines don’t involve emotion in their operation. At least not yet.

Controls have been my specialty for most of my life. The last part of my working career was managing construction projects involving building (the structural kind) energy management systems and making sure they operated as intended. It required intimate knowledge of the why and how mechanical systems operate.

The ability for humans to operate complex systems (operators) and the ability to troubleshoot complex systems […] Continue reading » The Science of Troubleshooting