Samsung Galaxy S7 dead battery rebooting

For the last month or so I’ve had an issue with my Android Phone.

My old faithful Samsung Galaxy S7 was at the point where it had become unusable

Everytime I tried to switch on the phone it would boot loop. Normally stuck at the Samsung loading screen, or it would reboot during this point. At the times when I could get the phone to work it had become frustrating. I would randomly use the phone, and suddenly it would just freeze and then reboot itself trying to recover.

The only thing I noticed in a pattern was that the phone would get hotter and hotter, even when nothing was running and that eventually the reboots would get worse the hotter the phone got

The phone sometimes wouldn’t even charge, I would just got a battery cable plugged in icon, but no charging indicator. Eventually I had gotten sick of it, I managed to load up the phone temporarily and decided to backup all of my data from the phone should the worst come to the worst.

I carried out a wipe of the cache partition on the phone. Tried booting again, this fixed the issue temporarily and it would start again. I was then with no option, but a factory restore. I checked the error logs on the phone, and saw a lot of warnings (when I could get in), as sometimes I couldn’t get into this bit either. There was a lot of warnings about battery voltage, battery temp, and about 15 other pages of warnings. So thought it may have been the battery. I had decided to go through with the restore, as it would involve taking the phone apart which I was reluctant to do unless it was worst case scenario.

I carried out the restore AND….. it would crash during booting. Pretty much nothing else I could try. The phone got left aside. I rechecked the phone again about a week later when it was loading, and had a think. The only other thing I could think of was possibly the battery was faulty and would need replacement

I thought to myself, whatever. The phone is broke anyway, may aswell try it. As the phone itself is about 4 years old now. I ordered the replacement battery from eBay, took about 10 days to arrive. I think this is more down to shipping batteries via post as Royal Mail generally ban them now

I went through the process of removing the rear glass from the phone after shutting it down. A relatively simplistic process, albeit nerve-wracking. The potential for cracking tempered glass makes me uneasy on a £200 phone, but it was either try fixing it or live with a broken phone

Luckily I had a spare S7 phone with a cracked rear glass, so I thought I may aswell test it on this first. After using a heat gun, and my iSesamo pry tool. I eventually got into the phone and removed the rear glass on the S7 with broken glass.

I had a look at the insides and at how everything was laid out. So felt confident about doing it on my current phone. About 15 nerve-wracking minutes later, I managed to remove the glass from my current phone without breaking it

I switched my battery from my current phone, to my old broken one and managed to get the phone to boot up. HOWEVER, the same problems occured on my “old” S7 which had broken rear glass. This was both annoying, but great news at the same time, because it confirmed my theory that the battery was faulty.

Whilst waiting for my battery to arrive. I decided to modify the rear glass of my Galaxy S7. I removed all the plastic backing from the glass bezel so it was see through, and cleaned it up. This look doesn’t appeal to some, but personally I love it.

About a week later my battery arrived. I refitted it, with a new replacement adhensive cover. Once fitted, powered up the phone, charged and tested.

Low and behold, it’s now working. Dead battery all along

Once I replaced the battery, the phone charged up, and has become completely usable again. I’ve been using the phone constantly for best part of 4 days now, it’s been hot when I’ve been gaming, but other than that nothing. It’s never rebooted once.

So, if you’ve ever come across your phone with the following symptoms

  • Phone Rebooting
  • Random Crashes
  • Phone Heating Up and rebooting as it gets hotter
  • Phone won’t charge, or doesn’t hold charge
  • Battery cable connected, but shows a grey icon with no “fill indicator”

Then you should consider buying an OEM Replacement Battery and repair your phone

 

Website Migration and Reviews

Just a quick update. Stability issues with my Website should now be resolved.

My previous host I was with for 2-3 years (tech-hosts.co.uk / curohosting.com) was good. However my most recent experience I’ve had about 10 instances of non stop outages, and eventually it just got worse.

Initially it started with some file-corruption. I spotted this by chance as I was working on my Website and every page had bullet points on. Then a couple of days later, nothing worked. Reason was a failed drive, then after that it was over heating servers. Pretty much every day when the server was rebooted, I had a new problem. Getting to the point where I decided to go elsewhere, because I’m sorry to say I’m no longer receiving the service I expected.

This was a hard decision for me, because whenever I migrate Web Hosting, it’s always been a hassle for me to reupload and reconfigure files again. So I try not to migrate unless needed. I’m not going to bash them, Jamie as an owner is good. I would say personally the problems started after the merger. When it was looked after by Jamie the tech-support was always resolved and the servers were spot on. To me however, it just wasn’t worth the hassle I was getting for the money I was paying.

So – I looked for a new host. I went through a couple of hosts. Trying to find the right one.

Fasthosts.co.uk – I opted for these first, because I came across an eCommerce based Website that was hosted by them, and it was blisteringly fast (which is always good), they’re also my Domain Registrar, so it would have made it easy when it came to hosting records. However, I opted away from these after speaking to their Live Chat. I made an enquiry about hosting my Website on their shared hosting (mentioning it contained a blog/ecommerce platform). I was responded that I would need one of their dedicated packages. When I enquired about the platforms, regardless in their size, I received the same answer. OK, scratch those then (Just as a note my Blog/Magento are really low users), hence why I asked about size. The fact I was given the same response meant I just wasn’t going to waste my time

Just as a note, if you’re from reading this from Fasthosts.co.uk – if you offer platforms like WordPress/Magento as part of your “1-click apps” on all of your packages on shared hosting. Then expect people to use them. What’s the point in offering them if people have to pay for dedicated hosting? – Stupid no?

Tsohosts.co.uk – I was going to go with these. I’ve actually been with them before. The last time I was with them however, I left because they had their own custom cPanel. They’ve now replaced it with the genuine version. The reason I decided not to go with them however this time was because their site migration process is an absolute pain in the arse.

I couldn’t find any option which allowed me to update my DNS/Nameserver records. The only ones I found related to site migration host–>host and for me to update my domain records with fasthosts. Sorry I don’t want to transfer ownership of my account. Maybe I misunderstood this, but I was already frustrated enough dealing with my site outages, I just got sick of the pain when it came to dealing with migrating my Website too. I just want a simple cPanel interface where I could upload a backup and restore it, or amend my name server details. When I try to login to cPanel for these it kept trying to provision the domain. So I got irritated and said sod it. This host has good reviews however and from my previous experience with them, I would recommend them, however their introduction method needs to be as painfree as possible. For me personally it wasn’t. Most people leave their existing hosts because of price, or service.

Stablewebs.com – This is my NEW host. Came across a post on WebHostingTalk and just clicked on the signature and read the website. I spent a lot of time talking to the support (who was actually the owner) prior to purchasing it. Chris understood my needs relating to the service, and understood that after I gave him my domain name, I just needed to update my records so told me the option to use when purchasing.

I’ve now fully migrated my Website after uploading a backup, Chris restored it for me. He offered to migrate it for me, but I’m comfortable with cPanel navigation and site had downtime anyway. Took about 2 hours to get everything over again. Everything back in place with the full backup (Emails / Databases). I was expecting to have to reconfigure WordPress again, but it looks like restoring using the Backups does this for you too. I’m happy with the servers, their equipment is modern. Caters for my needs, and sites load even quicker than before. I’m unable to comment on the host since they’re new to me but long-term if it stays like this current service I’ll be happy. If my site grows to the point where I need more powerful servers, the option is there to grow as needed.

Social Media and Search Engine Optimisation

Social Media important. We now live in the 21st Century. Time and Technology has evolved, which means so do Businesses.

A lot of people now have access to the Internet, when it comes to making your Business known in the world of SEO, you need to optimise your Website. This means making it Social.

If you don’t exist online, how are people expected to find you. There’s a lot more competition now than there was 300 years ago when it comes to Business. Any Business needs to be willing to change and advance with the times in order to stay competitive. If they don’t stay competitive, ultimately they will fail

This is why any Business needs to focus on Social Media Networking and Search Engine Optimisation. This works for a few reasons.

When a Business has something people can refer back to, it makes finding them easier. When you’re on Social Networking sites, this is great for SEO, because people can create backlinks to your Business. Which helps drive traffic. Google also links this, because it indexes pages, and any page which is frequently indexed and referenced to gets a high score. Google likes High Quality content when it comes to SEO scores. The higher the content, the better the result.

So, whenever you’re focussing on making your Business in the 21st Century, you should always focus on Social Media alongside your SEO Marketing strategy

For me, I would propose in the UK you focus on the following for Social Media Networking. This helps to create Brand awareness of your Business, and because these sites are all indexed by Google’s search queries too, it means you get more results pointed towards your Business. This helps build Brand Authority, people love interacting, when you interact with your Customers they become more engaged.

This interaction promotes discussed and feedback, which not only helps improve the service from your Business, but helps drive traffic to yours and create backlinks by your customers talking about you (Good AND Bad). One post when it comes to Social Media can make your Business thrive, or end you. The best thing about the sites below is that you don’t need to post often. Just a quick simple picture, with a link to your Business, and keywords related to the content you’re writing and what our business is about. People can find it by searching, and when they’re interacting you’ve got 1 more potential customer

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest

So, if you’re thinking about getting your Business online. Make sure you focus on doing Search Engine Optimisation, and also Social Media, as this is great for marketing, and helps promote your Business due to Google indexing more content. If you integrate this with dynamic content that changes regularly (such as a simple blog post) and tag it with the keywords to help find it. Google will love this, because it then crawls your site like one giant cooker monsters, wanting more.

Remember in the terms of SEO/Content Marketing and Social Media Marketing

More content = More links = More Business

Youtube 50/60fps Stutter

I’m going to add to this post as I go. This issue has been going on for years. Other than ISP throttling which is annoying, it’s really bad design.

I’m on 37MB/s download speed and can’t get a decant connection above 1080P/60FPS

CHROME USERS

In address bar type chrome://flags – search for “buffer”, look for WebAssembly threads support –> change to disabled

Improving SEO Scores for your Website

The one main thing I’m always trying to do with my website is improving my SEO score so I get higher rankings in Google. It’s proven, higher rankings means more click through rate, and will generally make you more money if you sell products.

My website is/isn’t very niche, it’s an Automotive based website which has repairs, but I use it more as a professional representation of myself for showcasing my knowledge and skills whilst using some additional money to top up my earnings and some pocket money for projects. I didn’t design this site for money however, I designed it to share knowledge for people wanting to fix their cars. I could never find it when working on mine. The main thing that impresses me however, is that over the years, I have managed to develop this website (a personal non business one), into a popular site which drives traffic towards my keywords in Google and gives me good rankings.

Anyway, onto the show for improving SEO scores for your website, the techniques I’ve learned, I’m researching or tips and discussion why it’s needed. This article will be ongoing, so there will always be something new I’m adding to it or updating it. I’m by no means an expert, so feel free to reply to give me advice and tips on improving scores.

Topics you should consider researching and reviewing if you want to improve your SEO scores in my personal opinion and why

GOOGLE ANALYTICS

User retention and analysis is key to identifying ways to improve your website. Ever heard of the “funnel”, basically traffic comes through your website and funnels down. If you get 100 users, potentially 1-10 of them *1-10%* of your users can be converted into something (such as a buyer, member, subscriber). So you lose a lot of people you can’t convert. Having a Google Analytics account helps you improve retention because it allows you to optimise your website following analysis

WEBSITE DESIGN

Optimise it for Mobiles. My website gets around 70% mobile traffic now. So I focussed heavily on making it easy to read on a Mobile at the sacrifice of losing my menus. One step at a time. Secondly focus on speed, I absolutely hate a slow loading website, and if your user can’t see the information they want quickly. It’s another drop out, page has to load in 1-2 seconds. That means minimal ads, pop ups, or windows. This is why my website is primarily static HTML with pictures only. It gets the point across, and I’ve created sections which are slower loading (for now) such as my store and my blog for further discussion on detailed topics.

If you plan on having a Multimedia based website, make sure it’s content rich that will drive traffic towards your website. Having a Youtube video embedded into the website really helps with traffic. This also depends on your niche and target category. I’m looking at embedding videos in my articles as it’s driving traffic to me then from Youtube.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social Media is key in this day and age. It’s all about brand awareness when it comes to improving your SEO score for your website. No point having a brand if there’s no way for people to talk about it. A lot of my website traffic initially came via my Youtube channel. Over the years this has decreased due to competition on Youtube, and because I stopped making videos. I still get traffic from it however. Going off topic here, I used to be an affiliate with Youtube. Which at the time was rare and if you got this membership you were privelged because they didn’t hand them out much. Then about 2 years later, they changed it so that every new member who joined Youtube was instantly an affiliate who could make money on their videos. This is where Youtube died, because everyone started making videos to try and make a quick buck and flooded the market so more people got interest. I’m looking at starting up again, but using my knowledge to improve as Youtube is a key sector. If you want to focus on brand awarness for improving traffic, personally I’d recommend the following (Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Website, Facebook). Make sure you have a couple of those to go through and your bound to get traffic that points to your website. They’re all great for traffic so anything what boosts visibility of your site is good for identifying you on the www. One point to note however, you can quickly get a reputation: Good OR Bad. As quick as you can build one up, it can quickly be destroyed. People will always remember something negative

GOOGLE TAG MANAGER

I personally didn’t even know about this thing, but I’m looking more into it now after finding out what it is. Basically you can create tags, variables and events tracking which likes up with Metrics dashboards (e.g Google Analytics) that allow you to perform detailed analysis on where your traffic comes from, what they’re doing. If you run a commerce based website it’s good because it allows you to optimise it for more money

KEYWORD RESEARCH

The days of simply dumping keywords on your website are frowned upon. Those people who say they can get you to #1 in Google, I suggest you check their portfolio as proof. There’s no point in simply spamming keywords in the pages of the website. Google generally tends to look for relevancy too. My website for example has VERY high rankings in Google for certain keywords relating to Volkswagen (example “VW Oil Warning Light“), if you search this in Google, my site will normally be somewhere in the top five. This is why when you look at blog posts on my website, ones like this have 10000+ views, because I’m getting large amounts of traffic from Google. This is why it’s important to get relevant keywords. You could spam my website with VW all over and it wouldn’t generate much results, one specific group of keywords however and my blog article exploded with traffic. I’ll delve into this later, but you can do analysis using Keyword Analysis tools and sites. This helps you identifying your niche to use

I also recommend keeping an eye on your keywords. I have an Excel spreadsheet which contains all my keywords that I’m currently analysing, and additionally the ones I want to “Rank” for. These are keywords with large amounts of search volume, but insane amounts of competition (I won’t cover this part up, as it’s related to the context of my site but one of the most important words I want to rank for is the word “Volkswagen”). I don’t feel I need to explain how much competition I have here or the volume of traffic this search has. When I’m in the spreadsheet, I’m making note of any details I can find, search volume, keyword, ranking plus any additional things. This is why you need Google Analytics, it shows you all the keywords people are finding your website with. You need to optimise these keywords first because they’re the ones you’re getting traffic by.

SITE SEARCH

I haven’t added this to my site yet, but have you ever typed a Keyword into Google and it comes up with a website then with a little search box for that website with a breakdown on articles? That’s what site search is, helps keep users on your website from bouncing as it makes them easier to navigate

SITEMAP / NAVIGATION

Pointless having a cool website, if you can’t navigate it, or Google can’t find he website. This is important, because there’s no way to find or reference your website if Google doesn’t know what’s on it. This file is a special file called Sitemap.xml – there’s various ways of making them. I used “Screaming Frog SEO Spider”. Great program, shows you all the broken links before you create the file, and relatively painfree. I’d like the pro version, but I’m cheap and only spend money when needed and work around the rest. So it’s one of those things on the back burner to buy at a later date. Free shout to the makers of this software however, it’s bloody good and I love it. For Blogs, you can use “All in one SEO”, it has a Sitemap creator which does it all for you. Once you gets the sitemap.xml files, you need to submit them to search engines (Bing Webmaster Tools, Google Search Console) so their bots can crawl your website and find the content. The Sitemap.xml file is how they find it, it shows them the links to the files and shows them where to find them. Like a digital directory / phonebook.

SEARCH CONSOLE

This used to be called something else, but I can’t remember it’s name at the moment. Search Console is where Google gives you a breakdown on your site performance, queries, rankings. It integrates well with Google Analytics allowing you to monitor the data better

AWSTATS

This is normally accessible via your website host, but also another way of checking where your traffic comes from. It works the same way as Search Console / Analytics, but makes it a bit easier to read on the ey

SITE SECURITY

I haven’t tested this yet, but I suspect https:// based websites get higher scores in Google. A lot of sites tend to focus on selling a product, so I personally can’t see why having a https:// website wouldn’t improve your score because it helps protect the user data

ADVERTISING / ADSENSE / AMAZON / EBAY PARTNER NETWORK (EPN)

OK, this isn’t really something you should do. If your site is popular enough however, it will generate you traffic and sales without adverts. For smaller websites however, it’s a nice little source of income which helps boost your profits. I just wanted to make a post on this with my own opinion. This needs a lot of experimentation. Personally I hate banner ads and think the way forward is text links. Why?

Well firstly, a lot of people now are using pop up blockers. So some ads can be blocked. Secondarily, having banners/visual ads on the website slows down the website because it calls from secondary sites and uses additional resources. Not good if you like speed on your website. Now this in itself is a trade off, because HTML 5 based ads seem to perform better (for me personally). Users tend to like things that grab their attention. Personally I think text links are the way forward, they don’t interfere with the users reading the page and keeps things to a minimum. Plus it allows your articles to flow better. Just some food for thought. It’s why I keep my ads to the bare minimum. I find them as annoying as everyone else. In terms of affiliates, EPN used to be the best for money. They’ve changed things now however so you don’t get as much. I haven’t explored with amazon, although they have (or did not sure) a 30 day cookie period. A lot of users tend to buy at a later date, so this is good for retaining the tracking. for Google Adsense, yeah, it’s OK, I’m starting to earn more money with it. I run alot of experiments as I’m trying to find out what works best with my website. Ideally I’d like to create direct affiliates with my website and cut out the middle man selling, I’d rather have a bigger percentage of the pie directly. This is better because I can promote products I stand by when working with people directly, where as with Affiliates I have to rely on them without actually knowing the product unless I’ve used it personally. This is why I tend to limit the links, I only tend to use affiliate links to product I’v eused myself, or ones I find good rankings for.

CONTENT

Search engines LIKE content. If you have a 5 page Website with information pages, and you have a competitor with 5 pages of information but a Blog. There’s a good chance the Blog will rank higher. This is because there is consistently new material that can be indexed. There’s only so much content that can be added when you have a static Website. The only way I can think of to increase your ranking with a static site is by having good quality backlinks, and lots of them. Static Websites are good however, they’re usually small in size and fast loading. You need to work on every tag and description possible. So if you have photos, make sure they have tags and descriptions with Follow links. The more the indexer can file the better. If you want to have a Blog but can’t think of what content to write, then how about as an idea using one to post latest information to your customers. Site news, or what new projects you’ve worked on. Each time you post a new project, it allows you to get potential traffic for more customers. So the more you post about your Business, the better the chance of it being found. Make sure whenever you post about them too, you add in tags. It makes it easier for your site to be found with search queries in Google

SEO ANALYSIS

When you start getting into serious SEO Campaigns, on a more professional level. You start looking at more in depth analysis tools. These allow you to dig further into your Campaigns, and investigate where you’re striking gold in terms of SEO, and where your site is a sinking ship. They also allow you to carry out competitor research, and check features like SERP. 

Most of the professional sites I’ve listed below. Normally you can get some form of Free Trial with the website and then you have to pay to use their professional features. If you have the budget for an SEO Campaign, it’s heavily recommended to buy a pricing platform

You can sign up with PAID analysis 

SERanking is a website that allows you to sign up for a 14-Day Trial giving you access to most of their useful features. After this it becomes paid to use their featured functionality. Their cheapest plan is £23 per month. I enjoyed using their site on the trial features, because the keywords update often, so it shows you the ranking of them in Google. It also shows you ones which are featured snippets. I’ve had a few featured snippets and get really good traffic from them

AHRefs is another website, I’ve used this site, but the budget is well out of my league for a basic SEO Campgain. Their basic package is $99 per month. I would however highly recommend it if you’re planning on doing a campaign. I’ve used their site before and the level of information you get for analysis is unreal. 

 

Home Asterisk Server

One of the things I’ve wanted with my Home IT Setup is as much control as possible. My Internet service (and analogue telephone line) is provided by British Telecom (BT).

Not that there’s anything wrong with it, I just simply prefer to have a lot more control over the phone line when it enters my household, and coming from a technical background being able to view the statistics for the phone line and how it’s connected. Plus the call control features you get with Asterisk PBX are way more advanced.

I like being able to control my calls, and being able to record all calls and leaving voicemails whilst ignoring unknown numbers appeals to me. I’ve been familiar with Asterisk PBX now for a few years, so looking into developing a system I can use with it.

Ideally I’m going to need an Asterisk PBX Server. Should be simple enough. The technology is cheap enough to purchase. A cheap old PC should do the basic functionality.

I’ll need to integrate the phone lines. BT provide their Analogue phone lines of POTS. Which means I’ll need at least an Interface card which offers FXO functionality (may aswell get FXS card too since Fax Machines are old technology but you never know when you might need it). As I plan on integrating them with VOIP phones (I’m familiar with Avaya) I’ll need to buy a card that supports an FXO Gateway.

I’m still researching at this point. I only have one phone line entering the household (which is both my phone calls / internet)

If I’m using multiple VOIP phones (I’ll need at least two), does that mean I’ll need two FXO gateways, or can I get away with one and it’s looking after with Internal routing via my network switch?

I’ll keep posting as I go

AudioEndpointBuilder – The Dilemma

Thought I’d make this post to help save some time if someone else came across it. I was recently asked to fix a Windows 8.1 64-bit Laptop with no sound. The problem being specific to Windows 8 laptops

 

Talk about a night mare. The sound wasn’t working basically because the “Windows Audio” service wasn’t started. The problem is this thing relies on 3 other dependancies before it can work

– Remote Procedure Call (RPC)

– Multimedia Class Scheduler (MMCSS)

– AudioEndpointBuilder

 

Everything would start except for the AudioEndpointBuilder. It would fail with an error code 193:0xc1. The log in even viewer said it was not a 32-bit application

 

After going through various troubleshooting procedures after going through the usuals. I trailed the web and checked everything suggested

  • Reinstalling the sound drivers, motherboard drivers
  • Running SFC.exe
  • Checking the registry – making sure the paths were correct
  • Accepting the windows drivers
  • Booting into safe mode
  • Recreating the service.

None of it it worked, the only thing I could do would be either reinstall windows or find a solution

 

Luckily I found a solution (or rather a bodge)

Basically to fix the Windows 8 audio problem I did the following after finding it online…

 

– Open the registry

– Navigate to Microsoft\Windows\Current Control Set\Services\AudioSrv

Look for the path which talks about dependancies, there will be 3 entries

– RPC

– MMCSS

– AudioEndpointBuilder

 

You need to open this and delete the values for AudioEndpointBuillder and Rpc

Save it and reboot. The audio, should now be working

Home IT : New Addition – Laserjet Printer

For a longtime I’ve had a Canon Inkjet MP180 Printer. It has been reliable and served me well, it still works to this day but it’s a bit iffy. When I first purchased it, I was on Windows XP. Since then I’ve done many migrations up to the current version Windows 10. Since then Canon have been a bit reluctant to update their drivers however for the MP Navigator software and it’s a bit finnicky when trying to connect the printer for printing off jobs. I’m guessing this is most likely due to planned obsolescence, and to force people to upgrade or buy new printers. 

It was causing problems for me when trying to print documents off, because I had to troubleshoot every time I printed something. I’d been meaning to replace it as part of my Home Office update, I’d always wanted to upgrade to a more Business-class printer, so I thought why not : time for a replacement!

The printer that I decided to replace it with, and add to my home network is something I’m familiar with. It’s a business class printer, that’s capable of high demands. The one I purchased was a HP Laserjet 4350 Printer (with Duplexer) to add onto my home network. These printers are true Business class. It wasn’t uncommon to see them in large offices because they’re solidly built and reliable. They’re still widely used now because they’re robust, and the support packages are still there for them

Not only is this  printer more Universal (the printer drivers are bundled with Windows 10), it’s a lot higher quality to use and saves me money in the long run for printing.

The HP Laserjet 4350 isn’t a colour printer (although you can get Colour Laserjet’s, that’s the next addition), this printer is a Mono A4 Laserprinter. It’s a high speed reliable and robust Business printer capable of printing off thousands of A4 documents before it eventually breaks. 

As this printer is designed for printing only in Mono (Black and White), it’s designed for high-efficiency, and also for money saving. Here’s a comparison between my old Canon Pixma MP180 printer, and the HP Laserjet 4350 Printer

The MP180 uses two Inkjet cartridges. It uses 1 for Colour documents, and 1 for Black/White documents. 

  • The MP180 uses Inkjet Cartridges @ ~£13 per cartridge (490 pages)
  • The Laserjet 4350 uses B & W Toner Cartridges @ ~£165 per toner (10,000 pages)

To get the same amount of pages on my MP180 I would need to purchase the following 10,000/490 = 20.4 Cartridges
Total Cost would be 20.4 x £13 = £265.2 for same level of print outs on the Canon MP180 vs a 10,000 page “Toner”

The fact is, Inkjet will usually never beat Laser printers for the price tag. Technology has probably caught up now to the point where Inkjets that use smaller droplets are on par, however laser printers are always going to be the better technology to use for me. Generally Inkjet printers are used when you are printing something with lots of detail that needs to be crisp (for example Photographs). Where a Laserjet printer is normally something used for printing something with a high quality of legibility to it (for example Text documents). 

Documents printed on Inkjets have a risk of smudging because you have to wait for Ink to dry. As soon as a document comes off a Laser printer it can be handled. This is because the Toner for Laser printers isn’t Ink in a tank that’s squirted on. It’s physically in a powder form that is heated/burned onto the paper. So it’s dry as soon as it comes off. This is another good point with Toner’s. It tends to store better, Ink dries up within tanks. Due to Toner’s being a powder it’s normally fine long term and you just need to shake it up

As you can see a Laserjet printer is more efficient at saving money when printing off jobs. Not to mention it’s faster. The MP180 prints 17ppm. The LJ4350 prints 55ppm. It will benefit me for my home network and when printing off information for eBay sales and general documentation. Already installed and chuffed with it because I’m used to the equipment. Due to the printer drivers already being supported in Windows, it was just a case of plugging in a network cable into the printer, and installing it like a normal printer. Microsoft Windows recognised it, and installed the drivers for me. 

Another benefit of having a Network card on the Laser printer is that you can logon to the HP JetDirect Admin portal. It gives you a lot more features and customisation options. These allow you to monitor progress, increase quality or introduce cost saving features, like the Toner Density or Power Saving options

I purchased the printer from eBay. The total cost was £99 including Toner and delivery. 

This printer itself is in the region of 20 years old, and still widely used because it’s cheap and reliable. The bonus for me is that when I eventually need to replace the Toner in the printer they’re still made. If you own a HP Laserjet like me, you can buy the Toner/Fuser from Cartridge People below (They sell both aftermarket and OEM toners). If not, but you’re considering buying a Inkjet/Laser printer. Check out the following site below. Grab a deal, save some money

Why I haven’t migrated my site to WordPress fully

This is probably something which someone may question at some point so here are the main reasons why I’m not (or currently haven’t) migrated my website into a WordPress or Content Managed Website

 

  1. Entire site needs rebuilding
    1. To migrate my website I’d have to modify a lot of code and go through all the articles again, quite frankly can’t be arsed. Also to have the site how I want it I would need to rebuild all of my website, and given the problem I’ve had moving between hosts, it would break everything meaning I’d have to fix it again and resubmit all site links to Google and generate new sitemaps.
  2. Static HTML suits me for the content I write
    1. Articles I write are DIY guides, I like the fact how they’re laid out within HTML and it’s just nice and simple. No OTT designs, or OTT in general. Just nice simple information which loads quickly what the end user wants
  3. Blogs are more for content which updates regularly
    1. Articles that I write are generally updated / created as and when I have to fix something on my car, I don’t really write very often, unless it’s crap. So doesn’t really suits me
  4. Static HTML is easier for me in terms of placement of pictures
    1. I don’t need to modify the code much, I just put in a simple HTML table, and insert the picture. If I wanted it somewhere specific I could have a little bit of CSS coding into the page. Having it on a WordPress/CMS system makes it annoying as a lot of my articles are full width and I’m yet to find one I like which makes it easier to add pictures and have them placed where I like. Plus uploading pictures is a chore as I have to upload them to a gallery then insert from gallery. Rather than just dump everything into an /images folder and simply hotlink from there
  5. Low server requirements
    1. My website if running on static HTML barely uses any resources. Websites running PHP/MySQL can be resource intensive, whereas a website designed to run nothing but static HTML could potentially hosts thousands/millions of websites on the same server because static HTML is reguarly cached and loads quickly
  6. More secure
    1. Whilst not impossible, it’s generally a lot easier and more secure when using HTML sites, because there is nothing happening in the background for pages to be loaded such as database or PHP requests. Pages are simply served, so it locks down the security a bit better as the hackers would have to be able to modify the direct HTML file itself
  7. Faster backups
    1. This is a bit irrelevant really because I can’t download my backups until I’ve created them, but the larger your site is the longer it takes, having a small website means it’s backed up within minutes, instead of being up to 1 hour on a larger size, HTML compresses very well too for backups which makes it quick to download. Useful if I’m on a low speed connection
  8. Easier to troubleshoot
    1. Whenever I get problems with HTML, it’s fairly easy, it’s displayed on the screen. You either make an error and it doesn’t work, or it works fine. You can make HTML pages look amazingly modern and very stylish by using basic .CSS stylesheets. If you run a site with WordPress or CMS, you have to have MySQL, CSS, PHP and a few other things. Usually a simple change can break your code which gives you hours of headaches. I’ve had to fix my site often so I’m familiar with the layout of it now
  9. Low disk space usage
    1. When my website only has HTML pages. It doesn’t consume much disk space. An average HTML page is around 5KB in size. So adding some pictures (reduced in size / compressed to around 100KB) and basic CSS, I could have an entire website with 100+ pages that only consumed 50-200MB of disk space with very low requirements and would be very responsive. HTML pages also load really quickly, because it’s basically text and nothing else. Nothing requires rendering or any function calls in the background which talk to database. It just has a request and serves it to the end user straight away. Whilst disk and file compression is possible on dynamic sites, putting everything into wordpress just increases the overall size due to the databases and PHP aspect of everything

 

Eventually, when I find something I like the entire site will be migrated. The PROS of having a WordPress or CMS based website outweight the CONS, but for the time being I can’t be arsed.

Until I find something which suits the purposes and how I write my articles I’ll just keep going as needed then eventually change it over when I have it how I like it. Content becomes easier to maintain and increases my score in Google overall, so it will be done for end benefit

How I built a working iPod for £25 from spares

I recently decided to go back to the gym again, one of the things I wanted to do was get another iPod Nano 4th Generation music player. I can use my phone, but personally I always liked the nano that I had, I found them comfortable to use and they seemed to suit me for the gym

Problem was I sold my previous one, I didn’t want to spend the money to buy a brand new one or second hand one. I like repairs so thought why not carry out a repair on one.So off I went on eBay and found 3 broken iPod Nano 4th Generation 8GB models for £9.99 – can’t complain at that, should be able to salvage the components

Broken iPods

A selection of the iPods I purchased for repairs

 

The iPods I purchased for repair had 3 issues (from left to right)

  1. The first one the click wheel wouldn’t respond. The device worked, but nothing happened after power up. Click wheel wouldn’t respond to any input.
  2. The second iPod had a problem with connecting to the computer, it just wouldn’t switch on
  3. The third iPod worked fine, it just had a problem with the screen being very dim and wouldn’t increase in brightness

Reading this I thought I may be able to at least salvage one of them, the cases on them were all scratched, but as it was for the gym I wasn’t particularly bothered. One of them had a good case, but this was also a problem with the screen.

 

My first train of thought was the following repairs;

  • iPod 1 – Faulty click wheel, cable, dirty click wheel, or O/S restore
  • iPod 2 – Possible port damage, O/S damage or physical damage
  • iPod 3 – Damaged LCD, damaged digitizer, damaged logic board

Now that I had decided what I was going to do, I set about a plan of action. The 3rd iPod was hopefully the one I was going to use, merely because it was in the best condition, but I still wanted to try and repair at least one of them to have a go and see what I’ve got to work with

Broken iPod 1 Repair

I first powered up the iPod to confirm the fault, indeed, it powers up. Screen was fine, seemed to load the operating system fine, but no luck nothing else. I tried cleaning up the click wheel to make sure no grease had got under it. Carried out a system restore but none of this worked still the same problem. Issue now is either hardware related, or cable related. Kept it for spares, since I knew the iPod had a working screen

Broken iPod 2 Repair

I first needed to find out what was busted on this. I tried to connect to the computer as initially I thought it was a USB issue, I received no connection. I couldn’t go any further to test with this because the battery had no charge, so decided to dismantle it. Turns out the battery was damaged as it had swelled in size, so it’s possible this can be repaired. I couldn’t go any further with this because the lower data cable connecting the battery to the board snapped on removal as the battery made it a tight fit and I ended up cracking the screen on removal…..bugger… 1 down two to go.

I had spares from the first iPod, I swapped the logic board and battery over to the iPod which wouldn’t charge up or switch on. It came to life, but had the same issues as the first. The problem followed me so it meant the logic board was damaged as I was using a different clicker wheel this time. This may be a possible repair in future, but I wanted to see what I could do with the 3rd one.

Broken iPod 3 Repair

OK, first iPod knackered needs a new board. Second iPod, busted battery, cracked LCD (now no longer working) and connector cable. I have a 3rd one that’s working, great. Swap the screen over, still dim…. well that’s a problem. If you have a dim screen on an LCD, normally you replace the digitizer. All the power controls and assemblies are built into the screens and the logic board circuitry.

I had swapped the screen over, and had the same problem. That means the battery was OK, but the board was gone…. board from iPod 1 was a nono, board from iPod 2 required repair with soldering iron so what was my options

I ended up having to fork out some money, and kept an eye out on eBay because I needed either a good battery and board, or a good board. As this was all pot luck I kept my eyes open

 

iPod Nano 4th Generation, successfully repaired

Success, I found an eBay seller who was selling what was listed as a working board and battery. After some back and forth emails I took the risk and purchased them with the spares they came with for £16.99

 

I received them a couple of days later, swapped over the units working screen and replaced the logic board. Then came the moment of truth….

I powered it up, it worked! It connected to iTunes and said it needed a restore but then I received a low battery warning message. Damn it, usually low battery means it’s knackered. I figured it was working, so went to bed and left it on charge.

Lady luck was shining down on me, the battery really was just low, once connected to iTunes I restored it and now have a working iPod for the gym again.

OK I could have probably found one for the same price, but as I will also be repairing iPods for my business it makes good practice for me to understand how they work and the problems that you can encounter when working on them. Plus I like to tinker about with electronics.

This concludes my article on How I built a working iPod for £25 from spares

Fixed iPod

A repaired iPod built up for £25

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