I’ll take the Faraday Cage Carriage on this train please

Article in the New Scientist today – 1 September 2012 on page 18.

‘Joined-up power people’ advocates using the latent power of smartphones to power cluster computing tasks, but then points out that the combined processing power is piss-poor compared to a regular desktop PC. The problem with this superb hypothesis is that processor cycles used on a phone eat battery power, and idle time doesn’t. DUH!

They do mention that all the phones in a train carriage could combine over WiFi to perform a useful task. Presumably this useful task is to annoy an electro-sensitive person?

If you’re going to use your phone/laptop over free WiFi on a train, make sure you also use a secure proxy (hidemyass) or use a 3G Modem dongle instead – that way your Facebook account won’t get vandalised!

Written by admin in: Uncategorized |

How to refurbish an old worn out Acard DVD x9 to 1 Duplicator

My Acard x9 to 1 standalone DVD duplicator had started turning too many blank CD-Rs into coasters.

By a process of elimination, I figured out the oldest & most used units at the top of the duplicator were behaving the worst. The original drive in position 9 still burned a CD okay. The original drives in my duplicator are the Sony Optiarc IDE units, which you’ll only ever read good things about online.

The drives in this unit are IDE. I know it’s best to replace all 9 writing drives with the same model, but a quick look on made it obvious that you can’t buy cheap PATA IDE DVD writers any more, everything is now SATA based.

There’s no point buying used DVD drives to go in a DVD duplicator, so I was thinking I might have to buy a new unit. I’d already had great value for money from this Acard unit.

I could see on eBay you could buy a new 9 to 1 Acard unit with SATA drives inside for £350. But I’d always prefer to fix what I already have.

I purchased a £13 SATA DVD writer from eBuyer & a £3.50 Sata to IDE converter from eBay, and they seemed to work okay when I swopped out the first failing IDE DVD drive. So I bit the bullet and ordered another 10 units of each (so I’d have some spares).

I attached the IDE to SATA adapters to the SATA DVD drives using a hot glue gun, 5 blobs on each, so they wouldn’t work loose or short-out on the back of the DVD drives.

When I put everything back together the drives all appeared to burn perfect CDs from my master discs. I burned several hundred CDs, just to be sure.

I’ve still got two spare DVD writers , in case either the DVD drives or controller board fail. I’ve also saved almost £200 on the cost of a new DVD duplicator.


I used these Samsung SH-222BB SATA DVD writer drives from Ebuyer at £12.99 each and these SATA to IDE adapters at £3.50 each. from eBay.

Written by admin in: General |

Theme: Premium WordPress Themes | InMotion, Gesundheit