Friday, December 30, 2022

When the lights get dim?

We've got a great stove, at least in theory. A Thermidor RDFS30 gas slide in range from the mid 90's. For some time now they have not manufactured replacement parts.

It turns out the LED display on the oven control module (part number 486752) is dim. Hardly readable even in the dark. The time is readable but the oven temperature is not.

I see some of these modules used on EBay for over $600. Yikes! And one post for the wrong part. Scary. We'll need to re-do the kitchen eventually, and we've dodged a fridge replacement so far this year. So, I'd like to get this fixed until we have time to think about a re-do. An equivalent LG model is on sale for $1299.

Online I see two companies who will repair the unit and ship it back for about $200. Also, there is a 'repair kit' available, but the repair kit handles other issues with the control board - not the dim LEDs.

The deal with my partner is, if we can use the cooktop, I can disable the oven for a week.

To access the control module, first I had to turn off the power and unscrew the brass fittings under each burner.

Then the deck can be lifted up.
There is a cover over the top of the front panel to remove, and then screws underneath on each side of the front panel beneath the oven door. The front panel is glass, so be careful removing the screws, as you wouldn't want to drop the panel. I was careful to take pictures and make a chart of the wiring for the control module, so it is easy to put it all back together.

But when I take the control board out, it seems the gas does not flow to the burners. Bummer. I was scratching my head looking at the schematic, there are two gas solenoids but four burners. It turns out that this range has two burners that cycle off and back on to reduce the temperature on an ultra low setting. So those two burners will not work without power, but the other two will.

On the first go-round, I disassembled the cook top and discovered that two of the ignitors were loose. I ordered circlips ($2.50 ea.) to secure the two ignitors. I installed the clips but waited for a convenient moment to remove the control module.

As it is MLK day in the US, we were both home and agreed to fix the oven. We started by installing some screws on the "deflector" in the oven (a plate above the oven's heating element, not the Enterprise!) Then the control board came out, and I sent it off for a two-day turnaround repair. The repair is $219.99. I added an expediting fee and Fedex shipping (not to inconvenience my partner!) totalling $338.04 all in, I could have saved $100 by choosing a slower service. One of the companies is located in Canada, and prefers USPS international shipping. The other has expedited service and prefers FEDEX. As the postal service is close for the Federal holiday, I went with the US company. Hopefully - a three day turnaround rather than a week turnaround time.

Update: The unit came back FEDEX, packaged very well, installed and it works great!

Friday, January 10, 2020

Drinking Coffee, Lacking Motivation

What to do when technical achievements simply become boredom?
Or worse, when even listening to people talk mindlessly becomes painful?
Drink coffee. Maybe cultivate the ability to rock back and forth, standing, with a cup of coffee.

Like this guy. "How are those TPS reports coming?"

Check out this article on office design: "Uninspired Setting? Uninspired Work." - GQ

Perhaps this is a call to clean the office? That helps when I am feeling uninspired!
But first, coffee...

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Don't be EVIL

EVIL is removing the home page option from Google Chrome on mobile browsers.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

73 Words - Is Technical Writing a Dying Art?

As a Technologist, I rely on technical writing for my training, product evaluation and selection. When I see a video describing a new technology, I skip to the text.

Reasons to skip the video?

  • The video is bound to simplify the important details that are fundamental building blocks in any product.
  • The video is produced by marketing people, who all too often do not understand the product.
  • If I am coming to you for information, I already have specific questions to answer about how your product will work in my business environment.
  • I can read the text much faster and skip to the important parts rather than watch the video.

How can marketers and educators help me?

  • Focus on the text.
  • Hire technical writers.
  • Focus on the technology.
  • Eliminate "market-speak", a technical manual is not a place to blather on about innovation.
  • Avoid appropriating terms from other technologies that have a similar meaning.
  • Write declarative sentences.

Example: "Introduction to Microsoft Windows Server 2016" Microsoft Books

73 words, one period. A bit of a bad cut and paste job there in the middle: "software-defined datacenter features that can were born in..." I am glad they didn’t use the phrase “legacy” anywhere in this run-on sentence! "Legacy" describes me pretty well...

Anyone who survived the 90's in technology remembers Buzzword Bingo so here's a shot on that sentence/paragraph:

Market-speak Buzzwords “Self-Improvement”
Pillars Security Are clear about
Commitment Software-defined datacenter Choice
Platform of choice On-premises Now-exist
Frameworks Application platform Necessary
Traditional applications Application Allow
Azure Cloud Prepare

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Windows Holographic?

Will VR and mixed reality take off?  Microsoft touted Windows Holographic today in an email to Windows Insiders - members of its beta community.

Perhaps as much of a misnomer as 'four channel stereo?' Or just a way to say that we support interactive 3D media?

I'll have to reserve judgement on the 'Holographic' tag, as that implies vastly more information storage than 3D interactive.

The Verge

Microsoft Blog


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Tay it ain't tso!

Microsoft's experiment with an online Bot named 'Tay' was quickly ended when the bot began posting racist and even fascist messages.
The initial response in the Twitterverse was that the Bot was 'trained' to become 'racist', but as the New York Times article reveals - the system was not filtering the type of responses that it came out with, so people tried to get it to say crazy stuff. It worked. Oops!

After brief experiences with Chatroulette, I have to agree that this was to be expected if the 'Bot was programmed to respond with no filters. Other systems, such as Siri, or Amazon Echo do not respond to 'inappropriate content'.

We were experimenting recently on a long tech support call, because it has been said that swearing while waiting on hold will result in the call being bumped up in the queue. I can verify that playing a video of swearing Parrots into the phone did not cause any reduction on on-hold time with Sage Software. (I hung up after two hours.)