Tiny customizable OpenSCAD CPU shipping boxes (#P38)

Shipping season is here. For no good reason people start terrorizing the logistics companies and I’m probably one of them. Difference being: I need to get rid of stuff, not buy more. I need to ship items.

For quite some time now I’m fond of the idea of OpenSCAD as a STL file generator. While elaborate 3D designs with multiple levels of rounded edges and polynomial madness in three dimensions are better created in graphic tools such as DesignSpark, I don’t find them all that pleasing when making simple geometric shapes that need the occasional modification. […]


Smartbroker / DAB BNP Paribas have upgraded from papyrus (#R12)

All the Corona troubles make it a slow week for cheapo electronics…again. So here’s something outrageous that I just found out while recycling server parts, fitting and amending the most recent rant nicely.

I got several (snail mail) letters with the recent opening of a banking account with Smartbroker, who somehow use BNP Paribas as their backend and just provide a more fancy user interface with their branding. One contained the password, one contained the user name, one contained the general IBAN and whathaveyou stuff, one even was packaged in two envelopes as it is just transferred from BNP to Smartbroker to me, all for the sake of security (the mail man doesn’t care anymore about the tons of crap that I receive via mail…). […]


The strange formatting of Oracle-branded HGST SSDs (WHL #71)

A little tale from the world of enterprise computing (again). Well, I needed something to do alongside filing my taxes, and I recently received a bunch of hardware, so there’s that.

I ordered, after long and unfruitful discussion and some eBay detour that also didn’t work because of, well, eBay, a couple of replacement hard disks of the spinning rust type, as well as SSDs to support them. The original ZFS RAID volume that kept *ALL* my data crashed via some obscure file system bug, and since I’m not a paying Oracle customer (not that they would help me out – everything is plastered with “restore from backup” notes), I finally migrated to Ubuntu and OpenZFS. […]



Not-so random thoughts on LSI HBAs again (#P34F1)

A couple months ago I scraped on the surface of the topic of LSI debranding/crossflashing. Now’s a good time to visit that again, since I got another branded LSI card that I wanted free of the manufacturers old firmware and the “hey look at meeee, I’m a veeeery special controller” look in any device tree. Yes, we know you’re special, but the annoying kind of special. You’ve likely been the default card in tens of thousands of servers or the only (supported) choice people had when opting for external SAS. […]


Pre-Facelift Tesla Model S LED number plate lights real-world testing (WHL #70F1)

We all know who was too busy last week to upload something, and then too lazy to fix that during the entire week…

Well, here’s a very quick but conclusive report about the exchanged number plate lighting on my car. It’s not just brighter by eye or as viewed by the camera, it’s also that much brighter to anything out there swarming around at night that somebody, I do not know their name or preferred pronouns, decided to set up shop just between number plate and lights. […]


Pre-Facelift Tesla Model S LED number plate lights (WHL #70)

It’s time for cheap lights on expensive cars because of the friggen 3G mobile phone network. Yeah, that sounds perfectly alright.

Two weeks ago I ordered the MCU2 upgrade for my 2015 Tesla Model S at the Service Center Frankfurt. Ever since the possibility for that retrofit was announced by St. Elon, I lusted after it, yet of course it only was made available in the alternative Elon Time™ dimension on time and was delayed forever for everyone else, especially for AP1 cars like mine. Some day in between the recall bombshell of the MCU1 dropped and Tesla extended warranty of that part to 100k miles / 160Mm or 8 years max, and some months later the price for MCU1 cars was reduced from 2500€ (inclusive VAT) to 1550€ (same), as those do not need the AP3 computer refresh. […]


DIY Chip Quik style desoldering alloy (#P37)

And finally closure on the fake China solder wire topic back from WHL #68 / WHL #68F1. I bought a bunch of Bismuth metal in early June (1KG Bismuth Metal Ingot 99.99% Pure Crystal Fr Making Crystals/Fishing Lures – 20.03€ including shipping, before the “no more VAT free imports” EU legislation went into effect) and with the high lead content solder from the other review, I should be able to make some low-melting point solder.

First of all, the Bismuth was delivered in a big chunk as advertised, which I did not expect. They are somehow able to split that crystallized cake precisely into pieces of slightly below 1kg and then add in small bits to make exactly 1000g (at 2 cents a gram, they clearly do not give away free stuff). […]


Powerbank 10000mAh mit Solar Ideal für Outdoor und Reisen alle Geräte – USB (WHL #69)

In celebration of product review number 69 I decided to exceed the regular scope and make a full-on video review of this very helpful item, showing its use in a real-world scenario with additional audio commentary available on my second channel. […]


Philips 46PFL8008S/12 to 55PFL8008S/12 screen upgrade (#P36)

Back in #P15, two years ago, I replaced the damaged screen of a Philips 46PFL8008S/12 Ambilight TV with a working one from a braindead unit. Classic failure mode of this generation, ideal opportunity for a 2-to-1 repair.
This week I’m going to upgrade the screen from 46″ to 55″. Because I can. And because the wall mount supports the larger unit (which of course I didn’t check beforehand…). And, funnily enough, because I earned ten bucks that way. And because a larger TV is slightly more entertaining in the rare event of watching a movie. […]