Archive for the 'Computers' Category

01
May
15

Old Times: Part Deux

Did you know that Windows has a built in backup, that can create and restore a disk image? Pity it also has to completely wipe the existing partitioning to do it. Doesn’t matter if you’re only trying to restore a single partition…. Continue reading ‘Old Times: Part Deux’

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30
Apr
15

Just Like Old Times

Well, this is fun? No. Fun’s not the right word. This is interesting. And, I’d put in a relevant clip from Firefly right there, but I don’t think I can use YouTube, right now.

  Continue reading ‘Just Like Old Times’

10
May
13

Return of the MX 500 …sort of

This is a tale of two (computer) mice.

 

Now, I can be a bit rough on hardware. I once snapped off two joysticks, within just a few days. I would have weighed at most a grand 130 lbs, at the time. I’ve never exactly been a big dude. I’ve calmed down in recent years, but not before I irreparably broke my Logitech MX 500 mouse. This was the mouse that got me to give up my trackball. (If Logitech would make a trackball with as many buttons as this mouse, I’d switch back. They have one that’s close, but I know I’d come to miss those two buttons)

 

Anyway…. I fought with another mouse for a year or two, before I discovered the MX 518. The 518 is basically the 500, with updated electronics. It does have one little problem. In recent years, Logitech has switched to using cheaper buttons in their products, that don’t last as long. They’ve come under fire for this, and I understand they’ve basically relaunched half of their product line, with better switches, because of it. Before it’s untimely demise, I used my MX 500 for years, with no problems with any of the buttons. The trackball I used before it has a button that’s visibly damaged, its housing is actually cracked, but it still works like new.

 

The other day, one of the side buttons on my MX 518 stopped working. Well, stopped, might not be the right phrase. But, it certainly started getting flaky. I use this button for middle clicking, since it’s easier to press than the scroll wheel. I also use it for aiming, in Warframe. For all my history of hardware abuse, this is not my fault. This was a cheap button going south, prematurely. Now, I tend not to throw things away, if I think I can get some use out of part of them. This includes my old mouse. The MX 500 and 518 clearly share most, of their tooling, and I know that the old buttons are dimensionally identical to the current cheaper ones. Obviously, there was only one thing to do.

 

grey_tinker1

 

The original plan was to desolder the malfunctioning button from the 518, and the corresponding button from the 500, and solder the working button into the 518. But, the more I looked, the more I saw how physically similar the two mice were. Since the plugs that connect the boards the buttons in question are mounted to are identical, as are the boards, and the plastic piece they’re clipped in to. I decided to just swap the whole assembly. While I was at it, I replaced the big silver colored piece that makes up the main buttons and part of the outside of the mouse. It would have been easier to just replace the entire upper housing of the mouse, but something has attacked the rubberized coating on the black section, the whole thing is sticky, and pretty gross. Beyond that, it’s physically worn and the 518’s isn’t. I also replaced the side buttons piece. These are the exterior “buttons” that your fingers actually press on, not the electronic buttons that were the original problem. These match the other piece I replaced, and the print isn’t worn off them. I didn’t bother replacing the three buttons that run down the middle of the mouse, since the print’s worn off both sets, leaving them looking identical.

 

So, I now have an MX 518 that looks like my old MX 500, because it has so many parts off of it. It’s a bit of a Franken-mouse. I probably should have taken a picture of it, before I plugged it back into the computer….




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