Thursday, September 25, 2008

Small lame update

This is my first semester out of the dorms, and as it turns out, things have changed. It's been a month and I still haven't missed any classes, which is especially unusual since I have 8 AM lectures every single weekday. Before, I would just stop going to lectures after a few weeks. I hope things stay like this. Also, I work out 6 days a week (after every morning lecture and on Saturdays). More importantly, though, I'm pretty much keeping up with all the material and homework. I have had a few classes in which I never did any homework. I studied a total of 3 days last semester for organic chemistry for ch%^&*ssakes.

A typical day in the life last and past semesters was: wake up between 2 and 5 pm, eat, go to lab (once a week), go to discussion maybe, waste time, sleeeeeeeeeep. OK it wasn't that bad. At least I (amazingly) haven't failed any classes yet.

Well, in response to this more religious routine, I actually need one of those weekly planner things that I took for granted in the dorms. Instead of just stealing one from a person in the dorms like everyone else, I went out and bought one.

On the left is the matching red pocket pen I got a while back, it has a stylus opposite the writing end.
The planner is just so... cute! I love the leather (pleather?) binding, and the ribbon bookmark, and it's from some company in London.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


This blog is in much need of an update, so I'll do one NOW.


Living outside of the dorms has presented my three roommates and me a problem, we now have to cook nearly everyday. We have done this much better than many of our peers, delighting in comments such as, "Man, I never cook, I always eat out and it's getting expensive." While two cook more often than the other and me, I like to shake things up a bit when I cook. I've begun cooking southern style buttermilk fried chicken (mmmmmmm) and for this particular night I also made sweet tea; and my roommate made corn bread and mashed potatoes!


So, after reading on one day about how some guy (or girl) dismantled his/her I7 because of a button malfunction, strangely enough a few days later my I7 encountered the same problem. The I7 was a little less than a year old. One of the surface mount buttons fell off! It was the volume - button, and I didn't want to damage my ears by never turning the volume lower (I adjust volume at LEAST 3 times per song, I wonder why the button fell off?). It was very fortunate that I had just come back to Berkeley from my one week post-summer-school break at home, and had brought back a few things: namely my soldering iron and some supplies (wire, sleeving, etc etc, no drill or dremel though D:).

First, however, let's take a look at one of the new things I've acquired to aid in this type of thing:

This is a sponge, the type that goes in the base of a soldering iron holder. The one on the right is before adding water, and the one on the left is after. Watching it expand was insane. I have spares :D

Below is the problem. Circled in red is where the surface mount button should be. The second half of the picture shows a dry-mount of the switch that fell off. I nearly lost it when opening the case!

The equipment (always wear safety goggles!):

And the repair, yes I swabbed off the flux (but I couldn't get the flux under the switch of course, oh well. This mp3 player will probably be replaced in a year or less anyway).


My trip back home returned me with my guitar as well. I got this thing in junior high, I believe. Never did use it much in high school as I had anticipated. I'm learning a few chords every now and then, looking up tabs and also learning from an instructional book from the 70's. It's pretty fun, I regret not using it more in the past now.

A few of the songs I wanted to play (namely, country) required a capo. Being the cheap, I mean innovative, person that I am, I fashioned one out of a highlighter and a few of those thick bracelet rubber bands. I was going to post this on instructables, however, someone else has done NEARLY THE EXACT SAME THING! I believe he uses a dry-erase marker, though.

WALLET (and phone)!

Both my visits home this summer have not ended well. The first one, a month-long, was just great. LANCAMP 08, spending nearly every day with friends, hookah, etc etc etc. Right before I left back for Berkeley however, I lost my phone, and all my numbers along with it. The second, after summer school, I got to play Soul Calibur IV on my friend's PS3 on my HDTV at home, which looked just plainly incredible. We also watched Harold and Kumar II and some Stargate movie on it in BLU RAY. I saw details that I never thought that old TV was capable of (we acquired it around 2004 or 2005, I forget). It was just beautiful. I also spent a lot of time watching the olympics. I visited some good old friends I hadn't seen in 8 months. However, again, just before I left, I misplaced my wallet. I have spent the time since then getting a new driver's license, school ID, bank card, and I haven't even considered getting a new insurance card.

On the bright side, both replacements are now pink (my last wallet was pink too though) and better. I have a Palm Centro and I made a small pink paper wallet which can fit into my front pocket with my keys (theft prevention).

Both times I swear they were probably in my house, probably in my living room, and I was either buzzed or really tired when I lost them. I scoured my room, living room, car, and every other possibility for both. I hate thinking of supernatural solutions to these kinds of things but what else am I supposed to think? At least they are no big deal now, the older phone was pretty bad and I have a new debit card number (nothing else valuable in that old wallet except my identity).

Phew! That was a huge update! If you read (even part of, or only looked at pictures), pleaaaaassssssssseeeeeee leave me comments, it makes me feel better lol.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ink and Dust

So, looks like it's about time for a new post. Not much going on nowadays, I'm spending all my time playing DS. Bear with me, the good posts are coming. Just a few more weeks and they'll start.

This is what my fully-refilled LAMY looks like after two lectures.
It's a good thing I got a converter :D
How much more when the school year starts and I actually have more than one class to go to?

This is what my computer hard drive fan filter looks like after only a few months.
At least it worked, they're not inside my case.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ball Pt. vs Fountain

See if you can tell the difference. The fountain pen made reviewing on Sunday night for Monday's midterm so much easier, it took me so much longer to go through the notes done in ball point pen and gel pen than the notes done in fountain.
Sure, my handwriting still needs work, but it's easier work now :D.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


I fixed my coffeemaker!
Here's the story:
While moving out a few months ago, I had to store this thing in a box. Being stupid, I hadn't removed the old coffee grounds from the last time I brewed, so they naturally moved around in the machine. When I tried it up again, the water level in the reservoir was staying the same, and it was making the sound, the sound it was only supposed to make when it finished, early.
So, of course, I figure there's a clog somewhere. I pour water into the reservoir and out of it repeatedly, and see some grounds leave, but still nothing. A week or so later, I figure I'll go deeper, try harder. All of the coffeemaker troubleshooting I find on Google don't help, they just tell me to check the wiring and the heating element.
I open it up anyway, and what do I find?
A series of tubes! Of course. Okay, only two tubes, hope you got the reference though. It draws water from the reservoir, pumps it into a heating element, and then pumps it up into the spout to drizzle over the coffee grounds. I pull out one of the tubes, and find a one-way valve inside and lots of old COFFEE. The pics are post-cleaning though, no old coffee here.

So I put everything back together and VOILA, COFFEE! I was spending ~$2 2 to 3 times a week on slow mornings at Starbucks D: . Now I can make my own, for cheap, very cheap, using a reusable container so I'm making less waste as well. However, don't take this as me caring for the environment, please.

The moral of the story? Always immediately throw away the old coffee when you're finished brewing, or at least never turn your drip coffeemaker on its side or any other way than upright if there's old coffee in there.

Man, I wonder if anyone's reading this. Why even post? No, that kind of thinking would repel any readers, if they exist :D. Please, if you read this and are into tech, and building stuff, I do like to do that sort of thing. All my tools are almost 200 miles away at the moment. You might see something like this posted if I had them:

Friday, July 25, 2008

More K'nex (and a pen)

Here's a teaser:

There's still a lot of things I don't like about this chassis, so it keeps changing. I'm starting to see the limitations to k'nex. However, yes, that is rwd and yes it has suspension and steering.

Also, I spent the most money I've ever spent on a pen today, $30. And just like it is with headphones, the sky is the limit and I bought an entry-level model. The pen itself was $30, but I wanted bottle ink so I had to buy a converter, and some ink.

The ink was the cheapest in the store, and it was by the same company as the pen, so I couldn't resist. The included blotting paper is very convenient and effective.
It writes so nicely, and with the ink it never goes dry (not yet at least).

Saturday, July 19, 2008

First instructable done!

Yay, I finished the instructable on the K'nex truck!


Here's the link:

Friday, July 18, 2008


Can't let this blog rot like the last one, now can I? Time for a new post!

Here's what my apartment mates and I used as a TV remote for a while since the owner couldn't find it:


uh huh. it's a pole.

now here's what we use:


A Palm Tungsten T3 I got waaaaaay back in high school, with a remote program. I remembered my sister's palm had a remote program built-in, and since my T3 had been rotting in my drawer since I stopped using its graphing calculator function, this remote was practically free. Screw the universal. This has a touchscreen and is much cooler.

The T3 served me well. Still, I never got onto the internet with it. I never did buy a Palm WiFi SD card, and when I asked Sprint for their cheapest phone with bluetooth a few years ago, it only supported bluetooth headsets, not bluetooth internet transfer. It had long been my dream to put the internet on the T3. Still, it served as my mp3 player, graphing calculator, pic/video viewer and general purpose pda (schedule, notes, etc etc) for quite a few years.

Now I have a Centro.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


OK. First post of chintabo. Welcome.

I started playing with K'nex. A week later, this!

Full-time 4wd, functional doors biased to 4 set positions, motor access under hood, opening tailgate, spare tire, functional bed, steering wheel and gear shift.

wheel and shifter


more pics

An instructables is coming, as are more pics, either there or here.
You can expect more from chintabo. Topics include, but are not limited to, RC, headphones, computers, more K'nex, games, pens, etc.