Computer Repair Tools from the Kitchen

I was doing some repair work on a laptop computer today and realized I had not yet shared one of my most significant homemade tools for this kind of work. It’s simply an ice cube tray with each cube numbered in permanent marker.

Computer parts in an ice cube tray

I put screws and other small parts in the tray as I disassemble each section of the computer. If I’m following a numbered repair guide I try to match the cube number to each step. Otherwise, I just fill the cubes in numerical order as it makes sense. Reassembly is a snap and there’s no losing or mixing up those tiny screws.

Oh, and while I’m snatching kitchen items to use as tools, cookie sheets make great parts trays for longer-term projects. The whole project can be shelved to get it out of the way and then easily resumed without parts getting misplaced.

Loading WordPress’ Thickbox Only When Needed

I like to use Thickbox on my site to display images and videos in overlay windows. In WordPress, it’s easy enough to use wp_enqueue_script( ) and wp_enqueue_style() to load the built-in version of Thickbox. It automatically takes care of including jQuery, putting the css in the header, and the javascript in the footer.

But there’s no need to have the bloat of Thickbox and jQuery loading on all pages when most of them don’t even use it. That’s why Joost de Valk detailed a nice tip to only load thickbox when needed by checking the page content for references to it. All it takes is a few lines of code in your functions.php file.

Unfortunately, you end up with some broken images because the built-in Thickbox defines their locations in thickbox.js as relative paths: Continue reading Loading WordPress’ Thickbox Only When Needed

Chopping Down an Entertainment Center

I’m taking a break from my usual geek content for a woodworking project. Granted, it’s a woodworking project to contain geek stuff, though.

We purchased a nice solid oak entertainment center many years ago. But it’s worthless now in an age of widescreen TVs. I tried to sell it, and then later give it away, with no takers. It had been taking up way too much room in the garage for more than a year. Continue reading Chopping Down an Entertainment Center

WordPress 2.9 Media Features Voting

WordPress logoThe WordPress folks have announced that the 2.9 release will focus mostly on media handling features. They have posted a list of features for consideration and are asking everyone to vote on their favorites.

I applaud them for a great list of useful enhancement ideas, however, I would love to see it approached from a slightly different angle. Continue reading WordPress 2.9 Media Features Voting

GPS Geolocation in Safari on iPhone OS 3.0

I just updated my iPhone to the shiny new OS 3.0. Apple did a great job addressing a few shortcomings and adding new features. Others have already told about the common features so I won’t rehash them here.

But let me tell you about my favorite new feature: Safari can now get your GPS location via javascript! Continue reading GPS Geolocation in Safari on iPhone OS 3.0