Archos Jukebox Upgrade

One of the advantages of the Archos is that it uses a standard notebook hard drive, specifically a 2.5 inch ATA hard drive (current notebooks use SATA drives which are not the same). So ever since I bought it, I knew there was the tantalizing possibility of upgrading the hard drive to something bigger than the original 20 GB. When I wrote an entry about looking for a cheap used hard drive, Jeb offered up his broken iBooks as possible sources of a new drive. One problem was he didn’t remember how big the hard drives were and Apple doesn’t give iBooks model numbers to help find out (Dell gives every computer a service tag which allows you to at least look up the original configuration for that specific computer).

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Shipped from Hong Kong

This weekend I was contemplating how I could upgrade the hard drive in the Archos. It uses a standard IDE notebook hard drive (2.5″), so I was thinking it should be easy to come across a used 40-80 GB hard drive someplace. The instructions said the drive had to be formatted FAT32, which Windows XP and Vista won’t do on hard drives that size, but older versions of Windows will. It was recommended to get an adapter to connect a 2.5″ drive to a regular computer (3.5″) and format it before swapping the old drive out, but I didn’t have such an adapter and didn’t want to anything for one since I would only use it once.

I went to eBay to look for used notebook hard drives and the search turned up these adapters. They were $1.32 with free shipping! I figured I couldn’t afford *not* to buy one at that price (though later on I found them for 99 cents plus 6 cents shipping; so it always pays to keep looking). I don’t see how they can afford to even send me something in the mail (it’s pretty small though), and it is shipping all the way from Hong Kong.

Still haven’t found a hard drive. I bid $23 plus $7 shipping for a used 60 GB hard drive, but the winning bid was $32.77 plus shipping. That’s crazy! New 500 GB hard drives at Amazon are $90 with free shipping. They are SATA, though, and the Archos won’t support that. Amazon may have some used hard drives for reasonable prices if I look hard enough.

Cell Library Manual

This entry is for something at work and is just so I can remember it later . . .

Using Microsoft Word 2007, modify the Heading 1 and Heading 2 styles by right-clicking the Style on the Home tab and choosing Modify. This brings up the Modify Style dialog box. At the lower left, hold down the Format button and choose Paragraph. In the Paragraph dialog box go to the Line and Page Breaks tab and check the box that says “Page break before”. Do this for both Heading 1 and Heading 2. Heading 1 will be for each chapter and Heading 2 will be each cell.

Anything with Heading 2 will be followed by a picture of the cell and the description and instructions. But the Heading 1 page will blank except for the heading. Instead of having it blank, put a chapter contents table there. To do this you have to make one bookmark that encompasses all the cells in that chapter. So starting with the heading of the first cell, select everything until the end of the chapter, then go under the Insert tab and choose Bookmark. For Chapter 1, call the Bookmark “Section01”. Now click the white space below Heading 1 at the beginning of the chapter and press CTRL+F9 to insert a field. You can’t insert a Table of Contents from the menus because it only lets you have one of those, but you can do it with fields. When you do CTRL+F9 it will put you in a field with curly brackets {} around it. You want to type TOC \b “Section01” \h in between the brackets (\h is needed to make the page numbers hyperlinks when it is converted to a pdf). Then click somewhere else. Now right-click the field and select Update Field and it should give you a table of contents for everything you bookmarked.

I also wanted the manual to have the name of the chapter in the footer of each page. Each chapter starts with a different Heading 1, so click in the the footer and the Header & Footer Tools menu should show up. Hold down the Quick Parts button and choose Field. In the Field dialog box choose StyleRef in the “Field names” list. This brings up another list called “Style name”. Choose Heading 1 from the style names. Now any time you use another instance of Heading 1 as the chapter name, it will show at the bottom of the page.

Archos vs. nano

I have owned both of these MP3 players for a while now. The Archos Jukebox Studio 20 since 2002 and the iPod nano 4G since 2008. I thought I would do a comparative review.

Form factor: The Archos is like a brick, weighing in at 10.2 oz compared to 1.2 oz for the nano. The Archos is 3.1 x 4.4 x 1.2 inches and the nano is 1.5 x3.6 x 0.24 inches. The nano fits in virtually any pocket and the Archos does not. Winner: nano


Display: The Archos has a 1.5 inch monochrome LCD screen with 112 x 64 pixels. The nano’s screen is nicer: 240 x 320 2 inch screen with full color. Both display battery level and have backlighting. Winner: nano

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New Vehicle from GM

Today, the head of General Motors, Barack Obama, announced an exciting new vehicle that will be offered soon. He expects millions of Americans to buy it.

Q: Mr. Obama, what type of vehicle is this? Is it a car?

A: We’re not sure yet. We are pretty sure that it won’t be a car. If you have a car today, you will not need this vehicle. We do not want to compete with automakers.

Q: Will it use gasoline?

A: No. It will be a clean vehicle.

Q: Will it be solar powered?

A: Maybe. Whether we use solar power, gasoline, or any other means of propulsion is still to be decided.

Q: I thought you said it won’t use gasoline?

A: Look, gasoline has served us well in the past and you can get it just about anywhere. You can’t really have a car without gasoline.

Q: Have you done any market research to see if people are interested in this vehicle?

A: We expect to sell 45 million of these vehicles. Because we are going to sell large numbers of vehicles, it seems pointless to do any market research. We will spend several months, if necessary, coming up with the design of this vehicle and then produce millions of them. There is no reason to try out different versions of the vehicle in different markets to see if any improvements can be made to it.

Alan Mullaley, the CEO of Ford Motors had this to say about GM’s new vehicle: “Clearly this is a dangerous vehicle for both its driver and anyone close to it. The government wants to take away everyone’s cars and force them to use these government cars which, as I understand it, will fueled by the blood of retired people. Although I have no information about this car, I am telling you now that it will destroy America.”

Torx Screwdriver Set

To do the Palm repairs I wrote about, I needed some smaller Torx screwdrivers. Ace Hardware had size T3, T4, and T6, and above that, but I needed size T5. I went to Home Depot hoping I could get a set of driver bits or an individual screwdriver for five bucks or so. For $4.87 they had a set of 36 driver bits, an extension arm, and a screwdriver handle. It is called the Husky 36-Piece Precision Screwdriver Set. torxset.jpg In addition to Torx sizes T5, T6, T7, T8, T9, T10, T15, and T20, it had 6 small slotted head bits, 4 philips heads, 3 pozi heads, and 8 hex heads. At that price, and with a lifetime guarantee, how could I go wrong? Besides, that was the only way I saw to get a Torx T5 screwdriver.

The set is in a nice plastic case with each bit held in place and a clear front cover. But as soon as I put one of the bits in the screwdriver, I saw what horrible product design this is. The driver bits don’t snap into place, they just slide in and are fairly loose. So if you hold the screwdriver with the point end down, the bit just falls right out. Put in the extension piece and they all fall apart. They’re not even magnetized or anything. It is such a poor design that I am tempted to take the set back and get my money back (scratch that, I figured it out in Comment 4 below). The good thing is that I needed the T6 size too, so if I had just bought a T5, I would have been out of luck.

Palm Repairs

A couple of weeks ago the switch on my Palm TX stopped working. I did some searching and found a good post on a Palm forum by Woz of Oz (if it is not Apple co-founder and Dances With the Stars contestant Steve Wozniak, it is someone who wants you to think it is him) that said you can use the center button to turn on the Palm and get the clock pop-up, which leaves you in whatever program you were in last (whereas the Calendar, Memo, and other buttons turn the Palm on but take you to those programs). So I have been doing that lately. To turn it off you just wait a minute and it goes off on its own. I’m hoping Apple releases a nice update to the iPod Touch next month and I can use that instead of the Palm.

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Clean Air Champion

Today at work I won an award for being a “Clean Air Champion” (I got a certificate and a coffee mug). As part of the Clean Air Campaign, I have been logging the days where I do a clean commute. And since I take MARTA every day, then pretty much any time I go to work is a clean commute day (twice actually, since I go to work and then go home). The advantage of logging my commute is they have a monthly drawing where you can win a $25 gift card if you participate. I have won at least 3 times, but nothing in the last year.

So I got an e-mail this week saying to meet in the lobby with the other 25,000 pound champions. By their calculations, I have saved 25,000 pounds of pollution with all of the clean commutes I have logged. I did a similar calculation when I wrote about 10 years of MARTA cards, coming up with 2,000 gallons of gasoline saved in 10 years. Now a gallon of gas only weighs 6.3 pounds, so if all of that turned into pollutants, it would only be 12,600 pounds in 10 years. But I found a government website that says one gallon of gasoline actually produces 20 pounds of carbon dioxide when it burns because every carbon atom in the gasoline is combining with two heavier oxygen atoms from the air. So that means in 10 years I saved 40,000 pounds of CO2. And with the time I rode MARTA before I started collecting cards, and the time since I wrote that blog entry, I am probably up to 16 years or more of clean commutes.

So I really am a Clean Air Champion.