The Case Of the Too-Hot Transformer

Picture it. Friday night. 22:45. Outside Atlanta, GA. Cold. The wife and I were watching the final episodes of Season One of Burn Notice. Killer show. From the other room came a howl of consternation. Thomas gave it to me straight, “Dad! Can you check our Internet connection? Every website I try to visit gives me an error!” Once the episode ended, I went to work on the problem.

I checked the computer and, sure enough, it wasn’t connecting to the Internet. I then tried to ping one of the computers on the local network and it wasn’t responding, either. I checked the downstairs router and rebooted it, just to be sure. It came back up, but I still couldn’t get through it. I also couldn’t get my iPhone to connect to the router’s WiFi. 

I then headed upstairs to the data center. Actually, it’s my office, but there are a bunch of computers in there. I walked in and immediately noticed that the router (a SonicWall TZ 170) was off. Not good. I unplugged it and plugged it back in. Still bupkus. I then unplugged it and pulled the whole power cord and that’s when I felt it. The transformer in the middle of the cord was hot. I don’t mean slightly warm or somewhat heated. I mean hot as in, “Holy crap! That thing is hot!” 

The quest, then, was to find a replacement power supply amongst the boxes and boxes (and boxes) of old computer stuff that I keep for just such an occasion. I found one that fit and plugged it in. Some of the lights came on, but not all. I unplugged it and reread the label. Oops. The voltage was twice as high as it should have been. I continued looking through my boxes of computer cables and found another with the right size plug and the right voltage and amperage. I plugged it into the router, and up it came. And my wife thought there was no good reason to keep all that junk around. 

So why did the power supply fail/almost melt? I don’t know. It has been running 24/7 since 2004, but I would have expected it to last a bit longer. Oh well, it’s fixed now.

iPhone OS 2.2 – Meh, So Far

I happened to be up and working for the man at 2:00 this morning when I saw a note on Twitter saying that Apple had released version 2.2 of the iPhone OS. Being the fanboy that I am, I immediately started the update process. The whole thing, from first click to iPhone ready-to-use, took about 15 minutes. Not bad, and certainly better than some previous upgrades.

Engadget has a rundown of the new features. One of the biggest additions is Google Street View, which lets you see street-level views while working through driving directions. You can also get walking directions from the Maps app, but since I never walk anywhere, that doesn’t really help me. The rearranging of the URL bar and Google box in Safari is another. You can also download podcasts over the air, but I use my 60 GB iPod for podcast listening, so this feature doesn’t do anything for me, either.

Basically, I’m just hoping that they’ve squashed bugs and made the OS more stable. I love my iPhone, but it does have its problems. I don’t know about everyone else, but I have to reboot my phone about once a week to keep it responsive. I know it’s time to reboot when I’m typing on the keyboard and I’m about 6 letters ahead of what’s shown up.

Oh yeah, Steve has still not decided that we’re worthy of copy & paste. Even though about 99% of iPhone customers are begging for C&P, it’s almost like Steve is keeping C&P away from us out of spite. Maybe in 3.0…