Showing posts from June, 2005

How to fix a walkman with a dodgy headphone socket

Last christmas I treated to myself to a dirt cheap 256MB mp3 player from Hong Kong for about 45 euros. (Less than 1/4 of what Irish retailers were charging for the same thing at the time, including postage). Its a nice little player, but like a lot of cheap electronic equipment it isn't the most resilient.

The other day I found that the headphone socket was opting out. Its a problem I previously had on a sturdy sony walkman I had for about 8 years. I think I paid 25 pounds at the time for what turned out to be an incredibly simple repair.

I opened up the case and found that there are 4 tiny contacts around the earphone socket, 3 of which had come away from their solder.

So I took out my soldering iron and soldered them back together. Put the walkman back together after the solder dried. And what do you know - problem fixed!

Why we need a reappraisal of public transport policy

Its desperately needed in Dublin where nowadays you cannot turn around a corner at any hour of the day, any day of the week, between 07:00 and 20:00 without hitting a 20 minute delay. Its turned extremely critical in the last couple of years, and yet incredibly, aside from the LUAS project, there has been little effort to improve the situation.First of all the councils and Dublin Bus executive need to be taken out and publicly horsewhipped from Bray to Balbriggan and back. 24hr bus lanes where the bus routes only run - at best - 18hrs a day. Bus lanes built but then extra services not added to use them. Dangerous and badly planned cycle lines that endanger cyclists using them. Rail services that shutdown at weekends for several months a year due to "improvements" that are basically only station extensions which could be done far quicker by simply suspending the entire route for a month or so, causing far less disruption. The absence of a Sunday service in most of the country…

Eating Well for Shift Workers

I've been reading some "advice" on eating whilst on shift and to be honest, there is a load of crap.

For a start, one suggestion is to "maintain your regular meal times". Load of baloney. If you get out of bed at 2pm, eat lunch, have dinner at six and then work a whole 12 hour shift on an empty stomch you'll either a) get huge cravings and end up eating lots of crappy foods or b) fall asleep halfway through the shift. Plus eating breakfast and then going straight to bed is surefire disaster - you'll upset your sleep and very possibly end up with indigestion. Any sugars and fats ingested get little opportunity to burn off so you'll also end up putting on weight.

My suggestion is to maintain eating hours as if you were working during the day. For example, eat something as soon as you wake up, and don't eat less than 4 hours before bedtime. Here's my suggestion for a 12 hours shift working 7 to 7:

Wake up time 3-4pm
Eat a "lunch" li…

10 Ways to burn the blubber

Since I've knocked off nearly 30 pounds of excess poundage in the last 4 months, I'm going to do a quick 101 on dieting. I'm stunned when reading stuff like and irishhealth forums, how much ignorance there is about weight loss, especially amongst women. I think what has happened is that the last few years of aggressive marketing by those selling cosmetic treatments and pseudosurgical "solutions", as well as the now huge diet supplement industry, have managed to brainwash huge numbers of the (particularly female) population into believing their armchair weight loss bullshit.

There are two myths I constantly see:

1. Weight loss pills can solve your weight problem, regardless of diet, exercise and lifestyle.
2. Cosmetic surgery and pseudo-medical treatments can solve your weight problem, regardless of diet, exercise and lifestyle.

Both are utterly wrong, and expensive mistakes to make. Bake in the 1980s I remember my mother going to a beautician for Slenderto…