Testing, testing…

Woo hoo, I went shopping yesterday. Why the woo hoo? Well, I only went to Office Works to get some cardboard luggage tag type labels and I found those. But I also bought a USB Port Replicator (which I got at a very reasonable price!):


and a label maker:


Why? Well, the port replicator (for a laptop) adds multiple USB sockets and an SD + microSD card reader. I’ve been running out of ports recently and it’s light enough (370g) to take with me when I travel.

The label maker jumped out at me because it makes labels only 3.7mm wide. This is the width (thickness) of slim CD cases, of which I have many! I’ve been looking for a way to make labels for them for ages. As well, its price of $29 was pretty attractive, even if a roll of 3.7mm tape was $24! It’s the old story: sell the razor for $1 but charge $5 for the blades. It can’t be helped.

Think that’s all?

Next stop was Jaycar Electronics to buy two watch batteries ($2.95 each) and while I was there, I had a wander around. Uh oh! Bargain at 5 o’clock, Cap’n.

I went away to Joondalup shops to think about it and guess what? I made up my mind – I bought the bargain:


Back in the 1980s and early 90s we would have walked over hot coals to get the company to buy one of these for us, so as to diagnose and monitor intermittent faults on the increasingly complex gear of the time. No way, the company never had money for new test equipment. In those days, an item like this would have cost in the region of $15,000-$20,000.

Now I’ve got my own. Price? $749, reduced from $1139. Why do I want it? I’ve been trying to get a 1980s vintage Betacam recorder/player going so as to digitise old tapes before they crumble to iron oxide. One of the machines plays in b/w but there’s no colour; to work on it, I need to look into the guts and that requires a gadget like this.

To think I have my own, personal, digital storage oscilloscope! It’s amazing.


I filled my car up with petrol last week (the 18th). That was the first refill since 11th December last year – more than two months. Even though I only get fuel economy of around 12.5-13L/100km, I don’t do many kilometres. Those two months included three trips “south”, i.e. to North Beach and Scarborough, half an hour’s drive, but the rest was just around here. And I’ve also found that on a really long drive at high speed, my fuel economy can be as good as 6.5L/100km. So even though this car is not exactly economical on fuel, overall, it’s fine. Bagus.


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