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Toys

La-Z-Boy's E-Cliner 109

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-ok-why-not dept.
Alec Muzzy writes: "La-Z-Boy has finally realized that there is a market for geeks. A new chair called The E-Cliner they've developed features a built-in wireless keyboard from Sony as well as a data port and surge protector for your laptop. As if that wasn't cool enough, the arm rests have storage compartments for beverages and remote controls! All this chair is missing is a retractable LCD monitor and a set of satellite speakers behind the head rest!" Kurt The Pope moved out last week, and I just bought a recliner to replace the one he took with him ... if only I had known to hold out for a few weeks. I like the outlet idea: One time I got my laptop's power cable stuck in the retractable footrest. Sparks went flying and the metal supports sliced into the cable. It was sweet, except for the part where I had to wait a week to have electricity for my laptop ... but why does this chair have to come with 6 months of WebTV?
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La-Z-Boy's E-Cliner

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  • by angelo (21182)
    Just when I find a reason to get off my lazy ass, either Herman Miller someone designs something to keep it there.
  • by .@. (21735) on Wednesday January 10, 2001 @05:51AM (#516955) Homepage
    It's proprietary. I almost bought two, until the salesperson informed me I couldn't get it without the WebTV subscription, I couldn't get it without the WebTV hardware, and I couldn't get it with just a normal, flat workspace instead of the dug-out, form-fitting space that holds the WebTV keyboard.

    And if it's so WebTV specific, why the hell do you need a phone jack, Ethernet jack, and power outlet in the chair? You *won't* be using a laptop; you've got WebTV! You're FORCED to have it! That's the whole point of the chair!

    I think that, at some point, this was going to be a very nice generic chair, and then M$ insisted on the WebTV exclusivity, completely ruining it.

    I considered removing the fold-out arm that holds the keyboard and replacing it with something else, but it's a fairly custom job, and you'd end up needing to machine some parts to get a decent quality substitute. Not worth $1,000 a pop for all the trouble. I'll hack hardware, but I don't have a burning desire to redesign furniture.
  • Hmm, let's see... whole body slumped down, leaning forward to see the screen... arms stretched to the keyboard... I'd give you a week before you're screaming in pain.

    On the other hand, a sturdier (i.e. not plush but rather wood, or thinly padded) recliner or even better rocking chair could work, provided you can place the keyboard exactly right and could get the monitor close enough to your face.

    Check out Adjustable Keyboard Podiums [akp-inc.com](I don't work for them, yada yada..) They might help you set up a healthy workstation from a recliner.

  • Leather/Vynl for $1200, sweet... now I can pay over a grand to sit on plastic and not have it be in a car or a lawyer's office.
  • The Keyboard looks just like the one I picked up for $10 at active surplus here in toronto, I haven't go a standard IR port on my machine to test it yet. if it's in fact the same KB, its actually a remarked from a korean manufacturer whose name I don't quite remember ATM
  • Has this been around last year, the DotComGuy would have put it into a good use.

    For example, with a few more modification, he would have been able to spend the entire year stuck to his chair. :-)

  • by one.earth (225932) on Wednesday January 10, 2001 @05:53AM (#516960)
    Anyone else think that Lazy Boy Explorer is an oxymoron?
  • Actually, this [not intended to flame Microsoft, honest] is probably the most in character thing Microsoft has pulled off.

    Windows is the La-Z-Boy of operating systems [actually it an environment, such as sofa, TV, old dog Tray at your feet, remote control in right hand, bag of crisps in left, can of Old Milwaukee on a coaster to your right.] It's comfortable for the folk who do not want to get in depth with Linux [something for the more creative and agile of mind which requires strenuous effort, such as opening a book and reading it] or something else the uninitiated can't used straight out of the box [well, OK, it crashes at times and does the BSoD which can cause a few axons to fire and a bead of sweat to form.]

    This is where Microsoft wants to take you today! Really! No kidding! If you doubt my word, then ask yourself, "Why does Microsoft want to network my 'fridge?"

    --

  • Microsoft would bundle an offer for WebTV with newborn children, if only Bill Gates could figure out how to pitch to the allmighty creator .

    And if BG could talk to the four horsemen of myth in a particular religious belief, then Microsoft would make you migrate to WebTV with Microsoft-branded plague, famine, pestilence and death.

    That's why the chair comes with WebTV.
  • Hhm.. have you ever seen those chairs that give you a back massage with a variety of options? I would like to see such features (but programmable and controllable from a computer) in this kind of chair.

    Hhm :-)

    Moz.
  • ... but why does this chair have to come with 6 months of WebTV?

    Actually, it depends on whether you read the "featured products" page or the "latest from la-z-boy" page. The featured products page specifies 2 months of WebTV while the other page specifies 6 months.
  • This moves us closer to the possibility of never having to leave our computer desks. Does anyone foresee a model that provides food intake and handles human waste products?
  • Can someone please tell me what this "data adapter" that magically speeds my Internet access from 56Kbps to 112-168Kbps is?

    Or is it just a high-octane phone jack, therefore the marketing pitch, "If your phone and modem could go faster, then this chair can keep up with it!*FCC Regulations prevent transmission speeds to 53Kbps, so really, you're never going to get any faster. But, if you did, we'd be right beside you."

    Or is it a low-octane Ethernet RJ-45 port? Then, I guess the marketing pitch would be "Now that you've got high-speed cable/DSL/satellite Internet access, you can slow it down to a crawl with the new Explorer chair!"

    Or, a wireless networking port...which would actually be kinda cool. But it would be nice if they included that info for me....

  • The only thing that would make it better would be one of those split keyboards with half on each armrest (ala this one [cornell.edu] from Cornell.)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's not a recliner but when I came home for Christmas my parents suprised me a 1950's retro slant back chair for laptop's. It's got a stainless steel book rack on the left side, power outlet and phone jack on the rightside, and a table that can be inserted into the top of either arm. It was $699, but my mother said that she bought it for less than $200 because no one wanted one. For another $300 you can get an ottoman that opens up. Which I'm sure can be converted into a cooler. :-)
  • ROTFLMAO!!

    I haven't heard that one before.. it's good one though. Funniest post in this article..


    --
  • There is an article at Reuters [reuters.com] about how Microsoft is teaming up with Leggo [reuters.com] to formulate games for MSN and Microsoft's upcoming Xbox video game console. The scariest part is at the end of the article.
    "Microsoft's MSN has also recently struck deals with the Walt Disney Interactive Group, Viacom Inc.'s Nickelodeon kids cable television network, and espresso empire Starbucks Corp."
    Yeah, that's what we need. Gates Empire teaming up with Uncle Walt's Empire and Mega-Mega giant Starbucks to bring you 'MSN at Night' re-runs. Be afraid. Be very very afraid.
  • Well, yeah [autopc.com]. What'd you expect from a company as innovative as Microsoft?

    And if you hate Flash that much, you whiners can go here [autopc.com] for more details.
  • I wish I were in the Treadmill market because I'd love to build one from the ground up.
    I'd love to have a treadmill with a built in display (or maybe even a touch screen) to connect to a computer.

    Include a USB heart monitor device (for a chest strap), with some software to passively control heart rate via speed/incline adjustments). Build & sell this, and you'd have a real winner. With prices falling all the time, it could possibly be cheaper to manufacture than the existing hardware based solutions on today's treadmills.

    Moderate me -1 offtopic if you must, but
    The LAST think I need is an excuse to sit more often!
  • Yeah, real men *do* use insulation when testing. The stuff I fix will kill you if you look at it the wrong way.

    You can use insulation if you need to, but a *real* geek wouldn't look at something the wrong way. Feh.

    ...will knock the empty Pepsi can on your desk onto it...

    I don't understand. Why would a real geek have an empty Pepsi can on the desk? Empty Jolt, perhaps. Or an (insulated) empty bottle of Bawls, sure.

    If the soldering iron is symbolic of the quality of the notebook, yeah, I can see that the manufacturer might have scrimped...

    If your beverage is symbolic of the quality of your geektitude, yeah, I can see you having some problems.
  • Really, that was my first reaction to the word e-cliner. Just goes to show that fiction better run hard; reality is catching up.

    So if this is an e-cliner, what's a cliner then?
  • Decent rubber chest waders can hold about 3 gallons of liquid when you don't wear anything underneath them.

    Just be sure to cinch the chest band tight to avoid leakage over the top.
  • by scotay (195240) on Wednesday January 10, 2001 @05:37AM (#516976)
    Unfortunately, if your move chair.NET into another room, you will have to reregister your license.

    One client access license is required for each set of butt cheeks to use the chair.

    If you don't purchase a client access license within 90 days, chair.NET will grow a series of wheeled legs, much like professor Frink's AT-5000 auto-dialer, so the chair can effectively exit any situations that might violate the licensing agreement.
  • by Fjord (99230)
    If they built a toilet in, I'd never leave the seat!
  • by Wiener (36657) on Wednesday January 10, 2001 @05:38AM (#516978)
    Great! Now my ass can get 17x the mass of Jupiter [slashdot.org] too!
  • i don't think any geeks would get this, well they prolly would rip out the webtv keyboard and make it run linux.
    Linux Takes Control of the M$ laz-e-cliner, it will now work for more than an hour without a blue screen.
  • Is an 802.11 adapter in the base and instead of running phone lines and ethernet and power to it, you can just run power and do VoIP to get to a phone line... but who really needs phones this day in age? Besides... we've all got mobiles.

    -Chris
    ...More Powerful than Otto Preminger...
  • No matter how many features it has it still won't feed & walk your dog. And whoever owns a chair like this surely won't want to get off of it. Pets are doomed :(
  • Microsoft's obsession with the name "Explorer" goes beyond their web browsers. The default shell (i.e. the GUI) is called "Explorer." The file bowser is called "Explorer." Their web browser (as you've mentioned) is called "Explorer."

    This naming convention stems from the fact that each application stems from a single source, possibly within the kernel (or so I have been told). They are different views on the same thing.

    I'm not exactly sure what this has to do with the chair... I'd imagine you're right about associating anything to do with the Internet to the word "Explorer" (and MS by secondary association, of course).

    So... There you have it.

    -Chris
  • $1,049 in fabric and $1,299 in leather and vinyl is what C|Net is reporting [cnet.com].

    BigCat79
  • A followup to our friendly AC..
    True geeks don't get incoming calls! (Sorry.. ;)
  • You may be thinking of the Floating Arms Keyboard from Workplace Designs. It uses two keyboard sections, one attached to each armrest, and includes a trackpad and numeric keypad for the right hand. It can be purchased with a chair or separately.

    Now called the Interfaces Keyboard, it is currently available from Interfaces by Cramer [ergointerfaces.com]. Even with the chair, it's not the $8 to $10 thousand you remember, but at up to $965 it's not cheap either.

  • If you don't mind lots of false alarms after that big chili dinner...
  • Nah...forget Star Trek...forget the couch potato crap...if you want a really cool chair, you'd get an Aeron [hermanmillerred.com] chair from Herman Miller [hermanmiller.com]. Best chair ever.
  • Is add the toilet in the middle like Homer Simpson did and I am never getting up again. :)

    -Shieldwolf
  • No, the thing I was thinking of had the input devices fully integrated into the furniture. The price may have been bundled with some other goodies, like a wall display. It was sometime back, so I don't remember.

    Thanks for the reply - interesting stuff. Someone should mod it up as informative.

    OK,
    - B
    --

  • It should have a Ethernet connection in the arm along with the Phoneline, what with the Broadband Craze. Also, MS has to put the nose in on everything and make a MSN $400 rebate or some junk, I hate that.
  • to the blue screen of death...

  • ... but why does this chair have to come with 6 months of WebTV?


    Obviously to target sales to that new breed, the "Joe Sixpack" geek.

    Trickster Coyote
    Howl at the moon.

  • From my local Salesman: "Nine and change for Fabric, Fourteen and change for Leather". I didn't want that Athlon system anyway!

    /(o\ I'm not a medievalist - I just play one on weekends!

  • Well this is a step in the right direction, I guess. But I was wondering, is there any interest out there for building cases that are actually Footstools/Ottomans?

    I've been pondering building my next computer in one of those huge ottomans (with LOTS of fans for airflow) and then taking the matching chair and adapting a table (like they show) for an IR keyboard and mouse. They're on the right track putting ethernet jacks and power outlets in the arm rests. This will catch on with laptop execs, once they ditch the provided net service.

    Surfing in style.
  • by jessh (144140)
    Youll have to talk to Homer about that. Jess(with yet another useless and offtopic simpsons reference)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You want the chair I have which looks exactly like this one, is made by La-Z-Boy but has a answering machine in the right side and built in upper-lower back massager with heat. I'm not making this up. It was about $700 a couple years ago. The answering machine plate has a phone port already and can be modified to include a RJ-45 plug next to it. Run that out to your wall jack. I also have a headphone jack. I think you'll find the fold out tray a hassle when you get up and down. I use a Mac PB on a piece of honeycombed aluminum with foam and just set it in my lap (lap-top ...get it?). Then when you want to get up you just yank the Enet cable, sleep the PB, set it to the side, get up and go. At my house it's know as "the super chair" ... and indeed it is.
  • ... but why does this chair have to come with 6 months of WebTV?

    Because it's a consumer-level product ... not an enthusiast, or early-adopter level product. It's not being made for the Slashdot crowd.

    Personally, I'd rather have no keyboard and WebTV, and just a nice holder/tray for my laptop.

  • They have a multi-billion dollar company and all they can do is make recliners? Who knows, maybe they will soon be broken up by the recliner anti-trust team.
  • We are truly living in the decline of Western Civilization...
  • well, according to the story, microsoft is in on it too and they are the one's including the web tv. more proof that they are "not a monopoly".
  • This chair sucks. How am I supposed to play Freeciv for 18 hours straight if every three hours I gotta go to the restroom?

    I can pass 18 hours without eating (although a small fridge would be a nice addition, it isn't necessary), but without peeing is too much. I'm still not a Borg, mind you.

    --
    Death to Vermin.

  • If this thing looked like the Captain's (picard, that is) chair on the Enterprise, I'd buy it. The e-Cliner one would just give me bad-airplane-travel-feedback.
  • Add a motor, battery, rack chassis, and castor set, and you've got one kickass lan party entrance.
  • "Microsoft Web TV® Plus Interactive Service Access the Internet right through your TV with e-mail, chat, instant messaging, simplified VCR recording, interactive TV programs and more. Includes Sony WebTV Plus receiver, Sony Wireless keyboard, and 2 free months of WebTV Plus service. "

    They Should let you hook it up to your computer and use tv out off your video card. Or at least have the option. I don't want to spend $1000+ and still have to pay for webtv on top of my isps fees. That sucks
  • Buyer beware: La-Z-Boy's warranty is not what it once was. My wife and I got identical recliners a few years back from La-Z-Boy. Hers had some serious manufacturing problems and is now sitting as a stack of parts (with perfect fabric). They came out a couple of times and used electric drills and bolts to try to strap it together; it finally fell to pieces and they won't do anything about it.
    And, no, she ain't heavy. I'm heavier and my chair is OK.
    Her replacement chair, needless to say, was not from La-Z-Boy. That one's holding up just fine.
  • Like something seriously worth hacking into and putting in a real computer.
  • I understand the wireless keyboard is for the WebTV unit...kinda making it useless.
  • ...with few more modification and its users don't even have to get up!

    I think Microsoft is trying a "bit" too hard to get into the consumer market.

    This may hurt my "karma" but I couldn't resist myself not posting. :-)
  • Yep, I believe it was called the Napper Crapper 2000, or something like that. The toilet may be a little tricky, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the fridge show up on a future model. Gee, I wonder if you could have it set up to automatically place an order with Kozmo when the beer runs low. On second thought, maybe the engineers ought to put a little more effort into getting that toilet in there somehow.
  • About 5(?) years ago, I saw a review of a similar product will fully adjustable armrests, two-part keyboard and thumb-operated trackball mouse integrated into the armrests, wireless interface to the box, etc. Black leather. It cost about $8-10K at the time, IIRC.

    Anyway, this sounds neat, too, even if my wife would shoot me for getting one. ;)

    OK,
    - B
    --

  • Is 2-3x faster than a phone line. Just having a special chair will make my downloads fast! oh boy.
  • Can't see from the pictures - is the cool-looking Sony keyboard proprietary to a WebTV unit, or a generic PC-compatible unit?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ewwwwwwwww, it seems like EVERYTHING comes with internet service these days
  • 1. Coffee maker 2. Steaming water tap for making Ramen soup 3. Phone for calling pizza delivery 4. pr0n printer 5. One of those jacks for brain-tap phalluces like in The Matrix 6. Foot massager 7. Motorized wheels for the luxury-seeking Steven Hawkings of the world 8. Electrocution helmet
  • Will a Sony Wireless Keyboard work with real computers? If so just give the webtv to your least favorite neighbor and enjoy your new recliner with true internet access!
  • built in mini-frig/cooler job.

    For the ultimate in overclocking!!! Built in liquid nitrogen bath for your motherboard!!!

    Strong data typing is for those with weak minds.

  • If you remember the movie "stay tuned", they featured a recliner with a built-in toilet, and on the side featured a mini-fridge.
  • The eClliner has all these features, yet it doesn't have a simple back massage? I wonder what kind of market they were trying to hit.
  • Three things make up each person: mind, body, and soul. Currently, Microsoft owns the public's mind with it's Windows products. The La-Z-Boy is a move to control the body. And I just uncovered this document that confirms my suspicions. Microsoft is looking to acquire the Catholic church [msu.edu]- making this the 3rd piece to their puzzle of world domination.

    Be afraid, be very afraid... or amused- whichever you tend to do in the presence of sarcasm.

  • And as long as we're going to be this lazy, we might as well put some wheels and a motor on this thing...
  • Why couldn't they have included a surge protector for the user as well? It's about the only thing that'll save my fat arse when blipverts start coming out.
    --
  • So is there no attempt to reverse engineer the infra red/radio protocal these keyboards use?... Webtv keyboard --> little box o trix --> Linux box
  • Am I the only one who remembers the joke about Microsoft going into the furniture biz.... Seems one day the Redmond PR machine called a press conference to announce that they were going into the e.furniture biz. That morning select high profile members of the MS community had woken up to find an advance copy of the new MS Hotseat on their front doorstep. It soon turned out that the collective response was to yawn and go back to bed. Intrigued, the media started inquiring as to the reason for the lack of interest. One Dalton Nebish of Park City, Utah, well known pencil necked geek and M$ adherent, encapsulated the community's thoughts quite neatly by stating that "This is nothing revolutionary or even new, I mean its not like its the first time Microsoft has shipped a shrink-wrapped stool sample"
  • Actually the link said 2months of Web TV.. but yeah that's pretty lame regardless - just M$ trying to get a little free publicity. Still though nice chair .. just needs the shiatsu massage rollers and a fridge but other than that it's pretty nifty.
  • I haven't checked the archives but has anyone hacked WebTV for Linux yet? If so, it wouldn't be so bad that it comes with WebTV. You just have to avoid that 6 month subscription somehow. And is it really any surprise to anyone that Microsoft has weaseled their way into our family rooms now. First the offices, then the family rooms, soon the kitchens and bedrooms. I can't wait for the Microsoft clock - yeah, the one that needs restarted every 6 hours or so. What an excuse to miss work, "Sorry sir, my clock crashed and I was sleeping so I couldn't reboot it!"
  • Personally, I'd rather have no keyboard and WebTV, and just a nice holder/tray for my laptop.

    Well, then you may be interested in JC Penny's e^z chair [jcpenneyfurniture.com]. It features a foldaway aluminum tray on the right or left and built-in electrical and phone jacks. Sadly, it does not offer RJ-45, but neither does it come with WebTV or a proprietary keyboard.

  • This whole thing smells of proprietary MSFT tactics. I don't think La-Z-Boy came up with this at all. MSFT most likely paid them to do this and expensed it in the marketing budget. Why else would there be this requirement for WebTV?
    A flip out LCD and built-in speakers would have kicked butt. Maybe I'll do that with one of my I-Openers and one of my La-Z-Boys....
    They've done a damn good job of assimilating the office and now it's time to assimilate the home.

    IMHO.

    LoB
  • Microsoft and Legos? The X-box? The La-Z-Boy Explorer? Aren't these the same bozos that have been calling Linux "the toy operating system" for a couple of years now?

    Looks like they've found their market at long last.

  • They used Web Explorer for a browser before MS.

    I wonder if Ford pays royalties to use the name Explorer (even though there would be no reason to).

  • This just seemed too silly to pass up: "Imagine a beowulf cluster of these things"

  • qUOTED (oops, caps lock) from article:

    Sparks went flying and the metal supports sliced into the cable. It was sweet, except for the part where I had to wait a week to have electricity for my laptop ...

    [sigh]

    You're not a real geek if you don't own at least two soldering irons.

    Yessir, about a 25W Ungar iron-clad tip soldering iron, a little bit of Kester 40 rosin-core solder, a few inches of heat shrink tubing. About five minutes, and you're all set to do battle against Microsoft again.

    Dabblers use electrical tape. Real professional geeks use heat shrink tubing.

    Besides, notebook computers don't make sparks. Tesla coils make sparks [teslasystems.com].

  • Hello? This is slashdot! Anyone caught posting anything Microsoft-related would be subjected to endless BSOD torture.
  • My initial, gut-most reaction is: when (not if) the MS part of the chair crashes, will the recliner part go haywire and fold you into a pretzel?

  • by quonsar (61695) on Wednesday January 10, 2001 @04:31PM (#517034) Homepage

    ummm, there's just one small problem [meepzorp.com]...

    "I will gladly pay you today, sir, and eat up

  • by tupawk (220841) on Wednesday January 10, 2001 @07:11AM (#517035)
    "features a built-in wireless keyboard"

    Kinda defeats the whole purpose of wireless doesnt it?

  • A few months ago I bought LZB's "Oasis" ...fridge, massage, phone.

    Also got wireless keyboard & mouse, and -- not a retractable monitor -- but an old projector. (aim it at the baseboards of the wall for best neck angle.)

    I recommend it.
  • Then, when it tries to escape, I'll break it's wheeled legs off and haul it back in the house =)
  • >I'll hack hardware, but I don't have a burning desire to redesign furniture.


    Doesn't Hacker [tuxedo.org] Originally Mean One Who Works With Furniture?
    --------------------
  • Why didn't they put a toilet in it too? That's what every nerd needs... maybe a portable refrigerator too. :-/
  • Nope, you don't have to route the keyboard wire from the chair to your computer. :^)
  • As is instantly evident to anyone who reads the page, it's not called the "E-cliner". It's called the "Explorer". E-cliner is just a lame pun they use to describe it.

    I imagine this name was Microsoft's idea, because anything internet-related seems to have this same name: Internet Explorer, MSN Explorer, now the La-Z-Boy Explorer.. why can't they come up with a new name once in a while?
  • Hello,
    La-Z-Boy has had storage compartments in the arms for a while. In fact one could get a built in mini-frig/cooler job.
  • I knew this looked familiar. Check out this article on zdnet [zdnet.com] dated April 7, 2000.
  • Oh yeah? I 'designed' one of these 10 years ago.. my senior year in High School.. Maybe I could sue for idea theft :) IP infringement. Hey, it was in my head first. (Assuming i can still find the papers describing my chair)
  • Let's see, There is this Lazy boy echair project. MS is also designing their own napster clone as reported on the Register here [theregister.co.uk]. They have also formed a strategic alliance with LEGO as seen here [theregister.co.uk]. I am sure there are many more such examples. among other things, MS is famous for buying out companies with cool technologies that never again see the light of day.

    It reminds me of the kid in the neighborhood who keeps wanting to be cool, but hasn't got a clue. This is the same kid who only has friends because daddy has money, and he can buy stuff.

    It is really sad.

    because the right way to be is not to try to be like someone else.

    In other words, get your own life, don't try to rent, buy, or steal someone elses'.

  • Like something seriously worth hacking into and putting in a real computer.

    I'll say. This is useless for me, since I don't have webTV. I do have an old video out card, and would grab one of these bad boys in an instant if I could be assured that the wireless keyboard, etc., would work with my blazing home-built.
  • You've obviously never shorted out a notebook power supply. I cut the wire on mine by accident and it was plugged into the wall. Gave myself a nice zap even through the plasit insulation on the cutting pliers, and thoroughly destroyed the power supply for some reason. The thing started to smoke. I did break out my $7 Radio Shack soldering iron and got to work soldering the wire back together (REAL men don't use any insulation at all before testing :P) and it just didn't work.

  • Yes folks! You too can own the latest in

    • imitation leather
    • browse the internet with an imitation browser
    • run on an imitation OS
    • and enjoy your imitation life!

    ---------

    Umm, no. Thank you.


    --


  • Gave myself a nice zap even through the plasit insulation on the cutting pliers, and thoroughly destroyed the power supply for some reason. The thing started to smoke.

    Hmmm... They're switching supplies. Generally, when you overload them, the shut right down with no damage done. I can't say that I've had this problem many times - I spend extra to buy good quality stuff and then I take good care of it - but even on some of the notebook power supplies I've come across at work (and surplus stores; notebook PSUs are very useful), I can't say that I've ever seen one that should misbehave when you short it.

    I did break out my $7 Radio Shack soldering iron and got to work soldering the wire back together (REAL men don't use any insulation at all before testing :P) and it just didn't work.

    The $7 soldering iron is at least half your problem. If the soldering iron is symbolic of the quality of the notebook, yeah, I can see that the manufacturer might have scrimped and neglected to put in regulators that shut down when overloaded.

    Yeah, real men *do* use insulation when testing. The stuff I fix will kill you if you look at it the wrong way. And the stuff that won't, bad things happen anyway.

    It never fails that when you have an uninsulated piece of wire hanging across the desk is also exactly when a big truck is going to drive by your house and the vibrations will knock the empty Pepsi can on your desk onto it. Or the cat will come by. Or your roommate's girlfriend's hellion of a 6-year-old son. Or, you'll be checking out the device under test with your good Fluke 77 multimeter, and unseen, one of the test leads will drag the connection you should have insulated onto a screwdriver.

  • by beebware (149208) on Wednesday January 10, 2001 @05:29AM (#517058) Homepage
    The Register also has a story [theregister.co.uk] along with a link to a picture [newscom.com] at Newscom.com
    beebware [beebware.com]
    Richy C.
  • Can I set the chair to "vibrate" when I get an incoming call?
    --
    MailOne [openone.com]
  • Coincidentally I just rearranged the office because my wife has been saying that the room needs a recliner! But I didn't see a price on this thing anywhere. Anybody got a clue?

    d

  • by typical geek (261980) on Wednesday January 10, 2001 @05:33AM (#517062) Homepage
    Bear with me here.

    Invent recliner that appeals to geeks and is easily modified to keep geeks in a reclined position for hours at time.

    Watch as geeks' weight increases, heart rate increases and general health decreases.

    Geeks no longer have stamina to code all night long, Linux development slows down.

    Microsoft vanquishes another competitor.

    Whatever we do, don't let Linus or Alan Cox get one.

The reason that every major university maintains a department of mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people.

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