Tag Archives | Emergency

…You can fix a wet computer?

Water Computer

Eventually, it’s going to happen: You’re going to spill something on your laptop, or drop your phone in the toilet, and assume that it’s gone to the big gadget graveyard in the sky. However, if you plan ahead and know the steps to take to save your device from a watery grave, there is a chance that you can save it from an early demise, as I recently discovered.

First, let me tell you my story: There is nothing more relaxing than sitting down with a laptop and a nice big cup of hot chocolate and reading through a few long blog posts or catching up on the latest viral videos. Recently however, the computer gods were not smiling down upon me, and after setting a full cup of hot chocolate on the table, I proceeded to reach over and try to type something, catch the top of the glass with my hand, and watch in slow motion as the entire cup poured itself on top of my MacBook’s keyboard. Normally, this would mean the hasty death of an otherwise healthy computer, but with a bit of quick thinking and an emergency, MacGuyver style surgery, I was actually able to save (and in the process clean) the laptop to let it live another day.

Since laptop deaths via liquid destruction seem to be a common occurrence, I wanted to share my experience in hopes that it will someday save you from the same situation and save a laptop from an unplanned bath. (Though I’m writing this after saving a laptop, the steps should work equally well for a cell phone, camera, or any other device that occasionally finds its way into the toilet bowl.)

How to save a soaked gadget:

  1. Unplug the device and take out the battery IMMEDIATELY! – Liquids are not the enemy here, liquids and power are, since that’s what’s going to cause power spikes and short circuits, so be sure to remove any and all sources of power as soon as possible.
  2. Dry the outside of the device – The goal here is to remove any extra liquid that could get into the device once you start taking things apart. Since there will already be some liquid inside, the last thing you want to do is make things worse.
  3. Disassemble the device – Liquid can find its way into the smallest nooks and crannies, so you’ll want to take apart and remove as many pieces and parts as possible so that you can uncover any hidden areas of moisture. For a good source of disassembly (and more importantly, reassembly) guides, check out iFixIt.
  4. Dry the inside of the device – Start with any big areas of wetness, and work your way down into the nooks and crannies. The goal here is to just start drying things, and chances are, even if it doesn’t look wet, it is, so you’ll want to give everything at least one, and preferably multiple rounds of drying. In my case, I used paper towels and cotton swabs, but towels, t-shirts, and even napkins will work as long as they won’t fall apart and leave little pieces of lint/paper/garbage in the device.
  5. Wash what gets dirty – This may seem counter-intuitive, but as I said before, liquid isn’t the enemy here, liquids and power are, so it’s sometimes OK to wash some parts that get especially dirty once you’ve got everything disassembled. Of course you’ll want to be smart about this step, so don’t go sticking your hard drive or your motherboard under the faucet, but for components without a lot of electrical parts, a good wash can do wonders to bring them back to life. In my case, the keyboard had a sticky residue from the chocolate that made all the keys stick while typing, so I removed the keyboard and soaked it in a bath of warm water for about five minutes. When your done washing, you’ll want to dry the part as quickly as possible, since lingering liquids are what will cause rust and other problems down the road. A hair dryer turned to high speeds with low heat works well here for getting all of the liquid out of the small areas, but just do your best to get it as dry as possible as quickly as possible with whatever you have on hand.
  6. Wait – Even after you think everything is dry, there will more than likely be a few areas that are still wet that you didn’t get to, so you’ll want to wait at least 24 hours before putting the device back together to ensure that everything has had a chance to completely dry out. In my case, I put the laptop in front of a fan and let the fan run for a day, but if that’s not an option for you, just give it a little extra time in the open before putting it back together.
  7. Reassemble the device – Once everything is clean and dry, you just need to put it back together and see if all of your quick thinking and hard work has paid off. Typically everything is going to go back on in the reverse order of how it came off, but be sure to check back with your instructions for any details.
  8. Test the device – Cross your fingers, close your eyes, and press the power button. In the best-case scenario, the device will turn on immediately and act like nothing ever happened. In the worst-case scenario, the device will do nothing, and you’ll now have a very expensive paperweight on your hands. In that case, you can sometimes still save some of the parts for a last ditch effort, such as a laptop screen that you can swap onto a laptop from eBay with a broken screen, but other than that, you’ve now sacrificed a device to the water gods.

If you’re not willing or able to take your device apart due to lack of skills, tools or both, the next best bet is to remove any source of power (power plug and battery) and then just let the device sit for a few days before turning it on again. I’ve also heard of situations where people put their device in a container full of rice for a day or two and had that work, since the rice draws out the moisture, so you might want to try that as well. In any case, it’s at least worth trying to save your gadget, so don’t just assume that because it got a little wet that it’s never going to work again.

…The Pocket Shark will kill you?

Pocket Shark

The Pocket Shark is as much a self-defense weapon as it is a pen!

Designed to be “the biggest, baddest permanent marker around”, it’s made from glass-reinforced plastic, and features walls that are four times thicker than similar markers.

What this means is that it’s designed for impact, and in an emergency can become an efficient Yawara stick for driving off an attacker. Plus, the screw-top cap won’t pop off like other caps in the heat of battle.

It’s definitely more than just a regular pen, but then again, who wants just a regular pen anyways?

[Pocket Shark]

[Via: Gizmodo]

…It’s Tuner Tuesday: Cadillac One?

Cadillac One

When Obama goes for his inaugural ride in the Cadillac One, he’ll be the most protected president to date thanks to a slew of new safety features.

The president’s limo has always been designed to keep him safe in all but the most dire of circumstances, and this one is no different, as its designed to protect against armor-piercing bullets, projectiles, biochemical attacks, and even bombs that manage to find their way underneath the vehicle.

How much armor will be keeping the Cadillac One safe?

Try five inch thick steel under the car; Kevlar reinforced, shred and puncture-resistant tires with steel backup rims for tire-less high speed escapes; A foam filled gas tank that prevents an explosion, even if it suffers a direct hit; Eight inch thick doors that weigh more than the cabin door on a 757; and bullet proof glass in every window that will stop nearly any bullet that finds its way towards the car.

In addition, the vehicle features night vision cameras, a firefighting system, oxygen generators, shotguns, tear gas cannons, a collection of GPS and communications devices, and even a few pints of the presidents blood should he need an emergency transfusion en route to a hospital.

Don’t expect to see the president making guest appearances at any local drag strips however, since the car takes a full 15 seconds to get to 60 mph, and has reached its top speed once it gets there. Plus, he’d have a tough time getting home since the car gets just 8 mpg.

There are probably plenty of other capabilities that we’ll never know about, but it’s good to know that Obama will be riding around in what amounts to a bomb shelter on wheels when he hits the streets.

[Via: Jalopnik]

…Money Wallets can be made at home?

Money Wallet

Got $20 (in ones) and 20 minutes?

Then you can make your very own Money Wallet using the semi-easy to follow instructions on MoneyWallet.org

Sure, it’ll take you a little bit of time to make the wallet by hand (they also offer to make one for you for $49.99, but that sounds like a silly offer, so just give it a go and see what you can do on your own) and it’s not exactly the most secure wallet that you can use, but if you ever run out of what’s inside, then just disassemble for extra emergency funds in times of need.


[Money Wallet]

[Via: Zoomdoggle]

…Survival Straps will save your life?

Survival Straps

If the USB camera strap wasn’t quite your style, then maybe this Survival Strap will be more to your liking.

Surviaval Straps are made from military issue 550# paracord, which means they’re designed to hold up to 550 pounds without breaking, and feature a marine-grade stainless steel shackle to hold everything all together.

When needed (in case of emergency just unravel the strap, and you’ve got between 15 and 20 feet of rope at your disposal. Use it for climbing down a cliff, building a shelter, or any of the other things that watching Survivorman on Discovery has got you thinking that you can do.

Plus, if you want to be strapped, but don’t want a bracelet, you can get your survival paracord as an anklet, keyfob, rifle sling, cross, watch strap, dog collar, belt, and more. They customizable with up to 30 different colors, and they can even add letters in sterling silver on the bracelets and anklets if you’d like.

Lastly, if you ever actually have to us the strap, just send it back to the company once you return (safely) home with a story of your disaster, and they’ll happily braid you a new one, free of charge.

[Survival Straps]

[Via: Uncrate]