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Trop tard!

This part is in French. Read it in English.

Mon banque est La Banque Postale. Comme le nom indiqué, elle est un partie du group de La Poste. Des temps en temps, avec un partenaire ADLPartner, elles offrir des avantages. Pour exemple, j'inscris au un magazine pour ma maman et reçu comme cadeau une petit tablette Android - l'un qui j'utilise d'écrire cet texte.

Voici, un scan d'un lettre. Avec un inscription d'un magazine au bon prix, je peut gagne un voyage aux Îles Maurice, ou €20,000. Aussi quelque-chose d'un smartphone S10.
J'ai indiqué deux choses importantes en magenta...

Lettre (en francise)

Ce lettre est datée le 14 avril, et le date limite pour le operation est clairement le 25 mai.

Il arrive ici hier, le 28 mai.

Donc, alors, un selection que je ne peut pas participer - c'est comme Brexit, non? ☺

Il y deux chose à remarquer - le premier est le vacance aux Îles Maurice. Un choix un peu bizarre dans le milieu d'un pandémie, non?
Le deuxiéme, c'est sûrement pas bon publicité pour les services postales de ne livrer pas avant de l'expiration de cet operation. Je sais bien qui tout est dérangée a cause de la pandémie, mais comme même, ceci est médiocre.

Le reste de cet page est en anglais...


Too late!

I bank with La Banque Postale. As the name implies, it is a part of the post office group. From time to time, with a partener called ADLPartner, they offer some advantages. For example, I subscribed to a magazine for my mother and received as a gift the Android tablet that I am using to write this.

In the French bit above is a scan of a letter. With a magazine subscription at an advantageous price, I could with a holiday in Mauritius, or twenty thousand euros. There's also something about an S10 smartphone.
I indicated two important points in magenta...

This letter is dated 14 avril or the 14th of April, and the closing date of the operation is clearly shown as 25 mai or the 25th of May.

It arrived here yesterday, the 28th of May.

Thus, look, a selection in which I couldn't participate - just like Brexit, eh? ☺

There are two things worth commenting on - the first is the holiday in Mauritius. A somewhat weird choice in the middle of a pandemic (and associated lockdown), no?
The second, this is surely bad publicity for the postal service to not deliver this before the operation finishes. I fully understand that everything is discombobulated thanks to the aforementioned pandemic, but still, this is mediocre.


This is not an error

While we're at La Poste, I went to look for the opening hours of my local post office (at about 6am) and was greeted with this:
Ceci n'est pas une erreur.

This is a brilliant (and amusingly highbrow) riff on René Magritte. And, of course, it is entirely correct. It is not an error, it's something telling you that there was an error.

This is not a blog.
Oh... wait...

Dammit. I won't ever make it as a Frenchie if I can't sort my surrealism out.


Fixing stuff #1

On Wednesday, a clock in the staff break room (at work) was knocked down when moving all the furniture to implement a COVID "pass this way" scheme. I predict few people will bother, and that includes me if I can since it's sense is widdershins. But, then, that's how French people do roundabouts...

Anyway, there are two clocks in the break room. A big fancy ornate one that has bronze-like hands and fake black plastic gears and cogs behind. It's almost steampunk. It's almost impossible to read by just a glance.
The other clock, a simple white face with black hands. Much smaller but can be easily seen from across the room, is the one that fell.
I tried to patch it back together with some double-sided sticky tape and bending the hands out straight again, but... it managed (with much effort) to get itself to the noon position but did nothing else. Yup, it was a radio-controlled clock.

So I offered to take it home. My immediate boss said "sure, if you think you can do something, else bin it".

Yeah. I think I can do something.

Clock repair

There wasn't much wrong...

  • A bit of the casing had come unclipped, so one of the gears was out of place.
  • The adjustment of the radio coil on the ferrite strip had moved, meaning it probably wouldn't ever properly tune to 77kHz for the time signal.
  • The connections to the coils for pulsing the hour/min and second hands were damaged. The hour/min one to the point where I'm surprised that it worked at all.

So I completely stripped the device, applied some light sewing machine oil to the gears and cogs as I rebuilt it. The magnetic coils were best handled by carefully unwinding one turn from each side of the coil's wiring (very fragile wire!) and resoldering them to the circuit, bypassing the lugs that they used to be attached to. Given that it was enamel coated wire about as thick as the hair on your head, this was...delicate. And finally, there was enough broken wax around to tell me where the radio coil was supposed to be, so I moved it back into place and taped it there.

Upon inserting the battery, the hands confidently swung around and stopped. So I removed the hands and replaced them, the mechanism having stopped at the noon position. Pressing the reset button, the hands swung again, and all clear of each other (always useful!) and stopped bang on noon.

There it stayed for two hours.

I carefully removed my tape on the radio coil and moved it a little to the left, and taped it back down. Poked reset once more, watched the arms swing to noon yet again. Then I went to make a tea.
By the time I finished (including being sidetracked by reading the ROOL forum), it was telling the correct time. I've left it in my room by the other radio controlled clock (liberated from a skip at work because it fell and the glass front broke, I just use it without the glass) and both are perfectly in sync.

So yes, boss, I do have some talents besides scrubbing toilet bowls. ☺


Fixing stuff #2

Since I had my tools out, I decided to give my inkjet a clean. The back of pages was getting smeared with ink. The so-called cleaning cycle did nothing. Time for a closer look.

As with the HP inkjet I took apart a while back, this one also has two screws at the back near to where the scanner lid is attached, and two at the front behind the outer hatch. And as before, they are star-shaped screw heads.

Inside was... really messy.

Ink splatter

Using paper towels and ethanol hand wash solution, I cleaned off the little white rollers and also the guides under where the print head moves. I don't know why/how it is so messy there. I really rarely print anything "borderless" (that probably does what it does by overshooting the paper), so... I don't know.
It's not perfect, but it's a lot better than it was. My Brother never looked this bad inside. So, yeah, nice to see that HP is still manking up the printer's innards like my old DeskJet 500 used to. But, then, we are talking about a printer that, as part of the start up, would slam the print head against the side of the casing a couple of times. Well, I guess the ink liked to be shaken, not stirred.

If you're expecting a teardown, since I had the thing open... already done that.



There's an alarm on my phone. It said "Call Orange if broadband not faster". It went off today at noon. I set the alarm after talking to the engineer last week. I had no intention of calling today. It's only been a week. It's not like I'm without internet, Netflix works, even at 2 megabit, so I thought I'd give them a month (after all, it potentially took La Poste longer than that to get one of their own mailings to me...?).
But I did go in and prod the button on the Livebox to see what the data rate was claiming to be.
3.36 megabit.

They're either working some magic and getting full speed down a patch, or it's been fixed (not been up the lane to look). Either way, whoo. It's a tad slower than it was before (average 3.7) however given that it varied between that and 4.5(ish), it clearly changes a lot depending on weather conditions. Maybe it's faster in the damp? It certainly hasn't been that recently...

So, yeah, they actually fixed it pretty quickly. A patch job to restore connectivity (after two working days; twice that because of a weekend), and it appears to have been fixed within two weeks. Not bad for rural.



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David Pilling, 30th May 2020, 13:56
Widdershins is a good word, after a few minutes it came to me that it is used Disc World by Terry Pratchet. 
"On the Discworld Widdershins is one of the four basic directions , and the opposite of turnwise. By going widdershins, you go against the turning direction of the Disc, in other words anti-clockwise." 
Rick, 30th May 2020, 16:00
"Turnwise" is often properly known as either deosil or deiseal depending on how one prefers to spell it...
Rick, 14th June 2020, 14:10
I sent an email to ADL's customer support after writing this article. No reply as yet (14th June)...

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