Monthly Archives: May 2022

Acer Aspire 5 A514-54-501Z Walmart Price Reduction

I blogged about this laptop previously but since then things have gotten better.  When I first bought it, it was $499 however Walmart lowered the price to $449 but wouldn’t give me a price adjustment so I returned it and bought a new one.

Since that time the price has been reduced further to $399.  Let me tell you why that is such a great deal.  Not many laptops are upgradeable these days but this laptop has an accessible NVME M.2 drive (that you would need to clone, or do a fresh install, if you upgrade the drive).  It comes with a 256 GB drive however I have a 1TB drive laying around here that I may slap in mine.  I just need to figure out how to clone it first.  I might have to buy an NVME enclosure as the laptop has no PCIe slot to plug an adapter into.

In addition to that there is an unpopulated SATA drive bay where you can add an additional hard drive.  There are 8GB of RAM, 4 of which is built into the main board and a 4GB (PC4-3200) stick in the DDR4 slot.  You could change that out to a 16GB stick for a total of 20GB.  Lastly you could change the wifi chip if you wanted to.

A514-54-501Z Upgrades (click pics to enlarge)

Let’s summarize:

  • Upgradeable NVME Drive
  • Can add a second SATA drive
  • RAM upgradeable
  • WiFi chip can be changed out.

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CNC Improvements

I bought a small CNC in maybe December of 2021, and in a month or so later I bought a proper CNC machine.  Basically, I knew nothing about woodworking or CNC operations.  But I taught myself.  One small lesson at a time.  Since I’m retired and in no hurry I decided to tackle skills one at a time.

So here I am just a few months later and while there is still lots to learn………….I’m cranking out beautiful pieces of woodworking.  A couple of which have impressed my own self.

Probably the first Maker Machine I ever bought was a vinyl sign machine.  I learned quickly that it isn’t only the ability to successfully make something it also includes the ability to NOT WASTE MATERIAL.  Maximizing your stock is vital in becoming a skilled artisan.  Here’s the most recent things that I made, and I have to say, to me, it is beautiful

CNC Sushi Tray

It actually is a simple make. There are two bits used and three operations.

First a 1/4″ Upcut bit is used to rough clear the material.

Then it is followed up by a tiny 1/16″ bit that carves the details.

Then finally you put the 1/4″ bit back in to do a profile cut around the outside of the tray.   Do some sanding and then oiling and you are left with basically a piece of artwork.
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Myofascial Release

This may seem unusual for what most might consider an Electronics or Computer Tech Blog but this is Human Body Tech.  Let me preach on it…………..

Sometime around the year 2000 or so I was ridiculously fat and getting fatter.  I finally decided that it was time to knuckle down and do what needed to be done.  I was living in Japan and on a business trip to Pax River, Maryland and hopped on a treadmill for the first time.  I had to run in boxer shorts and dress socks but I ran a mile on the treadmill.

I’ll spare you the progression story but suffice to say I was a huge “runner” but a runner nonetheless.  And along with that hugeness came aches and pains.  I was highly motivated to run and read EVERYTHING I could get my hands on.  There is no shortage of motivational running literature out there.  And then the inevitable happened.  I got a mild injury, probably to my IT Band.  The IT Band is a thick bunch of fibers that runs along the outside of your thighs and knee.  While researching my ouch-ee I read a book called The Pain Free Runner, about Myofascial Release for the first time.

I’m no Doctor or Nurse or Physical Therapist or anything of the sort.  I was nothing but a fat, hurt runner.   But I’ll my best to explain this in layman’s terms.  When some muscle hurts in your body the actual site of the injury or “Trigger Point” is somewhere else.  The tension from the knotted muscles or tissue pull and stretch the affected muscle where you feel the pain.  Release the knotted muscle and the pain subsides.

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Leatherman Squirt PS4 First Look

Leatherman Squirt PS4

I love multi-tools but sometimes they need to be small.  Sometimes you’re in short pants, dress pants, or just holding a keychain, but you still might have to save the day.  There are only a few multi-tool choices and most of them are Swiss Army knives.  Some Swiss Army knives have pliers on them but they are tiny pliers that pull out of the body of the knife.   It’s tough to get a man grip on something with those things.

Also I need to say I swear no allegiance to any particular manufacturer.  EDC can be very situational.  I carry a Victorinox Classic SD on my keychain which is great for tiny jobs but lacks critical tools like a beer opener!

I really love my Leatherman Surge but it is freakishly huge and this blog is about portability.  It is about those times that you can’t carry the freakishly huge multi-tool.  And that really limits the playing field.  No real man would be caught dead without EDC tools though.

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