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Computers + Electronics + Internet + Science + Technology

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Tablet Easel

   Lately I have been working a lot on computer documents; whether they be PDF files, MSOffice files or designing files on one of my websites (including this one). Doing this efficiently requires a computer with multiple screens or two computers or a computer and a tablet. I've decided to use the last method – Computer and 10in Android tablet.

   For months, actually years, I have been looking for a way to set up my tablet at home for reading, in portrait mode, that is actually practical and comfortable for reading and interacting. There are many tablet covers on the market that double as stands but they are mostly flimsy and not worth the expense.

   Today (Feb 13, 2013) while shopping for staple groceries at Wal-Mart – Leaving, I carted down the jewelry aisle and saw something that struck me as wunnerful! It's called a "3-Tier T-Bar Jewelry Display."

   Not for hanging necklaces or watches but as an easel for computer tablets. The display has the ideal angle to be adapted for viewing. The entire contact with the table would be cushioned by the suede material, no marring the computer tablet. As is, the display would need to be adapted with a base applied at the bottom bar. This display/easel is exceptionally stable; each tier is 12 inches wide, each offset from the other for good viewing.  

   Each tier is parallel offset so the base of the tablet must be held from the bottom of the first tier; otherwise, the tablet slides right off.

   This tablet base holder can be made from cup hooks, screws, dowels, rubber flashing or whatever you have handy to mount and grab the bottom of the tablet. If you use screws or similar make sure you mount them on the bottom evenly spaced from center and wide enought for holding the tablet.

   A better solution for the base holder is using rubber flashing which can be bought at a hardware store or automotive store (inexpensive). Another method is to use a dowel or one inch wooden strip, cut to 12 inches long.  That I also bought at Wal-Mart (yard sign post – cheap).   Using two "L" flat corner braces, screw it to the bottom tier. This is the method I used and shown on the picture. A wide base will enable you to use the tablet in portrait or landscpe mode. Great for Kindle, Nook, etc. Spray paint the base (before screwing on tier) and wrap it in non-skid shelf liner which usually comes in 12 inch widths and secured by thumb-tacks underneath..

   Also since the display is wide enough it can hold your earphones, thumbdrives on lanyard, watch, USB charging cable, etc. on the end

My Tablet Easel


Here are the pictures of the materials used.

I'm pretty sure there are other stores that have similar.


Total cost —- Less than $20.


Neat Technical Website



First Hard Drive

This is my first hard drive I bought, in 1986.
It is an ST-4096 Seagate EIGHTY MEGABYTE capacity hard drive.
A six and a half pound beast! Perfect for storing stuff downloaded from computer bulletin boards at 2400 baud.ST-4096

$950 !! That was cheap at the time, about $12 per Megabyte.


H500 Trans-Oceanic

This is a picture of the first radio I ever got (1964). My boss, Mr Cangelosi said if I could repair it, it was mine. I surprised him by getting two of the bands working right away. Still, there was hum in the power supply when run on AC. I couldn’t afford the battery for it.
I left it at the shop and it was one of the items that got trashed when the shop closed.

[The battery]


Radioactive delights …

Do you know what this is?


This is a replacement Coleman Lantern mantel; replaced when the old one gets damaged or burnt out.   I didn't use them for that purpose.

The mantel exhibits a peculiar property in that it is slightly radioactive. Because high radioactive sources were tightly controlled and inventoried in my work I needed a quick OP/NO-OP method for checking radiation monitors such as a Gamma-Ray tool. Potting two of these together and placing them near the GR detector would quickly tell me that it worked by registering the counts. Also, the same potted mantels would sub for a source to troubleshoot Geiger-Mueller bundles.

In any case the mantels were NOT for calibration; test sources were used for that and those were tightly controlled.

Another "source" that oil well logging companies use is sand.   Not just any sand but sand gathered from the beaches of Guarapari, Brazil and potted in a flexible blanket.


Beginnings …..

My start in electronics, as a Radio-TV Repairman's helper, in 1963.

ACME Radio and TV
127 N Carrollton Avenue
New Orleans 19, Louisiana

My boss and the owner of the shop was Victor Cangelosi, a fantastic guy. He needed a helper to carry TVs to and from customers' homes. My pay wasn't much, I believe it was about $15 per week during school year, increased to $20 summer. That wasn't much money but the benefits were great; I was learning electronics.

Not only did he pay me but he also gave me some of his test equipment such as a VTVM and a Hickok O-Scope. My text books were SAMS Photofacs, Riders Radio Manuals and the reference bible of consumer electronics, the RCA Tube Manual.
As I gained more knowledge Mr Cangelosi let me repair some radios, especially the FIVE TUBE types. Those are super easy to fix.

Everything came to a crashing end during Christmas vacation 1964. I was sick, laid up in bed and during that time Mr Cangelosi had a fatal heart attack. Three days passed and his son had a junk man clean up the shop and the adjoining house where hundreds of classic and antique radios were stored. The shop was cleared to the bare walls. My test equipment and my school science project got trashed! Customers' sets gone! We didn't have tags on individual sets as those got ripped off; the ID on customer sets were coded labels with an index in a book.

I tried to recover some of the "junk" but the bulldozers at the Almonaster dump already crushed it all.

Brilliant son, don't you think? He was a History Professor.
Science Project for school – ruined, with no time to re-do.



Fujitsu Lifebook T730

Fujitsu Lifebook


[Check it out!]
Fujitsu T730 with
i5 Processors go for around $175 on eBay.

Why so low?   Because Fujitsu isn't a popular brand like ASUS, Dell, HP or Lenovo.  But they are very fast and highly expandable notebook computers.

My First Fujitsu

  • 3 Gigabytes RAM
  • 1TB main hard drive (C:\)
  • Stylus for touch screen
  • HDMI output
  • 3 USB2 receptacles
  • SD Card reader
  • Stylus
  • Windows 7 Pro – 32Bit

My Second Fujitsu

  • 8 Gigabytes RAM
  • 1TB main hard drive (C:\)
  • 2TB Data Drive (L:\ and M:\, one Terabyte each) Expansion Slot
  • HDMI output
  • 3 USB2 receptacles + 2 USB3 on PCI Express lot
  • SD Card reader
  • Webcam
  • Windows 10 – 64Bit

For BOTH Computers

      The drive bay (Expansion Slot) is easily removable with a side lever so any of the following can be inserted into that drive slot:

  • Removable CD/DVD drive
  • Second Battery
  • Ubuntu Hard Drive
  • Windows Xp Hard Drive (32Bit)
  • Solid State Drive (SSD)


Using both laptops makes it very easy to maintain my sites. Contact me if you want one like these. They're great laptop computers. These were originally $2000 laptops!


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