How to win a scientific school contest?

My prize book and the diploma First of all offer to write a nice paper on ‘Business Opportunities on the Internet’ for your university’s scientific communication session (I don’t really know how to translate ‘sesiune de comunicari stiintifice’ to English) to a teacher who you can’t fail or else your face will burn for months.

2 or 3 days before the event enter panic mode because you have nothing yet. Send out an email asking for desperate help from Dragos Novac of @rgumente but still delay writing until the last day. Even more, delay writing until 8 PM on the last day. Panic hardly and look up the links sent you by Dragos and decide that those are not what you’re looking for. Dig up your diploma project from your last university and check out the links in the bibliography section. Finally find a link to a nice essay on e-commerce. Start writing by mixing the ideas found in that essay with yours. Try to deal with the constant power failures (I don’t know what was going that day but approximately each 30 minutes the power was cut off for 2 seconds and then it was back like nothing happened) by pressing Ctrl + S every 5 minutes. Try not forgetting about this or curse hardly when you loose 10 to 20 minutes worth of thinking and typing. All this time drink a lot of Pepsi Twist. No really, about 1,5 liters will suffice. At about 10 PM and 3 / 4 done with your paper decide it’s time to go online. Stay online until 2 AM. Go to bed deciding that you’ll finish your paper in the morning. Try to sleep. Try harder. Even harder! Nope. All the Pepsi contains a lot of caffeine you know. Get up, go online. At 7 in the morning tell yourself it’s time to finish your paper. Start writing. Think hard trying not think about the sleepless night behind you and write a lot. Then curse very, but very, hard when you loose about 4 long paragraphs thanks to a new power failure. Look at the clock. Time to go. The paper’s not really finished but that’s it. Once you’re at your school rush into the teacher’s office and tell her what happened. She will be amused and will surely write you a nice ending. The event starts and you start fighting your sleepiness by concentrating on what the other essays have to say. After about two hours it’s your turn. Go out in front of an audience dressed in elegant custumes wearing your Puma sweatshirt and worn out jeans and read out your paper calmly trying to add what’s missing from your mind which haven’t had any sleep since more than 24 hours. See the amazement on the faces of the teachers and the audience and listen to some congratulations. Go back to your place and wait for the end of the event. Receive the prize for the first place with great amazement then once you’re out call your girlfriend and rave for three minutes about what just happened.

I’m not entirely sure that this will work for everyone but thanks to some kind of a miracle it worked for me. :-)

Click and unlock

Clik-et-Deblok.Com

Yes. As we all know it’s fun to create something out of nothing. A project is finished. I mean almost finished because as always there’s a lot of polishing to do. As the QA team is me and my client it’s practically inexistent and this causes pretty much trouble because of the lurking bugs… But no complaints today. I’ve been payed so I should shut up and do my job.

This site offers phone unlocking services for French customers… A locked phone is a phone which can be used only within a single GSM network, hence the expression ‘locked on a network’. The site offers two operation modes: the first one is offered for the street customer who wants to have his phone freed so he can use it in the network of his choice and the other one is the so-called ‘pro’ section which offers users who need to unlock more phones (like GSM repair shops) the option to buy credit packs at an attractive price and then use these credits to buy unlock codes. These codes are then manually sent withing 48 hours of the payment.

Another important part of the site is the affiliate section which offers websites that deal with GSM phones an easy way to make money by placing an IFRAME on one of their pages containing a configurable replica of the first page of Clik-et-Deblok.Com. Affiliates are then payed according to the amount of codes they manage to sell.

Well, this is Clik-et-Deblok.Com or about one month’s worth of work in a nutshell. To give the appropriate credits the site is the brainchild of Steve Palma (ZoneGSM), the design was done by Bogdan Rosu of Spinform and silly me did the coding.

Post blackout

Not too many posts lately because I had a lot of work to do but I think I’ll catch up a little.

It's that time

Happy Easter everyone.

Whooo-hooo! I’m off to celebrate. :-)

Installing a new battery into a 2nd generation iPod

So, I did it! As I already said I have a new battery providing power for my G2 (that’s second generation) iPod. And this one is not dying on me daily because it’s brand new! Seeing some topics over at the forums of ipodlounge.com I realized that some people out there are scared to do the replacement themselves. That’s why I decided to post this and provide the “experience” I accumulated by replacing the battery myself. It’s not hard but if you read this mini guide please read it fully before starting and also check out the pictures at the bottom.

I think the hardest part is obviously the opening part. And this is because the iPod is not fastened together by screws but the shiny back of the device kind of snaps on and is held on by some plastic and metallic claws combination. I used a simple screwdriver to open it and the rule when using a screwdriver is the wider and thinner the head is, the better! There’s also a plastic tool available at various shops around the net and if you’re really concerned about scratching the back of your beloved player you should get one of those. As I got it second (or third, or fourth) hand the back of my iPod was pretty scratched by default so I wasn’t worried by the scratches, however I managed to do everything without adding a scratch.

I begined opening it starting from the top, around the headphone jack. The top does not open from the start so I worked my way down one side and then bottom. A word of advice: be very careful how deep you insert the screwdriver when doing the bottom because the ribbon cable that connects the hard drive to the mainboard is right under the case and if you damage that, you can wave your iPod farewell. Once one side and the bottom is opened you can easily open the other side and then the top at the end. And voila: the back is off! The battery replacement is trivial as you have to unplug the battery cable from the socket and then insert the new one.

Be amazed of the size of the hard drive as long as you want but then it’s time to put it all together. First I would recommend to plug in the Firewire cable and see if it works. Actually I fully charged my iPod in the opened state to see if it works and only after I was convinced that yes it’s charged and it works as it did before opening it I put it all back together.

You do this by checking first if the battery cable is tucked safely between the battery and the mainboard. Align the top of the battery with the top of the mainboard and ply the shiny bands over it. Then put the jack and the Firewire port into their respective openings on the top of the back cover and get assured that the hold button fits where it should in the slider. Then push it all down starting from the top and finishing with the bottom. It should snap together as a charm.

And it’s done!

Here are some photos of the innards:

I hope this will help at least someone out there. If you read it and find it helpful please don’t forget to leave a comment as that’s the only way I know I haven’t wasted my time writing this. Thanks.