Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Kindle Battery Replacement: Glued Products

You can get Kindle Replacement Kits for your model of Kindle on eBay for reasonable prices. If you can't get it working, you haven't lost too much. The battery in my Kindle was at the state it lasted about 30 minutes after charging.

Above are pictures I took during working on my older Kindle.  No idea where the glue might be in different models.

There are YouTube videos on doing this using heat guns to loosen the glue.  That seems risky to me. I used Isopropyl Alcohol as it dissolves glue and is a general electronics cleaning product. I usually have a litre on hand for paint/ink and other general cleanup.

The Kindle is not designed to be repaired.  The large pad of glue on the battery cover to the back panel, makes undoing the clips really difficult, and using lots of guitar plectrums helped to keep unclipped tabs from closing again. There are a lot of clips in the back panel, and it has to bend quite a bit to get it off, but the glue pad stops it from bending. The butter knife and IPA into that area of the rear cover loosens the grip of that glue. Eventually.

In my unit the whole underside of the battery was attached with glue, Filling that battery trough with just enough IPA, and working the glue with the butter knife got it out, but it is difficult. You don't want to damage the old battery in anyway. They are a fire hazard. 

Once I had the swap done and cover back on, it took some 10 to 20 minutes for the battery to charge enough and the unit to boot, so I knew it was working again. Until then it looks dead.

Don't think this is a task for someone that doesn't have any electronics experience. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Promotion vs Creation

Not a fan of self promotion, but if you don't promote what you make, no one will stumble across it.  Our website, by a long long margin, is the way people find us. Posting samples and links ends up being my "promotion" for the most part.  Posting to this blog is also a PR.

And then just making more of what you do doesn't help with anyone finding it. Or does it? May help on a webpage, or 6.  Like our Car Caricature Samples.   This ends up being six separate webpages in Google.  That they are static HTML pages also helps, or it looks that way. 

So much talk of the value of Social Media, but I have never seen it. Facebook doesn't show anything posted there to anyone any more.  Twitter makes it emotionally difficult to follow a link and leave your timeline. It is slow on a mobile phone, and you probably will not return to the place on the time line you left, and people hate that, so they don't follow links.  Many on Twitter are there for small talk and gossip, and the occasional news item between all their bitching and moaning. Not people to care about anything someone may have created.

Much of  Social Media seems to be about trying to get a large following, by being "a thought  leader" or some type of "online celebrity".   But that doesn't work like it did back when Forums were big, and you could post useful information to a posted question in a particular domain. Social Media just doesn't have the same reason for being on it joining a Forum did. 

People didn't post pictures of their food to Forums back in the day, but that is "normal" on Social Media.  Part of that small talk and gossip wasting time vibe.

Social Media websites, like Facebook have dramatically damaged the normal Internet though, with their walled gardens. And the SEO gaming and spam sites have hurt Google Search a lot, but have yet to find anything better.

So what do you do?

Really don't have the answer. 

When it comes to our Comics or our  Rock Opera, I am not selling anything and just would like a few people to have a look.  

We can be found at ArtAndTechnology

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

The Cancelled Streaming TV Series


Had Amazon Prime for about a year now. The only streaming service I have tried.  Originally got it to see the rest of THE EXPANSE. Then Picard and THE GRAND TOUR.

THE EXPANSE was one of many shows that got cancelled. Been cancelled twice now.  Even though I think it "ended" just fine at the end of Season 3.

Not many shows plan for short runs.  So many rely on the cliff hanging ending of a series, that can really get to the audience when they don't get renewed. 

DARK MATTER was one of those with a cliff hanger, but the Writer/ Creator gave us closure on Twitter, that left us in a better place.  

PAPER GIRLS, fortunately was based on a comic, so I located and read that. They had moved things around a bit, but that was all fine by me. 

TRUTH SEEKERS was a small comedy that had just one season, but it answered the main questions during its run.  

NIGHT SKY only got one season, but I think it explained enough. I was more annoyed at some of the writing at different places that made it too slow, so understand why it wasn't given the go ahead to continue.

THE EXPANSE finished at Season 6. There are books if you want more, so that is fine. Interesting they didn't finish all the loose threads at the end though, even though the terrorist and his son was finished off nicely. 

Does it matter that you don't get to see them "Live Happily Ever After"?  

I think it depends if the writers put in a cynical end of season cliff hanger or not. I tend to think cliff hangers are bad in the world of streaming. Leaving not all questions answered is fine, but did the main characters all get killed or not is much more problematic if you invested your time in it. 

This comes down to the stuff I create myself too. If I was working on a series, and it just wasn’t getting the views/listens I consider make it worth my while to continue, I don't have a problem with just stopping.  Not all questions have to be answered.   

And it was interesting to read the Producers of the new show THE ARK, plan to have each series end without a cliff hanger.  

That being said, the showrunners’ road map includes creating a satisfying ending to each season of The Ark, no matter how many there are. “Jonathan and I are both believers that when you watch a season of television, it should be a complete meal,” says Devlin. “I believe that when you get to the end of the season, you will feel that you got a whole story, but then a door will open to tell you that there’s more to tell. There’s more to talk about; there’s more to see; there’s more to learn.”

With a series having an unknowable number of seasons, that seems the best strategy to me. For my own things too.

We can be contacted at ArtAndTechnology Updated

Google analytics had been nagging for months to update to the new GA4. So last week worked out what I needed to generate and change it on all the pages.

I still had some much older Analytics code at the bottom of the pages and cleaned that up too. It was an opportunity to look at all the pages again, and found many links had stopped working due to having http rather than the now required https in the code.  I hadn't checked them myself in some time. I also took the opportunity to remove most of the Adsense stuff I had, as the payout rate now is so low, it isn't worth the page mess to keep it.  

I replaced most (if not all) of the adsense with links to my own things. 

I had been just using Notepad++ to edit my pages for the last many years.  I have a few using combined PHP with HTML and think that stuff is just so ugly.  There are extra tools that help separate it out, but it is still a support nightmare, as then the PHP code to do that changes over time too.  Notepad++ is still probably one of the better things to use for that.  Keep it simple is they way to go though.

I reinstalled an old copy of Dreamweaver and added two new webpages to the site. CSS has changed a lot since then though, so the internal preview of CSS doesn't really get previewed correctly.  

See how it doesn't understand the CSS to only show the  horizontal or vertical table menu bar?

Where I added CSS in 2015 was in supporting desktop and mobile devices with the same page. Google at the time gave sample code to do that with their push to make the web mobile compatible.  In the CSS it used the browser width to put the menus I have horizontally or vertically. 

Mobile vs Desktop from same code

Works okay, but have always found the font on desktop too big, and the font on mobile too thin, but I have kept it that way.  Never had any complaints.

Last year I added the web page Our Original Comic Books to have a place to be able to download the CBR files of some 7 of the comic books I have written and drawn in the last years.

This time I add a place to have the In The Asteroid Belt: A Rock Opera movies and a MAKING OF page from own main website. 

My original website back in 1995 called SF2D&I was very much a detailed  MAKING OF  .  So as I explain, this isn't exactly new to us.  

The site is  

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Twitter: Not for $8 a Month

Twitter to me has always been a thing to look at in a spare moment, and way too often I was stunned and shocked by what some posted or replied with. What I liked about it was you could just follow anybody. You didn't need to ask to be a friend if they posted interesting stuff.

I have 200+ followers but have never talked with more than 10 people there ever. Always thought many of the followers were just bots.  Have come across two or three interesting people.  Having a lot to say doesn't make you interesting, just opinionated. Also just a lot of nothing small talk and food pictures. There are a LOT of opinionated people on Twitter, and I often think, "don't they have anything better to do than write crap or whine on social media?"

And then someone posting this trivia also tells me how significant and important Twitter is. To me, not at all.

Such posts do get interaction.  Look at that 11k views and hundreds of likes but, really, why would anyone care about the "avocado I prefer",  or the hundreds of other trivial questions and answers posted?  Just a waste of time to me. The Lowest Common Denominator is what these, and the bumper sticker catch phrase "you are loved" /"you are wonderful" posts aspire too. 

A few months ago I made a Mastodon account and have found it to be a less aggressive, nicer place. Don't have the exaggerated fake followers either. Most of the people I talk with moved over too. Without an algorithm behind it, and the way the hashtags for search work, looks to me like there is a short window of time in which people will notice something you post. 

A few I follow refuse to leave Twitter though. They have more followers than I and seem to give some value to them.  That they "worked" to build their following. They justify their continued use of Twitter as "nothing else is as good". I don't see value in numbers of followers at all. But I am also not trying to become a Internet "Influencer" or "Celebrity". Likes on anything have no value. Likes on really uninteresting "lowest common denominator" posts are especially uninteresting and worthless.  

From my own analytics have found Twitter to be the worst for posting a link to something we have made like a comic, illustration, video of music and getting anyone to look it.  Just interaction on the kind of thing I am interested is poor.  Think most Twitter followers must be bots, and useless.

Facebook is shown to be more useful to me  ( by not being totally useless like Twitter), yet the "must stay on Twitter" crowd say how much better Twitter is. I don't get it. It must be tide up in their own self worth "Internet celebrity" status or something.

Leaving your Twitter time line has always just had too much FEAR OF MISSING OUT attached to it.  I think the way Twitter looses where I was on the time line whenever I came back from one of those links was done on purpose to build that fear.  Facebook has a different approach but Analytics shows more interaction from there than Twitter. .

So Twitter isn't worth $8 a month to me. No way. And if you don't pay, you become a 3rd class citizen. So it is becoming even less useful to me. At start of March 2023, the site has gotten so slow to load. I found the pre-Musk Twitter 99.99% a waste of time that should have been spent doing something else.  So paying for the privilege to have your time wasted is just crazy and out of the question.

We can be found at ArtAndTechnology

Friday, February 3, 2023

Google Search has Lost It's Shine, Again

Google Search was the leader by a long way early in the webs development.  

It doesn't work very well anymore. 

The YouTube video  What Happened To Google Search?  is pretty close to my own thoughts on the matter.  

I have had my own website since 1995, and the current site since 2008, and have watched the ups and downs of the findability of my key pages with searches in Google.  I posted previously of a period where my site disappeared for about a year from the search results and discovering then you couldn't rely on the web to be consistent. 

My post Organic Search Drops Over 10 years shows to me how Google Search has just continued to get more useless as time goes by. On checking my websites findability with me main keywords it didn't come up at all, but my Pinterest site did, which does point back to my actual site. That is just so wrong.

The Walled Gardens of Facebook, Twitter and Reddit with Googles own changes to their algorithm have considerably reduced its usefulness.  It gives mostly irrelevant paid sites. 

But it isn't just searching the web that is broken. Searching YouTube for something you know is on it, doesn't get returned either. 

The video I reference at the top suggests Reddit is the current main source of useful information. I have seen actually useful answers to questions come from there, but also found Reddit to be a nastier place than Twitter in my earliest trips there, so I don't go there on purpose.

An increase in non tracking sites, DuckDuckGo and browsers like Vivaldi seem, maybe,  to be getting more popular, as is the similarly non commercial Mastodon social media Fediverse.   The destruction of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook seems to be part of the same trend to me. As is the way Google trashed lots of its staff.

A  TREND or is it just really bad out of touch management?

All this makes you think about adding a page to your website, like In The Asteroid Belt: Our Rock Opera and not being able to find it in a search yourself, let alone anyone else that may be interested... 

We can be found at ArtAndTechnology