Wednesday, December 22 2010
Gretchen was busy in the kitchen or much of the day making candy as currency for the many upcoming social obligations. It's like printing money, sort of, though (as with actually earning money), it takes work to do. Gretchen had her computer cranked up to play various tunes, so I thought it might be nicer if she could hear it all through a real stereo. So I replaced the living room stereo with the nice Sony receiver I'd been testing in my laboratory. I hooked it up with the phonograph player, but to play the audio coming from Gretchen's computer, I just tuned it to the frequency of that computer's FM transmitter. But if I was going to replace the old stereo, I was going to have to figure out a way to play CDs. At first I tried to hook up an old Sony portable CD player (the kind one might have taken jogging back in the late 90s), but I couldn't find any DC adapters that fit (and trying to solder in my own power system didn't seem to work). So in the end I just used an old internal computer CD drive, the kind that dated from the days when such drives still had play buttons on them. It seems those old internal drives work as stand-alone CD players if only you can find a way to power them (they have standard four-wire molex computer power connectors).
Later I performed technological digestion on Gretchen's 1998-vintage Aiwa stereo, which included such fun electromechanical parts as a five-CD changer and dual cassette decks. It also included an enormous linear power supply that had retained a substantial charge on its capacitors for hours after it had last been plugged in. I'm glad it was my screwdriver and not my fingers that bridged whatever connections to produce a bright blue lightning bolt. When I was done with that Aiwa, it was little more than two gearboxes, a stack of black plastic panels, and a couple circuit boards' worth of salvageable components.
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