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Once again, its been a while since I did a shopping post.

While my expenditures on Taobao appear to be at an all-time high, its mostly on computer related items.

Still, its not all work, and I do get time to research random stuff on occasion whilst sourcing stuff.

This in particular caught my eye at first –

Its a little bit expensive for a toaster, as its a japanese import, so I took a look at the local varieties.

Having a sunny day is obviously affordable for the white collar worker, as can be seen from the pricing above.

But what about the blue collar workers?

…Why yes, they too can also have a happy day.

If Doraemon is not your thing, then what about a most probably unlicensed Pinnie the Wooh, cough, cough toaster?

No love for that?

What about this –

Lastly, because this *is* asia, yes, it does come in Hello Kitty.


I’m still looking for Jesus ๐Ÿ™‚

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As its been a long while since I’ve done a non computer related post, its now time for something completely different.

Anyone who has visited our office has noticed that we receive a bazillion packages daily from my various shopping exploits on Taobao, slayer of money.

I just bought a new house back home, which has started competing with Taobao on the where do I spend my spare change, and I’ve been interested in decorating it with some “art”.
Yes, I know that one persons art is another persons ‘meh – you like that? icky’, but each to his own.

I found a gorgeous looking hi-res map of Shanghai for sale at one quite nicely designed store ( http://www.image1000.cn/ ), and contacted the seller.

Unfortunately he couldn’t sell the canvas image on a roll, as I needed for easy shipping back home, and could only sell pre-framed.

Roll on two weeks later, and I was still thinking about having that in my lounge back home, so decided on making a test order to check out the packaging, and its survivability vs Shanghai kuaidi (delivery) companies.

I picked a minimalist dot version of Mao for 100RMB including shipping, and ordered.
Two days later, Mao arrived.

Unpacking below:

Mao
Fresh from the Kuaidi company!

Mao
Nice packaging touches.

Mao
Uh oh!

Mao
Still well packed.

Mao
Kuaidi vs Packaging, who will win?

Mao
More uh-oh..

Mao
Packaging wins (although it was a close call).

Mao
Phew, looks ok.


Inside packaging (really really well packaged!)

Mao
Even comes with the hanging equipment, which is a nice touch.

Mao
So much attention to detail (plastic cover strip for acrylic front frame “glass”)

Twister^H Mao
Its Twister!

Mao
Oh wait, no, its Mao ๐Ÿ™‚

Mao
Amjellybaby models the artwork.

Mao
Finally, in situ!

Overall, reasonably happy with this. Price is reasonable, and it (barely) survived the shipping company, so I think there would be a chance that a slightly better packaged version (i.e. adding a few layers of bubble wrap on the outside) will survive.

So, looks like I’ll be springing the 900rmb odd for the large canvas map version.

Wish me luck!


Addendum

Ordered the large triptych and crossed my fingers that it would survive Emirates.
It made the journey in better shape than the Mao print above did across Shanghai. No dents and zero issues.

Here they are in my new house, awaiting hanging…

Shanghai triptych

Shanghai triptych

Pricey at 900rmb, but worth it. Now I can point at locations on the satellite image and tell people I was here when they come visit the house!

2nd Addendum – final shot of this in place, finally on the wall after 2 weeks of sitting on the floor…

Mar
23

Cube vs Cube

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Obviously I’ve had waaaaaaaaaay too much fun with my newly purchased coffee machine today.
Photo’s (and story) below.

Its a match of the titans.

Frog design vs A+P Cahen.

No rolls barred, its Cube vs Cube.

In the left corner, we have the old, the venerable…

G4 Cube

Part frakkin Toaster, part computer, (ex) fishtank, part space heater.

VS

The newcomer with an attitude, he’s shiny, and he isn’t afraid to show it off.

Le Cube

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As its been a while since I did any hardware stuff (other than some dabbling in Arduino), I decided I would try and resuscitate a bricked 941n router. I had given it to the staff to fiddle with, but they needed a push in the right direction for where to start.

First I needed tools.
Luckily China is pretty awesome when it comes to getting electronic bits and pieces so most of what I needed was a mere Taobao away.

As the crap soldering irons in the office weren’t going to hack it, my first purchase was a decent soldering iron.
I took a look at the Wellers (which I used in a previous lifetime), and decided that the pricing was a little too steep for my liking!
Taobao had plenty of cough, cough ‘clone’ Hako 936’s though, so I bought one of those, 10 tips and some solder for a little less than 200RMB delivered to the office.

I could have gone to buy it over in the electronics mall over in Beijing lu, but seriously, Taobao is easier.

While I was at it, I also orderd a Rek DC power supply, and some JTAG cables.
The PSU isn’t totally useful for router hacking, but we do have a lot of people that forget to bring laptop chargers with them, so it will come in handy for that. Looks pretty nifty too.

Hako 936 and Rek DC PSU

Next up was a serial to ttl adaptor, as the TP-Link uses TTL voltage apparently, and I needed to convert into standard pc serial.
I bought 2 adaptors, one USB one, with rather crappily made headers, and a rather nicer serial one with pin’s.

As I’m rather crap at soldering, I totally expected things to bork something up, but amazingly I got the headers installed relatively easily, and even managed to bridge pad (R356) to enable serial first go (as per the wiki).

I plugged in my serial adaptor to the computer, and powered up the router.
Suprisingly everything worked first time around, and I got some serial output in HyperTerminal.

A few nanoseconds later I got to experience again how much I hated HyperTerminal.
Grumble cpu usage grumble frozen input grumble mutter,… and installed PuttyTel instead.

Putty also seems to autodetect the kernel speed nicely (as boot changes from 9600 to 115,200baud), which is a bonus.

I still need to time it right so I can catch the u-boot in time to stop it, and, I also still need to reflash it, but the hard part is done!

Total cost – roughly 250RMB for parts (soldering iron, tips, serial ttl adaptor, pin headers, jtag stuff etc), plus about an hour of time, most of which emcompassed clearing my desk enough so I could solder ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m all setup for more journeys into equipment though, and I can now completely recover borked equipment handily.

Useful pages:
http://wiki.openwrt.org/inbox/tp-link.tl-wr941nd (Pinouts)
https://forum.openwrt.org/viewtopic.php?id=18354&p=1 (Thread on TL-WR941 hacking)

Firmware files:
http://downloads.openwrt.org/snapshots/trunk/ar71xx/

Taobao shopping:
http://item.taobao.com/auction/item_detail-db1-3fbe7be878a7aa35dd4ec1e4260113e8.jhtml (RS232 TTL)
http://item.taobao.com/auction/item_detail-db2-3c9886e66da40119a6c72fe03c4b8d38.jhtml (Hakko 936 + tips)
http://item.taobao.com/auction/item_detail-0db1-4fbc4e80f96ae37dbd34b9cb466aa642.jhtml?cm_cat=0 (Wiggler JTAG)

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As I pretty much have no life away from the computer, I do spend an arbitrarily long amount of time online.
The benefit of that though, is that I can trawl through Taobao, and find glorious crap that were I not slightly less sensible, I would quite probably buy on a whim.

Into that category, I can squarely fit this piece of awesomeness.

Its almost creeping into the “its so wrong that its right” category, but I’ll forgive its rambunctiousness.
Woah, I’m starting to sound like Woot! here.

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