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Kiss DP-558 power supply error message

A year or 3 ago I bought an advanced hard disk recorder from Kiss-Technologies (a danish firm, since then bought by Linksys who in turn have been bought by Cisco). It can do things most recorders nowadays still won’t do, and do it quietly.

  • Electronic Program Guide (EPG) when connected to the internet. For this, normally you would need a digital tv decoder and the flexview or whatever it is called. I can just select on the tv screen what I or the wife want recorded and voila! it is set. No more entering start and end times.
  • FTP access : I can store other media like avi’s or mp3 on the copious 200GB hard disk.
  • Plays DVD’s too.

All the above can be found, but usually you need to buy both a dvd player and a media player to get that functionality.

The problem of those marvellous machines however, is that they are no longer made (which is a damn shame), and the power supply was custom made, and used bad transistors. It is stated that within 3 years of purchase, the psu will fail. Most of the time, it’s just the power supply.

This was wat happened to us 10 days or so ago. It would just display ‘KISS DVD’ on bootup and no longer allow me to eject the cd.

I scoured the MPCC bulletin board, which specialises in media players or all kinds and found out that this message is the sign the psu has broken down.

Lucky for me, I found a reference to a small website called osCommerce run by Kim Tapdrup that specialises in repairing KISS DP power supplies. Either you can ask them to sent you the transistors and you do it yourself, or you can sent it to them for repair (they no longer sell the original power supplies, since those are out of stock). A repair costs around 40 to 50 euros post and packin included.

So I figured : what the heck, why not try it, and I paid for the repair and sent him the power supply from the DP-558 securely wrapped (it’s real easy to remove, since it is installed on a separate print plate).

And today a priority package from Danmark arrived ! I installed the psu again and lo! and behold! our beloved KISS DP-558 is working again. I’m hoping those new transistors will keep it humming for quite some more years !

So a big thanks to Kim Tapdrup for still running these repair services after all these years and being so prompt in repairing it !

Apple Hardware

Macbook Air costs 1699 euros in Europe, 1799 dollars in the States

Buying a Macbook Air in Europe costs 1699 euros. Converted to dollars you pay 2499 dollars instead of 1799 dollars if you bought it in the States. A price difference of 600 dollars !!

Conclusion : Europe is richer than America.

Apple Hardware

No more external sound from your iPhone ?

In case you have the following problem scenario on your iPhone, here’s a quick tip :

  • sound via headphones, no sound via the speakers
  • your phone rings ok, but
  • everything else you can’t hear except via the headphones

Then you need to plug in-and-out your headphones. Go on, have some iPhone intercourse !

Do that about 3 to 6 times and normally it’ll start working again. I noticed that my audio output started working again when suddenly my ipod screen came up.

Apple Gaming Hardware

Connect your xbox 360 to your iMac using Elgato Eye Hybrid

I’ve recently acquired an xbox 360 when MediaMarkt did a clearance sale on a particular package deal. 299 € is a very nice price for an xbox with a 20 gig hard disk, only the arcade version is selling cheaper.

I thought it was time to buy one, since almost all the games come out on xbox 360 nowadays, plus the fact that I really, really, really hate rebooting into Bootcamp Windows XP to play a game. All my Firefox sessions gone, all my open files needing to be closed and saved, closing my iMovie project… yes, my mac never shuts down unless it’s for a reboot for a new upgrade or into Bootcamp.

That’s the real power of the mac – it hardly ever crashes, so you keep everything open and keep working on stuff whenever you feel like it.
So I got my Xbox 360, I’ve got an Elgato Hybrid USB stick, and that stick is connected to my iMac to record tv shows. Why not connect the xbox to my iMac via the Elgato Hybrid ? I first tried using the normal cinch cables, but the screen quality is really not good at all, and rather shaky to boot.

The trick to it is using a S-Video cable instead, and while it is not a super-crisp HDMI signal, it certainly makes it look better. It look goods enough to play every evening some Assasin’s Creed, in fact.

Without rebooting.

Apple Hardware

Iphone upgrade to 1.1.2 and keypad/sms problems ?

This is a fix for iphones in unsupported countries (at the moment only the UK, France and the USA are supported).

If you upgraded your iphone to firmware 1.1.2 and are suddenly realising that :

  • your phone does not ring when somebody calls it
  • the sms application does not want to start up, but does show the number of new sms on the springboard
  • the iPhone keypad does not want to load

then you need to install the 1.1.2 tweak from Conceited Software called iWorld. You can find this in via the in the Tweak (1.1.2) section.

This fixes the crash that happens in countries that are not supported by the iPhone.

Took me while to find this, maybe somebody else can be helped with this.

Hardware Links TechScience Future

RFID firewalls are here !

Today I read an Ars Technica article about a new protection for your RFID tags (you know, those tags that are now used for taking stock of inventory, theft protection, and are now showing up in passports).

What great about this new protection is that you can configure which tags you want to allow to be queried – you can even select trusted readers, for example if you have an RFID chip in your card that allows you access to your work building, you can allow that reader to query that tag, but no others.

So far it’s still in development, but if and/or when RFIDs become more and more pervasive, this will come in useful.

Apple Hardware Links TechScience Future

Using RFID to configure your wireless network

Apple has gotten a bright idea (and patented it right away too) : put a Radio Frequency ID (RFID) chip in your networking device, and bring them in close proximity to each other.

They’ll recognise each other, and can then configure the rest of the wireless network setup themselves : an extract from the MacRumors site :

The system describes using RFID tags in networking equipment that would communicate basic configuration settings when the devices got close to one another. The devices would then be able to establish a rudimentary network based on that information and be able to automatically finish setting up a more complex and secure wireless network.

Personally, I think it’s a damn cool idea, one of those “slap-your-forehead and wonder why nobody thought of this before” ideas…

I can already see it before me : you’ve bought a new laptop, you come home and unbox it, and bring it close to your router during the network setup. They see it each other and immediately set themselves up using the correct protocols and keys.

Still, two things need to be cleared up : one, RFID chips in their current state are notoriously unsecure, so Apple will need to secure them in one way or another, and two, there has to be a mechanism to agree on the router that you want to add a new client (a button to press ?).

Apple Blog News Hardware

Busy with my new mac

I don’t have too much time right now.

I’m busy migrating my content from my mac mini to my new iMac, plus dual-booting into Windows XP to get a good dose of the latest graphical games there.
It’s a swweeeet beast… Guess which one I have ?

Ok, ok, for my own benefit (I just realised I use my own blog to find the hardware details of my stuff) :

Imac 24 inch consisting of an Intel Core Duo 2 (2.16 Ghz) , 2GB ram, 500 GB harddisk, Nvidia 7600 GT (256 MB Ram), AppleCare protection for 3 years).

Hardware PSP

Getting online with your PSP if you use WEP

I’ve had to use WEP security for my wireless setup as I am working with a WDS setup.

This was needed so my DVD-HD Kiss Player, connected to an Airport Express, can get to the internet and download his program tv guide. And WDS only works with WEP… sigh. Otherwise I would be using WPA pre-shared key, which is much more secure and which the psp also supports.

Anyway, if for one reason or the other you do need to set up WEP, please use the 128 bit kind and set up mac filtering – the 64 bit key can be broken in the space of a few hours !

A few reminders (for you and for me) :

  • your psp can only use 802.11 B networks (it confused me though, that it can see the access point even when it is only in G mode… must be a different protocol or some such)
  • when using WEP, it is best to type in the actual WEP key and not the password that generates the key (the password is the one that you typed in your router to set up wireless wep security). For the 128 bit key you need to type in 26 digits.
Hardware Links

Instant lust : the E-ten Glofiish M700

Glofiish M700
I just saw my new dreamphone: the E-ten glofiish M700. It’s got everything but the kitchen sink :

quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE connectivity, Bluetooth, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, GPS (SiRFstar III) with TMC, an FM radio, an integrated camera, and Windows Mobile 5.0, the M700 has the added bonus of a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. No 3G support, it seems, but it still looks like a great all-in-one device.

It is supposed to be available before the start of the XMAS shopping season : somewhere in November…