Slimming Down (of my power adapters)

Recently I have been trying to reduce what I carry, and where I cannot eliminate it I am trying to reduce the size and weight of the items. To this end I have been fascinated by the new FINsix DART, power charger. Now there is plenty of material available out there on the web about this device, but the run down of the device is it was first shown at CES this year and its a small, yet powerful 65 Watt laptop charger. This is possible by the use of VHF (Very High Frequency) switching, thereby delivering smaller packets per switch (on/off) and thereby saving energy, and allowing the components to be smaller as they do have to use deal with as much energy at one time, but this means very little to most people.

What this essentially boils down to is a much smaller, sleeker and less bulky charger, supplying the same amount of power to your laptop (or other device).


Coin

 

Looking at this device, the size and weight reduction it offers are most certainly a good thing, and provide what I am looking for, that is not to say however there are not issues with this device.

First and foremost is the devices 65 Watts of power (which as most laptops charge at between 16V and 19V would indicate the amperage throughput is someone in the neighbourhood of 3.25 to 4.0 amps), this is however not enough for either my current laptop, which uses 165 Watts, but I am not too concerned about that as I am replacing it early next year, but it is not powerful enough to power the replacement even, which by comparison to my current power hungry beast uses only 85 Watts. This power gap I am sure will be narrowed with time, and I will undoubtedly be able to get one to power my laptop soon enough.

What is a little harder to deal with is the power plug pins. Yes I know it seems minor, and prehaps it is to others, but the bags I use for work are nice leather bags from Saddleback Leather, Pad and Quill or Kent (depends on how and what I am doing as to which I grab) all of these bags apart from being more expensive than most have leather on the interior, which the pins can scratch up and damage.

Many US adapters, including the one from Apple have a solution to this problem, retractable pins, and whilst this works for the “straight” American style pins, I have yet to see one for Australian style pins, check out the pictures below to see what I mean

 

 

PlugDifferences

 

To this end, FINsix could at least for the US make the plugs retract, but this may not be possible due to the design.

So what the fix I hear you ask, simple a cap, same as that pen that’s in your bag now, a simple cap over the pins, in the same colour as your device, that you can place over the pins when its not in use. I do have another idea, but I am unable to draw it as such currently, I will give it a shot on paper at some point in the near future and do another post about it

 

Have Fun

 

Justin

 

 

 

Windows Server Update Service Not installing due to WSUSService and Performance Counters

Today whilst installing a new WSUS server on a 2008R2 Standard server for a client I came across a new error I had not seen before, basically WSUS install got part of the way through and then threw up the error: “Windows Server Update Service 3.0 SP2 could not install WSUSService and the Performance Counters”

To be honest this was a quick fix, basically it in my case came down to entirely the performance counters, which is about a 5 minute check and a 30 second fix

First we want to open RegEdit and check the “Counter” entry under “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Perflib” and then compare it to the last number value in Counter under “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Perflib\009“. In this case 009 is the locale ID for english, and therefore 009 would be different for other locales

In my case this was all ok, however if it is not you may need to make sure that you have not disabled the Performance Counters, looking under “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Perflib” see if you have the “Disable Perforamance Counters” setting, if it is missing, then do not worry it simply means that they are enabled and never have been disabled (the entry is only generated once the counters have been disabled for the first time). If the key is set (has a value of 1) then turn it off (set it to 0)

Once this is done you need to rebuild the counters, this is thankfully easy to do from the command line, simply open an administrative command prompt and type the following

cd %systemdir%\system32
lodctr /R

The first command uses the SystemDir Environmental Variable and the System32 path to drop you into the system 32 directory (Normally C:\Windows\system32, but will change depending on install location, the environmental variable will change so it always points to the correct directory). The second command tells the counters to Rebuild the entries from scratch, alternatively if you have a backup of the perf counters (generated by the lodctr /s:<;filename>; command) you can load it with lodctr /R:<;filename>;

As I said, takes longer to do the checks than it does to apply the fix (isn’t that always the case)

References:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/300956

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