Two meta - hardware questions

January 2, 2017 at 11:30:14
Specs: several
Two questions about hardware that aren't actually about hardware:

Was Computing.net spawned from Tom's Hardware somehow, or
are they still connected?

Where should I go to ask what the mechanical problem is with my
electric can opener? (The knife edge suddenly doesn't lower down
far enough to pierce the top of the can anymore, and I can't see any
obvious reason. I plan to take a photo of it so someone else can
diagnose it.)

Edit to update:

I turned the can opener over and discovered an instruction on
the bottom showing how to remove the top part for cleaning.
Removing it revealed that the cutting blade might be held by
only a single rivet. Holding a part by only a single, cylindrical
fastener suggests that the part might rotate. I pulled on the
blade and it rotated. Apparently it had become gummed up
enough that the rather weak spring hidden somewhere inside
was not putting enough force on the blade to push it back into
position. It isn't obvious to me yet why the blade needs to be
able to rotate rather than remain in a fixed position, which is
what I had assumed until now, but that may become apparent
as I finish cleaning it. Pulling the top off also revealed screws
that I could remove to disassemble it completely if I want to.

But I'd still like to know where to go to ask (or answer) this
sort of question.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

message edited by Jeff Root


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#1
January 2, 2017 at 12:43:57
"Was Computing.net spawned from Tom's Hardware somehow"
I think Computing.net and Tom's Guide ran concurrently for some time and still do. I first came on Computing.Net in mid 1999 but I've no idea whether Tom's Hardware/Guide also existed at that time. Computing.Net seemed to come under the umbrella of Tom's Guide a few years ago. Presumably Tom's Hardware is part of Tom's Guide.

There is not a specific place for domestic appliances as this is a computing website. However we get all sorts of odd ball things appear here in "The Lounge" which is for general chit chat and about anything one cares to put there, so this seems to me to be a good place.

Justin Weber might respond with a more accurate answer to both questions so watch this space.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

message edited by Derek


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#2
January 2, 2017 at 17:48:48
Hi,

I can't give much more info about the can opener, but I can about Tom's and Computing.Net :)

Computing.Net was founded independently from Tom's hardware back in 1996. It operated independently until 2008, when it was acquired by the company that owned Tom's Hardware. It became the Tom's Guide (less technical/overclocking/hardware specific) community.

About two and a half years ago, Tom's Guide started its own community. That is when Computing.Net was rebranded back as under an independent name. The site is still part of the same company though.

Hope this helps!

Thanks!
Justin


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#3
January 2, 2017 at 19:22:03
I guess going manual is not an option.... ;-)

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#4
January 2, 2017 at 22:13:48
Going manual?? If that was for me, I didn't understand it.

If I recall correctly, I found or was directed to Tom's Hardware
some years ago to get my computer questions answered, then
over time saw the website morph into Computing.net. Much
later I discovered that Tom's Guide still exists. Recently I saw
it mentioned a couple of times, so now that I had an actual
hardware problem (though nothing to do with computers), I
was moved to ask about it.

This place is just like the astronomy and science forum I
also frequent: When I ask there about places to ask questions
on other topics, they won't suggest anything off-site. Maybe I
can go back and see if USENET (okay, "Google Groups") is still
functional. I haven't asked a question there in years.

I disassembled the top part of the can opener, and found that
what appeared from the outside to be an insignificant crack in
the plastic was causing the spring to lack sufficient force to
push the cutting blade into place. The crack was obviously
caused by the force of the cutting blade on the spring and by
the spring on the plastic. So even though cleaning it up has
probably got it working again for a while (I won't know until
I need to open more cans), a little crack in the plastic casing
means it won't last for long.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

message edited by Jeff Root


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#5
January 3, 2017 at 02:26:57
Hi Jeff,

with Can Openers, I find gunge seems to collect in the places most difficult to access for subsequent removal. e.g. behind the Cutting Wheel and Gear Cogs.

To clean, I use a Watchmakers Screwdriver and/or use a Toothbrush to scrub with Surgical Spirit.

As Christmas has just passed, suggest putting a Can Opener on your Birthday Presents List. :-)

Good Luck - Keep us posted.

Mike (based in London)

message edited by Mike Newcomb


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#6
January 3, 2017 at 07:02:14
With small domestic appliances if you are that way inclined you have a darned good look at them and work out a fix - which is what you've done. Because there is such a wide range of domestic appliances I doubt there is any website that is suitable. You work with the device in question and its model number. If you are lucky you might uncover some help from someone who has been there before and/or a manual.

As Mike says if the fix doesn't hold up then replacement is the final option. Sounds like it is life expired (or nearly so). I fixed mine despite the plastic disintegrating but that's the engineer in me. Still works fine but next time it goes in the bin. Most folk would have put it there in the first place.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#7
January 8, 2017 at 04:06:00
Well, that took long enough to sink in.

Sluc, it just hit me what you meant by "going manual".

(Quote Homer Simpson here.)

Yes, there are a couple of manual can openers here.
At least one of them definitely works, although the first
time we tried to use it, it required three manua to make
it work. (One hand to hold the handles, one hand to
turn the cutter, and one hand to hold and turn the can.
Luckily I had three hands at the time. Well, six hands,
actually. And actually, once the cut got going it took
only two hands. The electric opener generally requires
only one hand -- when it works.

Oh. Is that more than you wanted to know? I didn't
force you to read it. And I didn't get paid for writing it.

Hey, I just finished jogging 3 miles by going in a circle
120 times. I'm not going outside in this weather!

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#8
January 13, 2017 at 14:45:20
Where should I ask for help in removing a stuck cassette from
my VCR? I've looked at several web pages and videos and they
were all written by people who didn't know what they were doing,
or didn't realize that not all VCRs are alike and not all cassettes
get stuck the same way.

I can describe the problem and what I've done so far in detail.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#9
January 13, 2017 at 15:02:50
I've been involved with a certain amount of VCR repairs in the dim and distant past. Best bet is to describe the problem and what you've done, maybe a summary for now. Perhaps either I or someone else will be able to add something useful to the discussion. In my case it's all down to whether years of rust will fall off my memory sufficiently to reveal anything.

The VCR model number might help, or at the very least whether it is a top loader or front loader.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#10
January 13, 2017 at 15:28:26
The question was where to do it. The lounge doesn't seem
like the best place, but if nobody suggests anything better,
I'll start a new thread here.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#11
January 13, 2017 at 16:23:20
Oh, I took it to mean where to ask for help generally on the internet rather than on here particularly.

In which case see the second para of my #1 on here.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#12
January 13, 2017 at 17:39:29
A forum that deals with fixing electronics would be ideal.
Computers are electronics, and this place is all about fixing
computers, but VCRs aren't computers ... so ... uh ...

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#13
January 13, 2017 at 17:55:23
Have you looked for a service manual? There's a chance you might be lucky - I've collected quite a few for TV sets over the years..

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#14
January 13, 2017 at 22:51:43
I haven't looked for a service manual... But I wrote a post
about the problem. I'll put it in a new thread forthwith.
(Likely the first time I ever used that word. I hardly ever
do anything forthwith.)

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#15
January 14, 2017 at 05:21:06
Yes, I do quite a lot of thing afterwith.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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