Tag

USB

Battery Pack In The Freezer: Not A “Cool” Idea

By funny, sarcasm, technology

Oh the perils of technology. Ever think something’s a great idea at the time, and then later on you’re kicking yourself? Yeah, story of my life. I think I killed my digital camera battery. This is a strange story, indeed, but worth a read.

I have a Sony Cyber-shot N1 digital camera. I’ve always had, and probably always will have, Sony digital cameras. They make superb products. Anyway, my last camera had the same proprietary dock port as my current one, meaning the same USB cable should naturally work with both cameras, right? Yeah, you’d think so at least. I misplaced my memory card reader the other day, and so I pulled out the USB cable I still have from my old camera.

As soon as I plugged it in, it killed the battery completely. So, I plugged it into the battery charger, and literally after two minutes the battery was fully charged and operational (which tells me the battery wasn’t drained in all actuality). So anyway, smart one here used the cable again today, thinking it was just an isolated incident, and sure enough it killed the battery again. The only problem this time was that the battery wouldn’t recharge. Why? The battery was already fully charged this time. The charger wouldn’t charge it any further (it’s an aftermarket charger I bought after I lost my factory one), and I therefore couldn’t get the battery working again.

The whole thing about the USB cable killing the battery instantly is strange, I know. But strange or not strange, I needed to take some pictures today for my Downtown Short Pump website. I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I have always heard that lithium ion batteries drain faster in cold environments. This is why many cell phones and iPods, as well as other devices with¬†rechargeable¬†batteries, work for shorter periods of time in the Winter months when used outside. So genius here got what he thought was a bright idea. If the battery won’t charge because it’s already full, why not drain it? And if lithium ion batteries drain quickly in cold conditions, why not stick the battery in the freezer for a bit?

I stuck the thing in the freezer for about an hour. I took it out afterwards and it was cold and covered with condensation. I think it’s shot. Who knows, though, it could have already been done for after using that cable a few times. Why a simple USB cable with no power running through it could affect a battery, or anything else for that matter, is a mystery to me.

Guess I’ll be ordering a generic battery to go with my generic battery charger. Pretty soon I suppose my camera will be generic, as well. It’s about the only Sony brand component left. As much as I like technology, I sure screw a lot of my own electronics up.

New High Tech Fitness Equipment At The Shady Grove YMCA

By Uncategorized

So I’ve been working out every day lately at the Shady Grove YMCA, but just this morning noticed a lot of new technology in place. There is a set of new Life Fitness treadmills (I don’t know how long they’ve been there, but not too long) that have interactive color touch screens complete with a view of how far you’ve run that can be shown as a track, mountain hike, or nature trail, a virtual personal trainer, and an interface for your iPod (you can plug your iPod into the docking cable and you can scroll through your playlists on the treadmill screen!). I keep my USB flash drive on my keyring, so I was also able to insert that into the provided slot at the end of my workout and it saved my workout information. Nifty!

Next, I went up front to discover three new interactive stationary bikes by a new start up company called Expresso Fitness. These bikes allow you to sign in to track your progress and then select a myriad of different road courses of various levels, change gears on screen, and you’re given a pacer to keep up with, all on a big 17 inch color screen. I was much more motivated to go faster and farther by being on a virtual course and having other bikers to keep up with on screen than I would have been if it was just me on a traditional stationary bike. This is a very cool concept and I think this company will do very, very well in the fitness industry as they grow and expand.

These are some great new fitness technologies and it’s really cool that the YMCA has invested in them to bring a new dimension to working out.