Saturday, May 25, 2019

The Best USB Power Supply I've Found Yet: A Home Depot Surge Protector!

Sometimes, "smart" isn't the right answer.  Sometimes, dumb brute force is the right answer to a problem - and I've been having problems with USB power lately.  Over the past year, playing around with Raspberry Pi 3s and Jetson Nanos, I've learned that they can be very, very power hungry beasties, and most USB power supplies will sag out when you really crank up the load.  The official Raspberry Pi power supply will keep up, but most other USB power supplies struggle and sag if you load them up quickly.

What about a big, dumb power supply?  Your local home improvement shop probably has plenty of things like this - which claims to be a 3.1A USB charger, plus a surge protector and outlet splitter.  What's in it?  Is it any good?  Does it actually put out an honest 3.1A?

Actually, it's one of the most impressive USB power supplies I've met - and surprisingly not-dumb.  Not only does it do an honest 3.1A, I get a reasonable voltage at the end of a normal USB cord!  The thing has cable voltage droop compensation!  Keep reading for more details and the teardown, because this thing is good!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

What happens when you try to quit Facebook?

Have you ever gone through the flow for deleting your Facebook account?  It's a very interesting process that can best be described as, "Customer Retention."  Or, in other words, "Please don't go!  We can change!  We promise!  Look, see, here's a solution to all your objections!  Think of all the friends you won't see updates from!"  And so on.  Since Facebook is busy re-inventing their UI to pretend to be less toxic, let's look at their UI for detoxifying them entirely - and what we can learn about their thinking from it.

If you haven't played with it, it's worth messing around with!  Or, you can enjoy the overview here!